I'm tending my friend Panda's house for awhile. After tonight, she just might fire me. Heck, I might fire myself! No, I can't do that, but I tell you, after tonight I'm questioning my abilities.
While I'm house-sitting, I only need to stop in once or twice a day to take care of her kitty, get her mail, water the plants and just make it look like someone's around. Easy peasy right? Yes, all of that is. But....
Tonight was the first time I needed to stop in as she just left this morning and had fed kitty before going.
I forgot to mention, she has her house alarmed, therein the harrowing events.
Before she left, she went over all the how-to stuff with me a couple of times, and it's written down and I had it with me, but even so, I managed to mess up upon entering the house. I got in, closed the door, found a light switch and went to the control to enter the disarming code, and entered it WRONG! Now what?? If she'd told me how to turn the alarm off once it came on, I forgot and that part wasn't written down.
So I panic, oh what do I do, think think, and I'm moving around to find a paper she said she left for me, and I can't focus my rapidly firing brain enough to read to see if it says what to do, and the alarm is blaring, indoors and out - oh the poor neighbors - aye yi yi, and then I barely hear the voice on the answering machine as it ends - was that the security company?, and then my own cell phone rings (she'd given the security company my cell number) and I can hardly hear him for the blaring but hear him tell me that I should stand still and not move and it'll shut off to reset after two minutes. Do you know how long 2 minutes is, especially after it's already been going off for forever? Good grief! Then there's a knock at the door and two of her neighbor ladies are there (she has met them and given them my name so that they'd expect me being there), and the alarm is still going off, as that two minutes is now extended because I had to move to answer the door.
It finally stops, and I think, okay, I can enter the code, so I do, because it's beeping like it still needs the code and you only have 23 seconds, which that by the way seems to pass very quickly, and I enter it but the alarm goes off again, oh no!! now what? And there's still no obvious way to shut it off, and what am I doing wrong? So I stand still, it does shut off again and I call my friend Panda and she finally answers after about five rings and gives me the master reset code, and my adrenalin and anxiety is at its max by this point, the poor kitty has run and hidden, and Panda's trying to calm me so that I can enter the code correctly. I was so glad to finally be without that blaring noise. I feel so badly for her neighbors though. So Panda and I chat for awhile until my cell phone battery starts giving out - it was low to begin with. Oh, and the original code to disarm? I had it written correctly on the paper, but was I looking at that paper? No, I was going from memory, and my memory completely missed one number, ack! No wonder, I'd messed up on two counts!
Then I was able to tend to the kitty and make sure his bowls were filled with water and dry food. I gave him a can of food, and then read the instructions she had written which just happen to say he'd already had his one can for the day before she left. Not a problem as he needs to add weight, but doesn't need to develop a preference for can food, kibble is good too.
As I read the instructions, I thought, well his plate had been empty, and I wouldn't be able to get there until early afternoon tomorrow because of Nick's school finals schedule so it would count as his morning serving, but now realize I could get there earlier.
I was finally starting to relax and, what do I see but what looked like a flash of light out the window, then I hear another knock at the door. Asking who it was I was met with "the Sheriff"...yep, the Sheriff! Yet another neighbor was concerned about the alarm going off...twice...it was after dark after all, so they called the Sheriff. He was nice and only asked my name and phone number as I explained my purpose for being there and totally messing up on disarming the alarm. I would have thought he'd have asked for some i.d. though, hmmm.
Sheriff left, and I then sat and recomposed myself while kitty came and jumped up into my lap to be petted. Kitty seemed none the worse for the events of the evening.
But I have to say, two hours later, I am still just a little rattled. I used to be good at these "under pressure" situations, but wow, not tonight. I have to say though, I am very happy that my friend lives in a neighborhood where her neighbors or attentive to the goings-on around them, and I am so very sorry they had to endure my boo-boos tonight.
On the bright side, it's a good thing I didn't decide to go over at 3:00 in the morning!