Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Stalking the Wild Whatsit

The motion detector light went on behind my house at 2:30 a.m. This woke me up and I stumbled groggily into the back room, where I heard a rustling directly outside the open bathroom window.

I have screens and window bars, and I reminded myself of that as I heard the sound of a person, the friction of clothing against clothing, the quiet sound of motion as they backed away from the window well.

I froze. What to do?

It's a raccoon, I thought. Or a cat. But how could a cat make that noise? Cats are silent, mostly. But we have big raccoons living next door on the convent grounds. What do raccoons sound like when they're waking up? Raccoons don't wear clothes, so it's hard to imagine them making any sounds at all.

You have window bars, I reminded myself. There's simply no way a prowler could get in without picking the door locks, and that would take time, plus I would see them outside the door.

I assumed the worst—someone wandering the neighborhood, looking for potential burglary spots. The best-case scenario is oddly loud raccoon, and another possibility is a human looking for a place to sleep.

But who would want to sleep in a moist window well? Probably infested with cat, rat, or raccoon feces?

I gingerly crept back to my bed, where I cowered until I fell asleep.


William Kendall said...

A homeless person? A drunk?

Marie Javins said...

Maybe! It's hard for me to imagine a homeless person choosing to sleep in a damp window well when there's all the grounds of the convent and a public park nearby, but it's certainly possible. Once when it was snowing, my tenants had a similar experience and saw footprints in the snow outside in the backyard. I am adjacent to a huge backyard/field that belongs to the convent next door. There's a fence, but it's not that hard to get around.