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Five easy steps to a heart attack

Here's how it's done...

  1. Have your cat awaken you at 4:30am, pawing your face to let you know he's hungry.
  2. Head downstairs in a stupor, leaving the annoyingly-bright lights off.
  3. Open cat food and start scooping it into the cat's bowl, letting the cat know just how you feel about the 4:30am wake-up pawing.
  4. See the light from, and hear the click of, the downstairs bathroom light coming on.
  5. Have heart attack.

OK, so clearly I didn't actually have a full-on heart attack. Instead, my pulse merely doubled and I had an amazing adrenaline surge.

As soon as I started breathing again (quietly), I reasoned that any intruder with even a quarter of a brain wouldn't actually bother to turn on the bathroom light, nor would they have ignored my easily-audible talking to the cat.

So what was the cause of the spurious pulse-quickening light? It turns out that our six-year-old daughter apparently heard me, and had gotten up to use the bathroom. Why she chose to come downstairs--very quietly, I might add--I have no idea, as there's a bathroom just down the hall from her room.

Needless to say, after bundling our daughter off to bed again, I found it basically impossible to go back to sleep, given the adrenaline coursing through my veins.

3 Comments

  1. I read this in (I think) Emotional Intelligence: The super-quick part of your brain isn't actually that smart: it's designed to make a quick life-saving decision, like 'Burglar, prepare for battle!' The smarter but slower part of your brain then goes through it logically, 'it's probably not dangerous'.

    Unfortunately in addition to a heart attack you've reinforced to your cat that if it paws you at 0430 it'll get a feed. I would do the 'tough love' and throw it outside until a reasonable hour, it won't starve over a couple of hours.

  2. That's a great theory :). The reality has some problems ... this particular cat weighs 17 pounds, and moving him (especially when lying horizontal in bed) is hard on the shoulder. Worse, when we have previously shut him out of the bedroom, he's used the door as a canvas for his nails, and attempted to tunnel through the carpeting. (He's also about 15 years old, and is very set in his ways!)

    Hence, I've just decided it's easier to appease the beast, then crash again. The upside, of course, is that I've not used an alarm clock in many many years!

    -rob.

  3. After careful analysis of your story, and taking into consideration that you have a child in the house, and that for some reason, you don't expect anyone else in the house to stir, and that when they do, your monkey brain is triggered at the gibbering fear level...

    I'd just like to take this opportunity to thank you for the Mac hints site, and say goodbye before you kick off, which I suspect will happen very, very soon if you don't get used to the idea that anyone in your family could be up at any time, and it's *ok* to hear noises in your house at night, and intruders are of *extremely* low likelihood (or if not, you've got a duty to call the alarm company that you've been neglecting...)

    So, goodbye, farewell, etc. :)

    Also, BOO! [cackles madly]

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