Aunt Grace did not like to be touched. But it seemed to go beyond shirking away from hugs. My family was never the affectionate touchy feely huggy group. However, Aunt Grace’s dislike of touch went far beyond the human touch. She liked animals but had a great fear of them touching her. I found this to be quite peculiar. Even the least affectionate person that I know loves the furry touch of cute kittens or puppies.
I knew that Grace liked animals. She always threw out stale bread for the birds to eat. She put out milk or food scraps for the stray cats in the neighborhood. Her care towards them told me that she liked them. But if an animal came near her, she would shriek.
Once I brought my dog with when I visited Grace. He got away from me and jumped on Grace’s lap. She screamed, “Get it off of me” over and over in fright. When we were little kids, we thought that her fear was rather comical. Now as an adult, I wish I understood why she was so afraid.