Things That Go “Bump” in the Night

There was a Peanuts cartoon where Snoopy said, "I’m not scared of things that go ‘bump’ in the night.  I’m scared of the things that go ‘ARRRGH!’"  Since I’ve been a nocturnal person for most of my life, the many sounds you hear at night don’t faze me all that much.

The other night, there was a "bump" in the night that brought both of us up from deep sleep.  Both Steph and I were planning to sleep late–I hadn’t yet returned to work after my cholecystectomy, and Steph didn’t have any students until early afternoon, so neither of us set an alarm.  The noise wasn’t really a bump, more of a muffled crash, and it brought both of us to full consciousness.

I had been hoping against hope that I had only dreamed it, and would soon be back to sleep.  But when Steph said, "Did you hear that?", I realized that it had been all too real.  I took a moment to disconnect myself from my C-PAP machine, gradually get myself out of bed, and put on a pair of shorts and a T-shirt.  Since I was freshly on the mend from surgery, this seemed to take as long as an astronaut suiting up for one of the moon shots.

Cell phone in hand, I ventured toward the steps downstairs.  I flipped the switch that lit up the living room, and then came downstairs.  The sudden flood of light didn’t seem to startle anyone or anything, so I began to relax a little.  I had nothing handy that could have served as a weapon.  (I won’t debate the Second Amendment here, except to say that with my bipolar disorder, it would be stupidity for me to have easy access to a firearm.  Either mood extreme could result in tragedy if I was in close proximity to a gun.)

I came downstairs and walked into the kitchen, and felt something crunch beneath my feet.  Turning on the light, I saw what the result of the noise was.  David, our tabby, had been on top of the refrigerator, and had knocked the Rubbermaid box that contained his food all the way to the kitchen floor.  There was cat food scattered all over the floor, and David was partaking of it like Robert Downey, Jr. locked in a pharmacy.

I scooped up some of the food, resealed the box as best I could, and replaced it at the top of the refrigerator.  Very relieved that there had been no intruder, I turned off lights and went back upstairs, reassured Steph that we had not been burglarized, and was soon asleep.

A very puzzled Susie woke us up a few hours later, wondering why there was cat food scattered all over the kitchen floor, but the container was sealed and atop the refrigerator.  I thought briefly about letting that remain a mystery, but I told her what had happened.  Heading her "to do" list that morning was finding a new location for the cat food.

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