I was having a hard time determining the best way to introduce myself with my new website! Since my website will be telling stories of adventure I wanted to blog about one of my trips I have been on. Then I thought, Life is an Adventure! No matter what story I tell, it will be an adventure! And since I moved to Florida to kickstart my writing, what would be more appropriate then to tell you about my first adventures living here. I have a few stories to tell you about my drive down here also but I want to start with my most memorable story. I am now living with a room mate and four cats. The room mate I can say is an easy adjustment as I raised four children in a small house. Now the cats are another issue! And not a bad issue, just some adjustments. They didn’t take to me right away so I had a hard time remembering their names. There is “Rowdy”, who loves the outdoors and has now found my second pillow to be his bed when I don’t allow him outside. His talent is opening the bedroom doors by the handle with his paw. Quite clever. Next is “White Foot,” who rarely comes out of the master bedroom but will on occasion just to flirt with attention. Then “Beauty,” who sleeps all day and all night. She’s got the true meaning of “beauty sleep” down to a science. She really doesn’t go for much petting either but will take a few pats. And then there is Esther! She’s the most interesting…seductive, sneaky, lovable and bossy! She is the alpha of the house and when she feels like order is needed, she jumps right in by slapping the nose of her siblings. She is rather lazy (and a bit chunky) but she doesn’t like to miss out on anything. She will awaken from slumber to investigate any commotion in the house. As you can see by her picture, she likes to sleep in the eye of the dining room table, which is located in the middle of the open main level. This way she knows that you know that she knows whatever there is to know…lol! My first night alone in my new home…Lennie (my fiancee) has already started his drive back to Iowa and my room mate, Christie, is working the night shift at her second job. I wasn’t quite sure what to do now that I was alone so I thought I would watch something on Netflix to distract me from realizing I really am alone now. But I couldn’t find a movie that seemed interesting. I looked through my apps on my iPad and found “48 Hours.” You know, the true murder mystery show. I find a past showing of “Love, Hate & Obsession,” a murder in Jupiter, Florida. That is only a few miles from where I live. (Really Tee..you couldn’t find a comedy?) This particular show is about a man (husband/father)who is killed in the shower by surprise, with a gun no less, and the only one in the house with him are his soon to be ex-wife and son. Nobody has admitted to the murder but “she” is convicted for it in the end. Common sense might tell you that it may not be the best time to watch this program but my common sense was out to supper that night. In the darkness, watching this program, and adjusting to the new noises this house makes (by the way, the adjoining neighbors open and shut a lot of doors), I hear some commotion coming from downstairs. I’m thinking to myself what in the world are the cat’s up too? What a crazy bunch of cats if they can make that much noise. Perturbed, I turn my show off and head for the hallway, turning on the light. At this moment, I hear the cats scurry around and I can hear the definite sounds of crickets. Weird, crickets that loud in the house? As I creep slowly down the stairs, I notice a breeze and I look over the railing. Hmm, that’s odd..the sliding door is open. Now I have a four panel, 10 foot steel sliding door. I think I would remember leaving the door open. Not only that, but it is the far right side that is open, not the middle. I walk to the door and start to shut it when an overwhelming feeling flushes through my body. “Get the hell out of here!” I bolt for the door, throw it open and run to the neighbors, whom I have not had the pleasure of meeting yet. I knock on the door and as the door opens a male figure peeks out to greet me. Not giving him a chance to say anything, I immediately start ranting to this man that I’m his new neighbor and someone has broken into my house. I immediately burst into tears!
