Sunday, May 7, 2023

Ailurophobia and an Excerpt from My New Release ~ Jean C. Gordon

Do you know what ailurophobia is. It's a fear of cats. People with this phobia feel anxious when they thing about a cat, see a cat or images of a cat, or hear a act. Many people with ailurophobia have had negative experiences with cats. This phobia can be over come with exposure therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy hypnotherapy, and other treatments. Ailurophobia is also what the hero in my new release His Thing about Cats is up against.

He's a champion bobsledder whose big endorsement depends on him getting over his fear of cats–fast. She has an aversion to sports-types but is the only one he trusts to help.

Read an Excerpt

It wasn’t as if it was any reflection on his masculinity. Just like his mother choosing Taylor for his first name after it had switched from a boy’s name to a popular girl’s name wasn’t. Taylor, Ty, Johnson took his time crossing the parking lot to the Ticonderoga Health Center. Everyone had fears. And it wasn’t as if he didn’t have a good reason for his. Being attacked by a rabid animal was enough to terrify an adult, let alone a toddler. Only his attacker hadn’t been a wild animal. It had been a cat. Barely more than a kitten.

Ty approached the center’s main door. He could still cancel his appointment with the mental health counselor. Eat the no-show fee. His carpentry/furniture-making business was doing okay. And, now that he’d retired from the US bobsledding team, he had a lot more available work time. He stopped and scrubbed his hand through his hair. But the endorsement offer he’d received after coming off this year’s world championship, the third in a row, was too good to give up. It would give his business a shot of cash, let him pay back some to the sport that had been such a big part of his life, and help give his mother a comfortable retirement when the time came.

The only problem with the offer was that it was with Your Kitty. The company wanted publicity shots of him, and other sports figures, with cats. Possibly more than one cat at a time. He shuddered and gulped a breath. Ty opened the door. Look at it as a challenge. You never turn down a challenge. Yeah. The door closed behind him with a click. He lost that gulped breath. Only this challenge seemed like a bigger one than he’d ever faced before.

Somehow he put one foot in front of the other and sauntered to the check-in desk. “Taylor Johnson to see Dr. Hill.” His voice came out surprisingly normal. 

“Right here.” The attractive woman behind the desk made a checkmark next to his name. 

He waited for any hint of recognition and got none. Evidently, not a bobsledding fan. Good. He’d made an appointment here across Lake Champlain in New York rather than in his hometown in Vermont, to lessen the chance of being recognized and his fear of cats going public.

“I’ll need your ID and insurance cards, please.”

“Oh, yeah.” He shook the fog of relief from his brain and dug in his pocket for his wallet.

The woman ran the cards through a scanner and handed them back. “All set.” 

She gave him an inviting smile, bolstering his ego. 

He returned it, half waiting for her to give him her number. She didn’t, but he held onto the boost. He needed all the positivity he could get.

“You can wait for Dr. Hill in the waiting room to my left. When you’re finished check out here.”

“Thanks.” Ty walked the short distance to the room and had barely taken a seat when another attractive young woman, even more attractive than the first, put her head in the room.

“Taylor Johnson?”

“Yes. Ty, please.” He rose and continued his once over of Dr. Hill’s nurse? No, maybe assistant? She didn’t have on scrubs. It didn’t matter. She was stunning. Probably 30-ish. Curvy with mahogany-colored hair that fell in curls to her shoulders. And he did appreciate a stunning view, whether it be nature or a woman.

The nurse frowned. He’d been too blatant. This whole thing had him so off his game. Ty assumed a bland demeanor. Apologizing would probably be over the top. He’d pretend he hadn’t been a jerk.

“I’m Dr. Hill.” A smirk of a smile replaced her frown.

He looked at the top of the doorway behind him. This was Dr. Hill, the head of the Mental Health Department at the center? He’d pictured her as a motherly looking middle-aged woman, who’d be easy to talk to. Someone he wouldn’t need to impress. He mentally kicked himself for not checking out the staff photos on the center’s website.

“I … I … thought … expected …” He tamped down the now overwhelming urge to apologize. Then again, why as a doctor would she deserve an apology any more than a nurse or assistant. He plunged ahead. “Sorry, I was expecting someone older, different. And to be fair to me, you must know you’re a beautiful woman.”

“Thank you and notice I didn’t roll my eyes.”

Ty choked out a laugh and gave a shot at starting over. “Hi, I’m Ty Johnson, your 10:00 appointment.”

“Nice to meet you.”

Good, she was giving him the do-over he wanted.

“I’m Julianna Hill. Please come across the hall to my office.”

Pretty name for a pretty lady. With the lightning speed he was famous for as a bobsledder, Ty put a clamp on his tongue before his thoughts ran rampant again. 

He followed her into the office, which looked more like someone’s living room than a medical office. A lot nicer than what qualified as the living room in his apartment. Natural light came thorough a wide panel of windows augmented with soft lighting above. 

“Make yourself comfortable,” she said.

Ty approached one of the cushy chairs that circled a centerpiece table and stopped. His gaze locked on the table.

“Beautiful, isn’t it?” Julianna said.

“Yes, if I do say so myself.” He chuckled. “It’s one of mine.”


The expression that went with her outburst again made Julianna look too young to be the director of mental health.

“You’re part of A Cut Above Custom Furniture? I love the stuff.”

He sat and tried not to look too smug. “I am A Cut Above Furniture. Me and my mother, who’s my office manager.”

Julianna sat across from him. “Sorry for the fangirl moment.”

“No problem.” He was used to fandom but from his bobsledding accomplishments, not his custom furniture. “I mean, I’m glad you like it.” He had a bad feeling this counseling wasn’t going to work if he kept apologizing for everything he said. 

Not to mention that if he was going to get over his thing about cats, he was going to have to admit to weaknesses and tell her things he never told people—especially women.

  For My New Releases

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