"How do I look?”
"Like you just touched a dead body. Come on, I’m hungry.”
— Jim Aarons, Yéiitsoh Omen
Yéiitsoh Omen is the second book in the Katie Reynolds/Rory Evans Adventures, a collection of stories revolving around two veterinarians. Rory and Katie fell in love during veterinary school, which wasn’t smooth sailing because she is a Navajo Indian and he is a plain old white guy. The first book, The Butterfly Boy, articulates both difficulties and successes as she tries to make her way in a white man’s world, and he tries to forge his practice.
Rory has finished vet school and is practicing in central California, hoping to convince Katie to settle there with him. Katie finishes vet school a year later, intent on returning home to the Navajo reservation. But, when she returns evil spirits, both Ute and Navajo begin a tirade to push her back out, sending her ominous signs, creating ever-present worry and angst. The raping of her Ute friend, Pelipa by community acquaintances turns this unease into unendurable horror. That's when the spirits succeed in running Katie from her homeland.
Temporarily defeated by the resident reservation evil she joins Rory at his veterinary practice in California where he shows her the beauty of the paradise he has stumbled onto. This central California coastal area is the place Rory wants to stay. He reopens an old veterinary clinic to entice her to settle in with him.
And Rory proposes to Katie hoping the promise of marriage will plug the gap she feels.
Katie cannot shake the call to return. Although she finds solace in her retreat into Rory’s comfortable place, she is driven by her need to learn more, confident she can still help her people. But she is falling deeply in love with Rory and needs to find a balance between her desires and his future wishes.
Katie is pushed back into academia when a mysterious disease causes a cougar to attack her friend Paula. The episode strengthens an old friendship she has with Dr. Prasad, a veterinary epidemiologist, who urges her to return to school, reigniting the same old lover’s quarrel between her and Rory.
Here's my readout of Chapter 3, Cougar in the Kitchen. Watch the video by activating the image above. I've placed the words below.
Hearing an unusual noise, the two dogs jumped up with ears cocked. Sinbad let out a bark and bee-lined a path to the front door through the doggy door. He jumped right through barking ferociously. Jasmine followed.
“What the hell?” Janie walked into the living room holding two full glasses.
Outside a savage tussle ensued. Beside snarling and barking from the dogs, Paula heard a low deep growling she couldn't identify. Janie rushed towards the door to turn on the porch light when a high-pitched yelp came from one of the dogs. At the same moment, Jasmine returned, barging through the dog door tipping Janie off balance, almost knocking her over.
Right after the doggy door settled to a close, it flew open again, but it wasn't the other dog. It was a cougar, a mountain lion, and it came through the door with such swiftness and force, it caused Janie to fall on her back with her arms and legs splayed. Paula was dumbfounded, caught between protecting herself and her baby and pulling Janie away from the cat.
“Run Paula! Get away!” Janie was now on her elbows frantically scooting from the thing.
But the cat was focused on Jasmine. That’s what it had come for, the dog. Jasmine ran into the kitchen, and the cat followed. The slippery floor, the kitchen appliances, and the chairs around the kitchen table stopped it but only for a moment. The cougar looked around a while longer before pouncing, exhibiting a boldness not usually seen in wild cougars.
Paula and Janie moved slowly away lest the cat find a new focus. Janie crawled to the guest hallway and slipped into Paula’s room. Paula went the other way into Janie’s office, and both closed their doors tight.
Jasmine let out a high-pitched yelp and went silent.
Paula waited and heard what sounded like little sticks breaking. It was the cougar crunching bones, eating Jasmine, growling, and warning anything to keep away from its kill.
Paula flipped the light switch and stood next to the door. “Janie! Are you all right?”
“Yes, I’m in your room. There's a phone in there with you Paula. Call 911!”
--Yéiitsoh Omen, Chapter 20: Cougar in the Kitchen--