A thump deep in the night. Moonlight slivers throw arcs of light across the bed. I’m alone tonight. There shouldn’t be any sounds other than the normal household ones. Thumping is definitely not normal. I lay perfectly still, ears perked, listening. The refrigerator hums lightly downstairs. Nothing else.
I close my eyes trying to return to the dream that meandered through my brain before the sound. Breathe through the nose, slowly, steadily. Hoping sleep will come again.
Screeching of wood against wood breaks the quiet. The stairs creak. Why are they creaking now? Raising my head ever so slightly, I hold my breath and listen. Waiting. If there’s someone on the stairs, the aging steps will give them away.
My nose picks up the faint scent of vanilla.
The house noises rattle amongst my thoughts, scattering them to the corners of my brain. Another creak sends my heart racing. Ears twitch. Listening for any little sound.
Steps echo on the landing outside the room. Someone is in the house with me. Muscles tense, but I stay perfectly still. Maybe the intruder will think the house is empty and leave.
Wait. Maybe they already think the house is empty and are here looking for valuables. Panic filters into my blood. I steady my breathing and try to think of something else. Once the panic flows through my body and into my brain, it will be all over. There won’t be any controlling myself.
A shadow falls over the bed and my heart stops. It’s too late, they’ve seen me.
The intruder flips on the light.
Jumping to my feet, I arch my back as my tail poofs out in an effort to make myself look more like a lion than a house cat.
“Kitty boy, I’m home sweetie!”
Seriously, momma girl what happened to announcing you’re home when you walk in the back door!?! Nothing like giving your favorite, furry boy a heart attack.
Still, even after the scare, when she reaches out for me, I can’t help but drop and roll over to have my belly rubbed. I’m such a sucker.