Raymond / I Heart Kittens

Raymond had always been terrified of kittens. His elbows shook with fear when he heard the sound of meowing, his hands became clammy at the thought of their whiskers, and several times he jumped into the arms of unsuspecting strangers when he encountered cats in the street. He had nightmares about thousands of kittens holding paws and singing songs about rainbows. One day he met the girl of his dreams, Ramona R. Ramspittle. Ramona had magnificently silky eyebrows and an equal fondness for badminton. Raymond daydreamed about the two of them in matching badminton costumes, leaping around with tiny racquets and tremendous agility, sparks flying in the air and her eyebrows flowing in the wind. Unfortunately, Ramona also had an intense love of cats: her house was shaped like an enormous cats head and her mantlepiece adorned with miniature cat statues. Raymond wanted to impress her. He dismantled his cat alarms and adorned himself with happy cat paraphernalia. They went to the park and held hands. He disguised his terror with large volumes of catnip, but in the back of his mind he worried, “how long before she knows?”