Sunday, October 30, 2011

Alarm Bells Ringing!

It was such a kind thought . . . it guaranteed that never again would I lose my keys . . . but . . .

Let me start at the beginning. A month ago, very foolishly, I lost the only set of keys to my car. In consequence I was stranded. Not only was it impossible to move the car, it was equally impossible to open the car door and get inside. Only after producing the log-book, my passport, proof of residence and a large cheque, could I apply for a new one.
As I'm sure you'll understand, when the new key finally arrived it was very precious.

A kind friend, anxious to support me and ensure that no key was ever lost again, came up with the perfect solution . . . a key-ring that let you know when it was missing.
A key-ring that flashed its eyes, miaowed loudly, and took the form of a small, black cat.

Needless to say, Chloe was totally intrigued . . . and more than a little disconcerted by the dazzling eyes and ear-splitting yowl of this newcomer!
This was a cat who wouldn't be easy to lose!

I fastened the helpful black cat to my bundle of keys, and felt reassured that they would never be lost again.

True, it was a little startling to hear a loud wail when I fumbled in my handbag and squeezed the small cat by mistake, but it was all in a very good cause.

Keys have a tough life. Pushed in and out of pockets, dropped into copious handbags, they are constantly on the move, constantly under pressure. Not surprisingly, the small chain connecting the black cat to the key-ring became broken.
But this posed no problem. There was a small loop in the middle of the cat's back which enabled it to be connected directly to the main body of keys. If anything, my keys were even safer than before.

It was the day after the small black cat had been attached in its new position (in close proximity to the car key-fob) that I needed to use the car.
Don't ask me what the small black cat said to the key-fob, but the key-fob's response was instantaneous!

As I turned the key in the ignition the car burst into life and sped off down the road to the strident accompaniment of the alarm siren screaming at full blast! It was as though I'd been kidnapped by a demented police car.
Desperately, I looked for some means, any means, of switching off the alarm . . . with no success. Passers-by stopped to stare, other vehicles pulled over and braked in surprise. I felt like a highly conspicuous car thief in full flight, but no pressure on the key-fob, or on the small black cat, would silence the cacophony.

Chloe, initially stunned by the outburst, raised her voice in strenuous protest, which only added to the clamour. There was only one thing to do. The day's plans abandoned, I headed for home, peace and sanctuary.
Once outside the house I switched off the engine and, instantly, the blaring horn and Chloe's squeals came to an abrupt and welcome end.
Thoroughly shaken, we went indoors to recover.

It was with sadness that I detached the small black cat from the key-ring. After all, it had only been doing, on a grander scale, what it had been asked to do in the first place.
As an aspirational small cat, it probably wondered why it should limit itself to protecting my keys when it was perfectly capable of protecting my car?

But the little cat has a new role. No longer a protector of keys, no longer protecting my car, it now sits on the shelf and proudly protects my flat.
Surely such a fierce blue eyes would curb any burglar's enthusiasm?

But I do miss the small, feline (occasionally noisy) bump that used to nestle in my pocket . . .