I feel bad now for my neighbors, Mark and Marilina, but both came out to check around the area between our houses and really saw nothing out of the ordinary. They had true concern for me and were a bit bewildered as we live in such a quiet neighborhood. He kept repeating it, “Nothing ever happens here.” Mark decided he wasn’t going to attempt to go into my home without his gun but then then he thought that might be a bad idea too also so he called the police. My head is circling at this point. Oh my God, I’m really in a true life crime. Wait, are you really thinking this? What if something tragic really happens? What if I never get to tell my kids and fiancee and gifted grandkids goodbye? I somehow pull myself together as Marilina leads me into their home until the police arrive and Mark stays outside. She distracts me by telling me how they have installed a special lock on their patio door to avoid burglars. She’s quite kind and I know she is probably a very friendly neighbor but at this point I only care about who is in my house. I text my landlords, Diane and Carrie, for my roommate’s phone number as I haven’t even gotten that yet. I’ve been at this house for a week and have failed to obtain pertinent information. Both text me right away the information I need and as I’m texting Christie to find out when she will be home the police arrive. One is tall, blonde and thick and the other is short, stout and of asian desent. Both have beautiful smiles but very serious demeanors! Of course, they responded within two minutes (this isn’t Miami). They asked me to stay outside so they can search my residence. Really, you think I want to go in there? “Palm Beach Gardens Police, please put down any weapons you may have!” says the tall, blonde officer in a deep, stern voice. The shorter, oriental officer follows him in and the door shuts. Now I know this is real when they shout to put weapons down. I realize the poor cats have got to be freaking by now. The police search for about five minutes but it seems like forever. They appear out the sliding door with their flashlights shining over the entire pool area and back yard. Then they approach me at the side of the house and ask me to explain what happened. I do without any hesitation and even go into the house with the shorter policeman to show him what I found and then to search for possible missing items. He reassures me many times that this is a quiet neighborhood and they never have anything to do because it is safe to live here. I thought it quite odd when I showed him how the door was open and I closed it that he asked me, “Do you think one of the cats might have done this?” I answer with surety that it was impossible for a cat to open a 10 foot sliding door panel. He smirks and responds that I am probably right. As we open the entry door, all four scaredy cats race out into the yard. We all try to catching them, including my neighbors who have been waiting patiently outside. To no avail, the cats disappear and I wasn’t sure if they would return. Now, my fear moves to losing my landlord’s cats. That’s all I need! Before the policemen disperse back back into their normal routine they reassure me again that the neighborhood is safe and to call them anytime. They need something to do. I don’t know if that is reassurance or not. If they never have anything to do, are they prepared to protect me when someone does try to murder me? (I have dark thoughts sometimes but that is beside the point.) My neighbors bid me goodbye also and I thank everybody for all of their help and how much I appreciate they have allowed me to interrupt them at such a late hour. I tell Mark and Marilana that we will meet again under better circumstances and we all laugh. I return to my house, which is no longer dark as the police have turned every light on! I was thinking I should leave them on but tell myself to quit being such a wimp. All is ok now and Christie should be home soon! I retreat back into my room and close the door. For some reason, I have always thought that if my door is closed nobody can get to me. (Kind of like I still think there are sharks in the deep end of a swimming pool…I will tell you about that someday.) Within a few minutes I hear the garage door open, Christie is home!! I immediately pounce on her as she walks through the door and we discuss what might have happened for a good hour. We both go to our bedrooms but I know I will not be able to sleep so I start reading my book. A murder mystery not doubt. I really need to get a grip on what I watch and read! I didn’t sleep a wink. I tossed and turned and listened to every little noise made from the bowels of the house. In the morning I tried to get my thoughts together but I was a bit groggy. I made my usual cup of coffee and sat down at the couch, turned on the tv and stared into the abyss. As I’m sitting there, out of the corner of my eye, I see the patio door is sliding open. Nobody is there but the door is opening. I’m frozen for a few seconds. I can’t wrap my thoughts around this. I stand up and walk over to the door. Esther,the cat, is opening the door with her paw. Are you fricken’ kidding me? The cat is opening the door? It’s locked, it’s heavy!! What? I have never been more serious when I tell you that the cat was opening the door. I sat down and just started laughing. with a bit of embarrassment. Needless to say, Esther is now dubbed “The Cat Burglar.” I don’t think I will tell the police that they were chasing a true cat burglar..Ha Ha! I think I can now feel safe in my house. The cat’s have control!! P.S., The cats came home on their own the next day!