My routine rarely varies.
I come home, let Maggie out and play with her, bring her inside, feed her dinner, go out to get the mail through the front door, come back inside through the garage, shut the garage door, then go upstairs to relax for a bit and watch TV.
And today was no different.
So I was upstairs watching an hour-long show (so, with Tivo, it was maybe 40 minutes). Then I splurged and watched a half hour show (so, another 20 minutes). Then I realized I was hungry, so went downstairs to eat dinner, with Maggie bounding ahead of me as usual. As I rounded the corner and headed into the kitchen, I am not sure whether I actually saw what I was seeing or whether my brain just sensed that it was too bright at the front of the house (where normally it would be dark)—but I do know that the next few moments were a blur and I think my heart actually stopped for a brief moment…until it started pounding so hard and so loud I almost couldn’t breathe.
What was so wrong?
THE FRONT DOOR WAS WIDE OPEN! 88| 88| 88| 88| 88| 88|
For a split second, I had thought we had a glass storm door (which of course we don’t), but why else would there be light coming in?
I didn’t even have time to think why the door would even be open—but if that fact weren’t scary (freaky) enough, Maggie was sitting at the threshhold, ears raised, as if she was mere microseconds from bounding outside. I yelled for her to stay and tried to get her to come to me. Luckily she didn’t move, and I was to her in about three strides and grabbing her collar. As I did so, I noticed a cat outside on the lawn (one of the neighborhood cats that is always roaming about) which is what had drawn Maggie’s attention. But what scared me even more?
BELLA WAS ON THE PORCH! 88| 88| 88| 88| 88| 88|
It actually took a good two seconds (I’m guessing) for it to register that yes, this was MY cat on the porch (and not another neighborhood cat). I pulled the door shut behind me and instinctively yelled Bella’s name, even though I was sure it would be pointless. The other cat was slinking away, and I prayed that Bella didn’t decide to be adventurous and chase after her. I made a grab for her and she darted away—thankfully just to the other side of the porch (and not out into the yard) but I knew she could still easily run away. I gently knelt down and she was crouched against the side of the house and as she tried to get past me, I grabbed her and got back in the house.
Then I had another scary thought: OH MY GOD. Where is Charlie? I shook the treat container and thankfully heard a THUNK upstairs, which signalled that she had jumped down off the entertainment center. It was at this point that I think I started breathing again.
I tried to piece together how on earth the door could have come open, and I just cannot fathom it. I always shut the door behind me—and make sure it’s shut—for this very reason, as I am paranoid about the animals getting out. I briefly thought that someone HAD to have opened it—but I can’t imagine anyone opening the door for the hell of it (or left it open if they had snuck in or ran out when they heard me coming) but I did a cursory look around the house anyway (although, thinking back, I probably should have called someone to come look with me, just in case). And how long was it open? I was upstairs for just about an hour—was it open the whole time? The only thing that makes sense is the door didn’t latch and was just lightly pushed shut…but even then, it would have taken QUITE a gust of wind to blow it open (and it wasn’t windy). In my stupor, I thought maybe the animals saw it partially open and pushed it the rest of the way—except when clearer thought prevailed, I realized the door opened inward so they would have had to PULL the door open. Now, I know they’re intelligent, but I doubt Bella could do that on her own.
I am still just in complete shock. And you can bet your ass from now on I will be double- and triple-checking every door, every time.