Thursday, 15 May 2014

The Case of the Stranger at the Door and the Cowardly Cat

It was early, at least by my standards. Ok, fine, I admit it wasn't early. It was a little after eleven when I heard a loud knock at the door. It had to be loud for me to hear it because I was sound asleep at the time.

I had stayed up late reading and between seven and nine in the morning my cat had tried everything she could think of to make me get up.  She didn't need anything of course, she just enjoys an audience while she eats.  I, however, refuse to wake up so that she may dine a la russe.  So, I tried my best to ignore her and finally, after a two hour battle, (that involved her devilish tricks and muttered curses from my pillow) I convinced her to curl up at the end of the bed and sleep.

Russian blue cat
I don't know what you're talking about.  I'm totally innocent and all my desires are needs.
So, that's where the two of us were at eleven in the morning, both completely contented and asleep, when someone pounded at the door with enough force to startle us awake and get the blood going.  She looked about wildly while I checked the time.  Mother should still be at Bible study.  Perhaps it was a neighbor, but it was rather loud, much too loud for one of our friendly neighbors.  Wouldn't it be just my luck if the "bad guys" had come calling this morning I thought groggily.  No, it must just be someone here about the bathroom construction.  Maybe they have a quote for the house paint or the window.

I tore myself from my cozy bed to peer out the window and decide if I could reasonably ignore the person at the door or not.  I couldn't see anyone downstairs by the door and thought they'd given up and gone back to their car.  When I tiptoed to another window for a better view of the driveway and their little car I thought I heard another knock.  Clearly, with a normal little four door car instead of a truck this wasn't a construction person, and yet they didn't seem to be leaving either.

I put the nearest coat on over my pjs and resigned myself to greeting whatever neighbor or friend believed that eleven am wasn't too early for a social call.  They would be wrong about this of course, but there is just no stopping some people.  On the way down the stairs I called over my shoulder to the cat, asking if she was coming, since my presence downstairs had been her only goal for two hours that morning.  She was tiptoeing behind me.  That's odd I thought, still half asleep, normally she races down the stairs with me.  Then as I reached the bottom of the stairs I heard a sound that almost made my heart stop.

Who me?  I'm certainly not a coward and I wasn't tiptoeing either.  I was clearly stalking the criminal.  Yes, that's what I was doing two feet behind you.
I had heard this sound before, years earlier when we had a different cat.  Some said she was a devious cat.  I just said she was the devil.  She would wait until I was alone doing work in the kitchen after everyone else had gone to bed.  Then, and only then, would she approach the door from the outside, reach up, and jiggle the doorknob.  It scared me half to death every time she did it and she seemed to know that.  This time the noise was a little louder, but I knew without a doubt that the person who had knocked a few minutes ago was now jiggling the doorknob.  They were trying to get into my house!

I was afraid in that moment.  They clearly didn't know I was home as they had knocked to see if anyone answered and waited some time before trying the door.  I had taken my sweet time to decide if I could ignore them or not.  They had assumed nobody was home and were now trying to get in.  But subconsciously this thought kept my terror in check because I knew they were not trying to hurt me.

There was the briefest of pauses and then I heard the door give.  I knew that they had just shouldered my door open by force, and I had just heard the door jamb break.  The knocker was now inside my kitchen.

There was no doubt as to their intention now.  Thinking the house was empty the would be criminal intended to rob the place.  And yet the moment I heard the door give in I stopped being afraid and I stopped thinking.  I knew they were in my house and I knew with a ferocious certainty that I had to get them out.  I flew around the last corner with rage at their intrusion building in my chest and I shouted at the top of my lungs "GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!!!".

Did she say intruder? Hide!
The intruder was a young man standing about my height (so not very tall) just on the kitchen rug, all of two feet inside my house, his eyes wide with shock as I came running at him, pj's flying, bed hair flying, with rage in my voice.  He immediately turned and with an "oh shit!" ran out of my kitchen and headed for his car.  As I reached my door I shouted "Get out of my house!" one more time before chasing after him across the porch.  He got safely in his car and began to leave before I could catch up to him, which is just as well because I don't know what I would have done with him if I had caught him.  Still full of adrenaline and rage I memorized his license plate numbers as he pulled away picking up hasty speed around my driveway and left my house.

Then I stood there as the adrenaline let-down started to make me shake and the shock of what might have happened set in.  I called mom to let her know I was safe but she insisted on leaving Bible study right away to come home.  The older ladies in the Bible study group were shocked and terrified that I would chase an intruder.  So worried in fact, that one of them drove by the house later to check on us and make sure we were ok because she couldn't get over the idea of me chasing out a robber.  I'm now infamous at church as the "battle daughter," my mother's new term for me, who chased away an intruder.

She is only fierce when she's pretending to be a lioness.
The next thing that had to be done was to call 911 to report the break in.  This led to a long morning of police statements and the dusting of our doorknob for prints.  The police officers were all very kind and offered suggestions and advice for home safety and personal safety.  None of these involved me chasing after criminals in the future I might add.  They assured me that the best thing to do was to trust my instincts.  If you think it's a "bad guy" then call 911 right away.  Don't wait til they break in and don't chase them.

And they are right of course.  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to be aware of the potential repercussions of my actions.  I was lucky.  In future I'll be pleased to call in support before I need it.  It's far better to let the police chase away the intruders for me so I can stand aloof in the background with my cat while we wear identical expressions of dignified abhorrence.

And despite all my light-hearted joking about the matter, I am serious.  I know I have a rich imagination (evidence found here), but unfortunately this really happened.  My hands shook after the fact and it ruined my day.  And it has made me a bit more cautious.  And if it happens to you, do call the police.  I only joke about this because I am safe and it is over; and I think that often the only choice you have in these situations is whether to laugh or cry.  Personally, I refuse to let somebody else make me the victim.  So, I shall laugh at the comical image of my cowardly cat slinking behind me as I chase out a robber in my pj's.  It did ruin my day, but it will not make me subject to fear.  That's no way to live.  Ok, serious side all dealt with, I shall return to my farcical description of real events.

So, let this be a lesson for all people.  Some of us take our beauty sleep very seriously.  If you have the nerve to awaken me, and my fiendish cat, from our slumber I assure you that you will have awakened the sleeping dragon.  And if you are a would be thieving scum bag, the police will be more than happy to escort you to your new home. 

No comments:

Post a Comment