Recently, I had one of the scariest nights of my entire life. At about 2:30 a.m., I awoke to what sounded like something thumping against a wall downstairs. We have three cats and it wasn’t a sound a cat might make.
Immediately, I was petrified with fear. With Theodore on one side of me and Rainier on my other, my heart started beating through my chest. I strained to listen try to determine what was making the noise.
The sound continued, albeit somewhat irregularly. I got up the courage to move and texted my husband who was away for the night. I wrote “I just woke to noises in the house. Louie (our cat) was at the corner wall to the bedroom door with his head turned looking out of the bedroom. I’m sweating bullets. I’m so scared. If someone were in the house the alarm would have sounded, right?”
Of course I didn’t expect an answer in the darkest of night. I continue to listen to the sounds. Suddenly I hear an electronic tone (an alarm?!) followed by a robotic voice but I can’t quite make out what it’s saying from across the house. I don’t need to hear it to know what is going on. That’s the alarm and someone is trying to break into the house!
I call my husband. I’m shaking uncontrollably. He doesn’t answer. I try one more time. He answers! I’m whispering and sobbing trying to explaining what is going on. He checks the alarm’s mobile app and assures me the alarm did not trip. Something is off here. Rainier wakes up at this point and he can tell something is really wrong. He thankfully remains silent. He is as terrified as I am. Hubby tries to calm me down and tells me I should call 911. I tell him, let’s just give it a few more minutes and see because it’s so strange – surely the alarm would sound. I didn’t know what was going on but it all just seemed so strange that I heard the sound inside the house minutes before the alarm went off.
As I lay there in a cold sweat, my teeth chattering, holding Rainier and the phone, I continued to listen. I could hear everything. I could hear my hearbeat. I could hear the boys’ heartbeats. I could hear the cats heartbeats! If there was someone in the house, I could hear their heartbeat! But, the sound stopped. Maybe the alarm scared them off?
Minutes go by. Silence. Then another cat, Alta, who is afraid of the kids, jumped on my bed and started walking around the head of my pillow. Then Louie, our newest cat followed. Both of them were in our bed. This odd behavior confirmed my fears.
I tell my hubby… “OK, I’m calling the police right now”. I am too scared to even move and at this point Theodore is awake. I’m nursing him to keep him quiet. I couldn’t risk an intruder hearing us and knowing where we were in the house before the police arrived.
I call 911 for the first time in my life.
Within minutes (before Theodore was even FINISHED nursing) I see flashing lights out the window and flashlights waving through the dark. We are so fortunate to live so incredibly close to a police station. Next, I hear banging on the front door. I am still on the phone with the dispatcher who relays to me that an outside sweep determined the perimeter of the house was clear. She suggested that if I felt comfortable I should let let the police in.
I leave the kids upstairs and sprint to the front door. After brief introductions, they tell me to return to the kids. I wait in bed as they check out the entire place. Nothing. No signs of a break in. No signs of anything missing.
As you can imagine, I was starting to wonder if I was crazy. But I know what I heard. The officers were very polite, assuring me the place was secure. So after they took down some information, we said goodbyes and I took the kids back to bed. Of course, adrenaline was pumping through my body like no other and my bed was soaked with sweat. I couldn’t settle back down to sleep. I kept running through it all in my head trying to figure out what had happened.
Before I know it it’s 5:15 am and the baby is up for the day. I head downstairs. At the bottom, guess what I see. The Roomba… “That’s strange” I thought to myself. “Did I turn that on before bed last night?” I was going to do it but I could have sworn I’d forgotten.
Then it dawned on me. I knew what had caused the thumping sounds in the house. THIS STUPID THING! And the alarm? Well, the chimes and speaks when it gets stuck or runs out of batteries. That was what I had heard. Full disclaimer, I had never heard our house alarm go off before so I had no idea what to expect. Turns out my husband had programmed it to run at 1 a.m. It all made sense and added up as to why after the alarm I didn’t hear the thumping sounds anymore. I felt so stupid guys!!! Turns out it had been doing nightly runs for weeks, but I’d never woken to it previously.
And the cats… well, after I got breakfast going, I noticed their food dish was empty. Typical of cats, they were saying “hey ma! FEED ME!!!” Cats don’t really understand our wake/sleep cycle…
Guys, I feel sooooooo stupid and ashamed for wasting police officers’ time. I am so thankful they took the time to come out and confirm that the place was secure. It makes me feel so much better knowing that they are here to help. We have a really great (and FAST) police system here and that new peace of mind is more than I could ask for.
But, I’ve learned a few good lessons from this.
- This near heart attack and sleepless night could have been completely prevented with the Logitech Circle 2 monitor where I would have seen the Roomba. We got one AFTER this event happened.
- We don’t have a family plan for a true intruder situation. It definitely brought that to light and gave us some things to talk about.
- I was always scared to call 911 unless it was 100% a true emergency. The police officers were very professional and even though they didn’t find anything, they assured me safety was important. They were glad I called even though they didn’t find anything. When in doubt, call. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
- It’s sad a situation like this is what it takes to put it into perspective how important life and family are and how things could change in a single instant. Safety is sooo very important and having the peace of mind that nothing will happen while you’re inside your home alone with kids is key. That’s why we decided to put up an in home video monitor, the Logitech Circle 2. It’s activated by motion. In the invent someone is able to bypass the house alarm, the camera becomes a back-up for detecting or monitoring intruders (read raccoon through the cat door even!).
We go about our days with the same routine, the same behaviors, sometimes wishing for change but don’t. Then, when it’s too late you try to change.
Now, before bed, I have Rainier tell “Alexa, turn on Circle 2”. We make it a fun thing. Even if I forget to hit the house alarm, I don’t have to get up. I can just tell Alexa or set it on my phone.