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Hot August Morning

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi. Buddy and Pal have provided me with yet another story, so here goes.

I have accepted my single life and maybe that's wrong but it works for me. If a guy comes along, great, if not, I'm not going to get depressed about it. I plod along quite happily, but I admit I still cringe when a neon sign starts flashing "single! single! single!". Two who can turn on that sign are my cats, Buddy and Pal.

I woke up one very hot, muggy, August morning at 4:30 AM. The nights cool off enough that I am fine sleeping without the air conditioner on and just a fan blowing on me. Everyone has their quirks and I prefer to have the windows open when I sleep. However, on the night before this particular morning, I was blind with tiredness. I had turned off the central air and fell into bed without opening any windows.

Something woke me up but it wasn't enough to keep me awake, though I did notice it was 4:20AM. Same thing at 4:25AM. At 4:30 I heard it. A loud, sharp beep, I'm sure that means something. But where did it come from? I started to fall back to sleep and heard it again. Three loud sharp beeps. OK, that's a warning. Finally my adrenaline kicks in and I'm up. I don't smell smoke or anything and the cats aren't nervous, in fact they're prancing around for their morning treat. Where did it come from? I threw on yesterday's clothes and ran downstairs. What do I have that beeps? I opened the doors and windows for some "real" air before I had to close everything up for the air conditioner. There's no smoke to set the smoke alarms off. Then I heard the beeps again. Upstairs. I remembered I have a carbon monoxide detector plugged in the hallway. I keep all appliance manuals in a drawer in the kitchen, grabbed the one for the detector, grabbed the phone and ran outside. The cats weren't lethargic, I didn't have a headache or anything and I was hoping the beeps were some kind of maintenance check or something. Yet, that would really p*ss me off at this hour of the morning. I don't have the money for the furnace to be broken. But the furnace wasn't running. Still, the house was closed up tight all night, what else produces carbon monoxide?

Three short beeps is a low level warning. Open all doors and windows and get everyone outside. Check for symptoms listed. Have appliances checked by a professional immediately. As I was leaning against my car and reading, the alarm went to a full beep. But, all the windows and doors are opened, why has it gone to a full beep? The book said to leave the house immediately and call 911.

The fire department was there in 5 minutes. Just one fireman, in fireman boots, driving the small truck and no whoopa-whoopa. He checked the house and the levels were zero. He had me turn the air conditioner on to test while it was running. Now, Buddy and Pal must have been hiding under a chair or something. The fireman and I were standing in the hallway when Pal came out of nowhere and ran onto the porch and into the screen tent, climbing the tent wall when he ran out of floor. Of course, that only led him to the ceiling and he fell down. But, he kept at it, at full speed, until the poles holding up the tent gave in. I tried to stop him before the tent fell and asked the fireman to step into the livingroom which would give Pal the clear path he needed to get upstairs to his safety zone. The tent falling on him was more frightening than the fireman and his boots, so Pal took the opportunity to run upstairs. I tried to explain to the fireman that Pal didn't like strangers and I thought the big boots scared him, but my words could not turn off the flashing sign Pal had turned on over his furry little head, "Alien! Man Alert! Dive!! Dive!! Dive!!". Buddy, who tends to play the role of protector, took position on the kitchen table, standing defensively and hissed continually at the man, the foreign object in my home, adding neon to the already flashing sign. The fireman commented that my cats were as good as watchdogs, meant I'm sure as a form of compliment, but it only dashed my hopes that maybe he hadn't noticed their odd behavior. As a sort of unspoken apology for the disdain my cats were displaying, I gave the fireman a bag of chocolate chip cookies I made the night before. Maybe when he retold the story back at the firehouse, the cookies would put a positive spin on it.

The house got a clean bill of health, the detector may have dust or cat hair in it, get a new one. As soon as the fireman left the house, Buddy was up in the front window, growling, until the truck was out of sight. I couldn't find Pal anywhere, until he came up from the cellar a half hour later. I don't know how he got himself downstairs. I suppose I should check to see if he created a laundry shoot somewhere upstairs in his fever to bypass the floor with the man.

It would have been normal, if the cats were afraid of strangers, for them to go hide someplace and be unnoticed until their perceived danger passed. But, this is their reaction to men. They are fine with women and children. They both must have had a bad experience in their first year before they came to me. I just wish they didn't display so clearly their minimal exposure to the male of my species. Of course, only my friends have observed this distinction in the cats behavior and use it as joke material whenever possible. Anyone, like the fireman, coming into the house would have no reason to disbelieve my explanation that all strangers get the same greeting.

post #2 of 4
Cute story!
post #3 of 4
Leave it to our felines to embarrass us and show the world our foibles!
post #4 of 4
Was the fireman good looking? If so you have to teach them the difference between a good looking and not good looking! LOL!
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