At 1 am I flopped onto my bed, lay on top of the blanket, and while my new tower fan blew warm air across me, I relaxed in a star fish position and waited for another nice dream to overtake me.
I was floating. And sleep was seconds away. And I was anticipating that with that sleep, another cute movie star would whisper something into my ear.
My starfished body plastered itself on the ceiling. As I was dropping back onto the bed he said,
"There's someone outside. The light at the side of the house keeps going on and off."
"It's probably just a bird. That stupid light only stays on for like 2 seconds...we have to fix it so it at least stays on for 5 minutes. When I do the waterin-"
"A bird? At this time?"
"OK - A bat. It's just a bat." (Just a bat, yuck. Who am I kidding? A bat would be just as bad as a prowler.)
I get up and he's a nervous assembly of skin, bones, hormones, hair and fear. I go down the stairs and lock the front door. (First time ever in probably 100 years), then flick the switch that turns on the front lights. I walk over to the door that opens to the garage and am overcome with apprehension. I have no adrenaline rush, I am not filled with courage. I am a very tired, almost 50 year old woman, who has to be strong when she'd rather be in fantasyland snuggling with a dead actor at a tacky family dinner.
"I need my gun. Oh, where is my gun..." I hear him muttering behind me as I turn on the light and walk across the garage towards door that opens up to the sideyard. I glance around at my Durango and Drew's 240, hoping no one is squatting beside them. I see Drew in the corner of my eye and note that he has his plastic air-soft rifle in the lock and shoot position behind me. It is not loaded with ammunition or air so it's mostly a prop. Actually it's totally a prop. I get to the door and pulled it closed and wiggle with the knob as I set the dead bolt. (Why don't I do this everynight?) (Know why? BECAUSE THERE'S NOTHING WORTH STEALING IN MY HOUSE.) With the door goodnlocked, I flip off side-yard light, letting whoever's out there know that I mean business. Front yard lights are now on. Side yard light is now off. And the front half of the house is locked. I am woman. Here me roar. Don't mess with me.
We both walk back into the front hall of the house. Well, he backs in, keeping his toy aimed at the air behind me. He's got my back covered.
"What good is that going to do? The whole back of the house is open." He says. I am sensing his panic.
We walk around the corner and into the family room.
"Now that light is going off! Someone's back there!"
I walk over to the sliding door and click it shut. Then I lock it, peering out the window as I do so. There, lit up by the motion detecting light (installed so that when a person BBQ's on dark evenings, there is light to cook by. But Clint took my gas BBQ to a friend's house this Spring and never brought it back, so we haven't really needed the light all that much. If you ever need something of mine - like my truck, or camera, or BBQ - just ask Clint. He'll bring it right over.) ANYWAYS, there, in the back corner of the yard, hopping up onto the fence was one of the half dozen cats that use my yard as their bathroom.
"Quick. Come here. Look!" I said to Drew. "It's a cat. There's probably a bunch of them out there, pooping all over my gardens, then hopping on the fences to make the lights go on off. Can I go to bed now?"
I left him and his gun in the family room and headed back upstairs.
And despite my best efforts, I couldn't make Heath join me for another snuggle and pray session. I just slept soundly.
Three things I'm thankful for:
1. It was just a cat.
2. I slept for 9 uninterupted hours after that. A record this summer.
3. I have today off and there's a breeze.