It is 2 a.m. I’m sleeping peacefully, blissfully unaware of the sheer terror that is about to descend upon me. I feel someone touch my face. “Baby, what do you need?” I ask without opening my eyes, assuming that I’m talking to my five-year-old daughter.
Silence. She doesn’t respond.
“Baby, what do you want?”
More silence. Then I hear shuffling as someone — something? — walks across the carpet in my bedroom.
“Seriously, what are you doing out of bed?” I ask, now obviously irritated.
Still no one responds. All of a sudden whatever is in my room runs across my bed.
What the hell?
I pull the sheets over my head, which seems like the most obvious response at the time, as my brain starts running 1,000 miles a minute trying to process exactly what is going on. Clearly, whatever this is, whatever creature is now occupying this space with me, is not my child. I think, as logically as I can at 2 a.m., out of a dead sleep, my heart nearly pounding out of my chest: “What is that!?”
Do I have a dog I totally forgot that I owned? A cat? Do I have a cat? I don’t have any pets, do I? it’s too fast to be my child, who on Earth is in my room? What on Earth is in my room?
Ever so slowly I lower the covers. Not all the way, oh no, that would be absurd, but just enough to allow my eyes to peek over the top of the 600-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets that are now providing the only barrier between me and my inevitable death.
It’s dark, very dark. It’s so dark that I almost can’t make out where the darkness ends and the wall of my room begin. The walls that are containing me and this terrifying creature.
I look to the left, nothing, I look to the right, OH MY GOSH SOMETHING TOUCHED ME!
Whatever it is, whatever creature is planning its attack, has just reached up from under the bed and touched me. Before I can even begin to process what that creature might be, it has now jumped up, landed on my head, and apparently flown to the other side of the room.
I do not like this, I very much do not like this. There is a reason that I made my real estate agent check the city records before I bought my house to make sure this land had never been a cemetery or the site of some gruesome murder — the reason being that I never wanted to be woken up by a freaking ghost!
This is it, my life is surely coming to an end. Whatever demon creature has come for me is most certainly going to suck the soul directly from my body and drag it down to hell where I will burn for all of eternity. The creature now leaps from what I believe to be the ceiling and lands so close to me I can hear it breathing, sniffing out the life that is inside of me.
Seriously, what the hell is going on here? There is no logical explanation as to what is happening. I do not own any pets, this is obviously not my child, this has to be a demon. If this is not a demon then I am about to come face to face with a rabid raccoon, and I’m not really sure that I like that option any better.
I scream, a scream so powerful you would think it had come from a 200-pound linebacker. A scream that startles the creature, which reacts in such a way that it is now tearing through the room, ping ponging its demon body off of every available surface.
This is it. It’s live or die here girl, time to show this creature what you are made of. I throw back the sheets and I run towards the light switch at record speed.
I hesitate, just for a brief second, knowing that once I flip the switch on, there is no turning back from the horror that surely awaits me.
Light fills the room, and just before I exit this bedroom tomb of hell, where I will attempt to save my children and flee our home, I look up. What I see is a shock that even I was not prepared for. I come face to face with it, the creature.
My neighbor’s outdoor cat.
“Cruiser, how the hell did you get in here.”
This cat has been the bane of my existence since I moved into my house eight years ago. He is constantly trying to get into everyone’s homes and from what I’ve heard, he has succeeded on more than one occasion. How he gets in, no one can figure out, but as the stories go, he lies in wait, hiding in the darkness where you least expect it, and then he attacks.
I may not be living on an ancient burial ground, yet something is always watching over the souls of my neighborhood with his beady little eyes peering out from the darkness. He is always watching, waiting, seizing the opportunity, and sneaking up on you when you are at your most vulnerable.
As so many people have claimed throughout history, maybe cats have a little demon in them after all.
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About the author: Eden Strong is a quirky young woman with a love for most animals with fur. She readily admits to living her life completely devoid of most social graces and so far she’s still alive. More of her crazy antics can be read on her blog, It Is Not My Shame to Bear.