Several nights ago before I went to bed I tied a rope around the knob of my closet door and attached the other end of the rope to the linen closet door. It actually wasn’t a rope so much as a cat toy that had a stick with a mouse dangling from it. Then, I placed a metal belt with a tinkly bell on it to the cat toy.
In front of the closet door I placed a piano bench, a laundry hamper, and a large box of cat litter. Then I went to bed, but not to sleep.
That night was the longest of my entire life. Studly was out of town, so I enjoyed the luxury of staying up a little later than his normally prescribed bedtime of 8:45. I realize that’s the bedtime of a ten-year-old, but I’ve learned to live with it.
I watched my accumulated recordings of Criminal Minds until eleven, then began making preparations for bed. The cats needed bedtime treats and water. There were a few dishes I loaded into the dishwasher, then I made the rounds switching off lights and checking door locks.
When I came to the front door I found it unlocked, and my heart stopped beating for the briefest of moments. No one goes in or out of that door. The only time it’s opened is when a package is left on the front porch. As far as I could remember, we’d received no deliveries in awhile.
After locking the door, I went into full ninja mode. Studly and I have several beautiful walking sticks that his brother made. I grabbed the nearest one and began methodically searching room to room, under beds, behind furniture, every nook and cranny.
We have a large, open floor plan, so there aren’t a great many hiding places. Even so, it took me a half hour or so to make a complete search.
At this point I think it’s important that my readers know I take a prescribed anti-depressant–Effexor, and that for two consecutive nights I had forgotten to take my prescribed dosage. Forgotten isn’t exactly the correct word, you see I’d taken so much cold medicine last week that I’d get into bed and couldn’t remember if I’d taken the Effexor or not, so rather than take an extra dose, I’d erred on the side of caution and not taken what might be a second dose.
There are several awful consequences of Effexor withdrawal. One is extreme paranoia. Even after making a thorough search of the house I was certain someone was in there with me. But where? Finally I decided there was no place anyone could be hiding, so I closed my bedroom door and began my nightly ablutions.
We have a large walk-in closet adjacent to our bathroom with a pull down door to access the attic. As I washed my face, my eyes were drawn to the rope attached to that attic door. I walk underneath that door every day without noticing it, but in my Effexor withdrawal paranoia I instantly knew that someone lurked above me, just waiting for the lights to go out and for me to fall asleep.
And that’s why I had tied a cat toy to the door knob of my closet door. Now, my readers are not stupid people and have probably foreseen a problem related to hanging a cat toy on a door knob in a household of cats. Yes, the cats wanted to play with it, and did so throughout the night.
Just as I’d doze off, a ding-a-ling would sound. I’d jump up, heart racing, walking stick in one hand, a can of hairspray in the other, looking to ambush whoever had dared hide in my attic.
I watched every hour click into existence on Studly’s digital clock. As my Effexor kicked in my paranoia slowly faded, but I still had some residual withdrawal effects, the worst one being brain shivers, so any time I turned my head I thought I caught a movement in my peripheral vision.
That’s why I put the piano bench, the clothes hamper, and the large box of cat litter in front of the closet door. If my early warning system didn’t work, then maybe they’d buy me some time.
Everything made sense in the middle of a long sleepless night.
Now some would say, “Girl, get yourself a gun.” To which I’d reply, “Did you actually READ this post?” Who in their right mind would put a gun in the hands of a crazy woman?