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The good-looking cowboy with his green eyes, worn hat, and a week’s worth of facial hair, begged if he could ask my name. I repressed a smile and answered, “sure, go ahead.”

He looked confused, and glanced about the crowded dining room of the playhouse. I realized there was no chance of a relationship with someone that looked like he knew how to rope a calf’s legs together in record rodeo time, but didn’t know when someone was giving him a bad time. I took pity and told him my name even though he hadn’t exactly asked.

But I soon regretted it. He dropped a knee, grasped my hand and began to sing loudly “Bicycle Built for Two,” proclaiming that he was “half-crazy” for my love.

And then the persistent, but mentally suppressed noises from upstairs in my house brought me back to the reality of my desk. It’s built-in next to the fridge and usually the only noise is the click of my keyboard keys, or the icemaker dumping.

But this time, the noises were more like footsteps, with a random sound like wooden blinds being knocked against the closed windows. I looked about for my cat. I didn’t think he was fat enough to create that heavy of a footfall, but perhaps he was jumping from off the toy cabinet. Repeatedly. Unfortunately, Sherlock sat close by, staring at me with his green eyes and slowly twitching his tail. Not a good sign.

Reaching for the phone on my desk, while listening to determine if the intruder was coming down yet, I debated between courageous foolishness, and cowering in the dark recesses of my closet. Unfortunately my closet is on the other end of the house.

I dialed 911, but didn’t press send. Then I stood up, with the phone behind my back and began to walk stealthily into the adjoining living room and toward the foot of the stairs.

Sherlock scooted out of my way. He glanced back at me with his six white whiskers and meowed with annoyance. In human years he’s now 72. Not much hope of his being the hero. We should have got a German shepherd.

I began to climb the stairs, rehearsing what I would say if someone in a balaclava suddenly emerged around the corner. (After pushing ‘send’ on the phone), I would speak loudly and distinctly, “What are you doing in my house at 1391. . .?”

I had a phone and I knew how to use it. But maybe I should have grabbed a butcher knife.

I got all the way up the endless stairs before I realized what the noise was–I’ll just say there is a reason there are windmills at the edge of my town. (And yes, the windows were closed.)

But just incase you are getting ideas of plundering the animal puppets from my upstairs toy cabinet, be warned, I carry a phone. 

In the meantime, I am thinking of getting a ski mask to keep next to my phone. There’s no reason why an intruder should be the only one who gets to startle someone.

Oh, and I also have a cat.