Dream of: 15 September 1998 "Pathetic Little Tiger"

While I was in the garage of the Summerdale Drive House, either my pet Dalmatian Chaucer or my pet Dalmatian Picasso was running around and barking at something. I didn't pay much attention at first, but finally I walked over to the dog to see what was bothering him. He was looking up at some overhead rafters and finally I saw a small animal moving along one of the rafters. At first, the animal looked green, like a praying mantis. But when I looked closer, I saw that the animal was actually gold-colored, and finally I realized the animal was a small tiger, only about 15 centimeters long and obviously in poor condition. Whether the tiger was simply weak from hunger or had been injured, it seemed to be having difficulty moving. I figured the pathetic-looking creature must have been someone's pet and had been abandoned. I had recently heard that a tiger had been spotted in our suburban area.

I had to try to save it. Although I was a bit afraid it might try to bite me if I touched it, nevertheless I lifted my hand toward it, intending to grab it. But as soon as my hand was close to it, the little tiger slipped into the jacket sleeve of the brown leather jacket which I was wearing, and began crawling up my arm inside the jacket. Soon I could feel the animal under the pit of my left arm, where it seemed to have snuggled up. I began moving slowly out of the garage, trying not to move abruptly and disturb the cat. At the same time, I picked up a silver wire cage which had been sitting in the garage for a long time. I had thought I would never use the cage, but now I could put the tiger in it.

Was the animal really a tiger? It was gold-colored with black spots. If I were to describe the animal to someone, I would have to say the coloring was "dark gold-colored," because the gold color was particularly dark. But I suddenly thought the animal might actually be a panther instead of a tiger. I began thinking that tigers actually had stripes, thick black stripes like swipes of Chinese calligraphy. Only panthers had spots. But I was unsure of this, and still thought the animal might be a tiger.

When I finally walked out of the garage and back into House, I called out to Carolina to come and help me. Chaucer and Picasso were still running around and getting in my way. One of them even nipped me in the back as I began taking off my coat; I had to push him away, fearing he might try to grab the tiger, which by now was no longer under my arm, but had slipped down toward the bottom of my jacket inside the lining. I pulled off the coat, and could clearly see the movement of the tiger in the lining near the pocket. I held the jacket so the tiger was trapped in this small section. Now I figured I could use a pair of scissors to cut a little hole in the lining, hold the hole in front of the door to the cage, and let the tiger slide into the cage. I hated to cut up my jacket, but it was old anyway and did not really matter.

Instead of Carolina, my grandmother Leacy showed up to assist me. She seemed quite curious about what I was doing; as I knelt down next to the cage, ready to release the tiger, I described the tiger to her, saying, "I've never seen one so little."

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