there's something about sounds in the night. when something wakes you up and you have to do that running through what is familiar and what is scary.

last night i woke to a large thump. and i thought, 'what have the cats knocked over now?' one of them has been on mouse watch, sitting at the top of a cabinet, waiting, waiting. but this one, zot, slipped up stairs into our bedroom and sat on my stomach. i patted her and listened. i thought i heard footsteps, but figured they were from next door, late night returning. or the possibility that a friend with our keys had come in. and i kept trying to listen. my beloved rolled on her back and started doing that really lovely snoring she does, a sort of warm sigh (not like the really loud window rattling snoring she sometimes does). This kept me from hearing everything else, and my other neighbors were up: a man and a woman in their kitchen talking about something.

noises in the night, in the wee hours of the morning, lying awake and trying to interpret them: the cars going down which road?, the cats chasing mice or shadows?, the music half dreamed or whispering from a neighboring house?, the shouts from an violent fight or drunken shenanigans?, the scratching from night creatures or tree branches?

i curled around, trying to get back to sleep. and that's when the lights turned on.

still unsure as to whether this was our friend, popping in late to crash on the bed (but this would be very unlike her), i got out of bed and called out... sending at least two men commenting to each other to hurry as they rushed out our front door downstairs to the street, bottles rattling.

called the police, went downstairs, grabbing heyoka's fencing foil (i'm really untrained, would have stabbed myself in the foot). And saw the truth: tv gone, place a bit ransacked, front door smashed open.

it's pretty ridiculous, and really depressing. that people have the need to break into homes where people are sleeping, just for a little money, and causing so much distress in the wake.

they got a decent haul: the tv loaned by a good friend; the digital camera we got with wedding money, still containing 200 pictures, including the last pictures of our lovely recently lost Cat, and trips abroad; the vcr i picked up last winter when heyoka was ill, to help her pass the time; a little lunchbox marked radioactive with just postcards and love letters in it; heyoka's very expensive handbag, with her wallet containing four seperate currencies, and her passport (which she needs for work almost weekly) that shows the history of her visiting me in the states; and three bottles of wine, waiting for candlelit evenings where the only sounds would be our talking until sunrise.

about a thousand quid's worth of loot, and about a thousand memories.

The other thing they stole was our time, now we have to deal with the police, the locksmith, the passport office, the insurance, warn the neighbors, be up worried for the next few weeks (for they are sure to return for more). now i wil find myself looking with suspicion at people hanging out in the area. now i have to reassure my wife that everything will be okay. now i have to keep thinking what if, what if i had been up earlier, when i first heard the sound.

and i realise, that the first thing our cat did when they came in, was come upstairs, and sit on my chest, holding me down, as if to say, 'you can take what you want, but not my friend', and this is a good thing.