The Burglar Bungle
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Because my eyes fly open at the tiniest sound - be it a snuffle, snore, wheeze, vibration, or flatulence - it was no surprise when, at about 2 o'clock this morning, I woke with a start. Because I thought I heard something that alarmed me. Unlike most of the other sounds that awaken me at night, this was one I couldn't readily identify: a short series of muffled thumps coming from somewhere in the house ... maybe two or three in a row. Had I dreamed it? Eyes wide open, I froze on my pillow and stared intently into the darkness, listening.
Then I heard it again. Thump. It wasn't coming from the boys' room. Was it downstairs, maybe? Our lab, Josie, let out a little "woof" from the floor beside our bed, which was how I knew for sure it wasn't my imagination.
"Curtis," I breathed, poking him. He answered with a snore. If you've been reading me for long, you've heard me complain about not only his snoring, but about the fact that he's a totally heavy sleeper. I could literally hire a marching band to parade through our bedroom and he'd saw logs through the whole thing.
"Curtis," I hissed, a little more loudly, right in his ear. I squeezed his arm. He woke up, thank goodness (and he's lucky because the next squeeze would've been somewhere more ... ahem ... sensitive).
"What's wrong?" he mumbled sleepily.
"I heard a noise," I said as softly as I could. "... Listen."
And sure enough, after a few seconds, there it was again: thump. Thump. Soft, distant, muted, but distinct.
Curtis got out of bed and hovered at the doorway of our bedroom, peering into the nothingness of the hall. Before too long, he turned and went into our bathroom. "What are you doing?" I whispered.
Behind the half-closed door, the light flicked on. "Putting in my contacts," he whispered back.
Seriously? There was an intruder in our house somewhere, preparing to rob us or worse, and he's in there fumbling with contact lenses? But he had a point: I couldn't see, either. So I rummaged through the bathroom drawer for my glasses.
When we both had our corrective eyewear in place, we resumed our not-very-sneaky sneaking up on the burglar, who was probably on his way out with half of our possessions by now.
We crept down the hallway in the dark.
"If there's somebody in the house, how come the alarm didn't go off?" Curtis said quietly.
"Shhh! I don't know! It's a burglar. They're used to disarming alarms."
"Then how come the dogs didn't bark?"
"Shhhhhhh!" I rolled my eyes and prodded him forward. "Would you just hush and look? We're not exactly being stealthy here."
We came to the kitchen, and there it was, louder: thump.
At which point my head swiveled toward the top of the refrigerator, and I saw our pesky cat Thurman perched there, illuminated by the moonlight from the kitchen window. He'd been trying to get into the cabinets above the fridge - the ones that I can't even reach without a chair. Thump, thump went the door as he tried to nudge it open with his nose and paws.
"Meow?" he asked innocently. Blink. Blink.
Why do cats have to act so crazy at night?
Mystery solved, we headed back to bed. It's a good thing it wasn't an actual intruder because, y'all? We had to pause for corrective eyewear. One of our "watchdogs" barely barked, and the other slept right through everything.
Curtis wants to buy a gun. I think I'll let him.