Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Clearly, Kittens Will Be My Undoing

Note: While this post has a somewhat hilarious ending, it does contain a scenario that might be a "trigger" for some people who have experienced violence or trauma.

I woke up at 2am this morning to the sound of an unfamiliar man's voice in my house. I live alone, no men have keys to the house, and I knew the deadbolt was locked when I went to bed. I immediately panicked: a strange man was in my house, and I had no way to defend myself. I grabbed the heavy Maglite flashlight that my dad gave me when I moved into my college dorm (and taught me to hold over my shoulder and wield like a baton if necessary). I huddled in my bed and listened. The man sounded like he was talking to himself, almost carrying on a conversation with himself. His voice rose and fell, got louder and then quieter. I thought I saw lights flicker and wondered if maybe a crazy person had broken in and taken up temporary residence in my living room. My heart raced and I was terrified.

After several minutes of holding my breath and listening, I decided to call 9-1-1. I whispered into the phone that I thought there was someone in my house. My voice was shaky and I had to repeat the address three times. The dispatcher kept asking me whether anyone was staying with me, if I had given anyone a key. At one point I snapped, "Jesus Christ, just send someone already!" The dispatcher stayed on the line with me for the entire 12 minutes it took for the police officers to arrive. I had images of the police finding me bloody and dead by the time they finally arrived. Finally the dispatcher told me to go out the front door and the officers would be waiting for me. I streaked through the house clutching my flashlight, threw open the front door, and ran out onto the porch.

Two of the officers went through the house, clearing every room and closet, while I waited outside. I stood on the porch, clutching my flashlight, my knees shaking, terrified of what they'd find. I couldn't catch my breath and my heart was still racing. Finally, the officers came out and told me that they didn't find anyone inside. "Are you serious?!?" I snapped. But no, there was no one else in the house. They asked me if maybe the television had turned itself on; I said no, that wasn't it. Two other officers came around from the backyard; they didn't find anything either. I was shocked and still scared. They had to have missed something. But the officers left, telling me to lock the doors and call back if I needed them again.

I went inside and locked the door. As I walked back toward my bedroom, I heard what sounded like white noise coming from my dining room. My laptop was sitting open on the table. I sat down at the table and woke the computer from sleep mode, and up popped my browser. It was tuned to the streaming kitten cam I'd been watching earlier in the day. I had a sinking feeling, and backed the video feed up by about 20 minutes. And there was the kittens' foster dad sitting in front of the camera, talking to viewers around the world about the litters of kittens he's fostered. It was the exact same voice I'd heard earlier. I had scared myself half to death and summoned four police officers to my home in the middle of the night because I'd left a kitten cam streaming on my computer.

Humiliated doesn't even begin to cover it.

Readers, if you take only one lesson away from this story, let it be this: friends don't let friends watch kitten cams. Period.


Sarah said...

OMG. I'm the enabler!!!!

Julie said...

I just snorted so hard I choked on my own breath. And then peed a little.

I love you...

Teresa Halminton said...

I was scared. Thanks God everything was okay.
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