Henrietta, Miracle Pet
I am shaking as I write this. Because it happened. It finally happened. Henrietta—yes, one-eyed Henrietta—saved our lives last night.
Yes. Henrietta has proved at last that she is just as good as those animals on the TV show “Miracle Pet,” who wake up their owners when their baby is choking, or when they sense an electrical fire smoldering beneath the wall-to-wall carpet.
And, okay, it turned out our lives were never in any danger.
But she THOUGHT she was saving our lives. And it's the thought that counts, right?
Here is what happened:
In the dead of night last night, our burglar alarm went off (yes, we have a burglar alarm. It came with the house. I have never had a burglar alarm before, but I must say, it is quite handy, especially when I read in the paper about escaped convicts hiding in the Everglades, etc, since you so know Key West is their next stop).
I didn't hear the beeping. I will admit, in fact, that I slept through the whole thing, since, having been a complete insomniac since the age of 12, I had in Hearo ear plugs AND had taken a Sominex right after David Letterman in order to fall asleep.
But the fact that her primary owner was in an over-the-counter-sleep-aid-induced stupor and deaf to all sound did not dissuade Henrietta. She stalked across the bed from where she usually sleeps—on my feet—to my husband's ear, and went, “MEOW,” very loudly, waking him instantly.
So he heard the beeping.
Throwing on his robe (well, OK, he doesn't wear a robe, but whatever, it sounds more dramatic), he hurried downstairs to face the intruders who were trying to steal my plasma TV.
Except that there were no intruders. Because what had happened was that the alarm had run a routine diagnostic, realized one of the doors wasn't locked, and was beeping to let us know. Not the EAR DRUM PIERCING BEEPING that it does when it thinks someone has actually broken in (while simultaneously summoning the police, which has happened more often than I would like to admit, including one time when we opened the front door to get the paper, forgetting the alarm was on, triggered it, turned it off, and were back inside, innocently eating breakfast, when two KWPD officers stormed in with their guns drawn and yelled, “FREEZE!” And if you think I am exaggerating about this, you would be so, so wrong), but the gentle warning beep it uses to remind us when a door has been left unlocked.
And okay, this doesn't necessarily constitute a life-threatening situation (where was Henrietta, for instance, when the cops were trying to blow us away over our eggs and bacon?).
But it was still a very big accomplishment for a cat whom I am often convinced might actually be retarded.
So please, wherever you are right now, take a moment to raise the glass of whatever you're drinking—coffee, Tab, absinthe—and toast Henrietta, the little one-eyed cat who last night, saved her owners' lives.
Or tried to, anyway.