The Night Time Invisible Demon Cat

Communication is so key for the human species. Not simply in speaking or writing, but to have an understanding of a situation or event that is conveyed to another person or people effectively. A major hindrance to this interaction is when the communicating person does not understand the event or situation and, therefore, can not properly pass on their knowledge to another on account of this transmission error. How could you explain the method in which a nuclear reactor functions if you don't know what one is yourself? It would be difficult. This all boils down to a problem I once encountered during my younger years. It perfectly sums up why it is important to communicate effectively.

Long hours and back-to-back shifts made my life a tired sort of existence. I had this great idea to work three jobs at once in order to be able to have a few nicer things, which now I only refer to as "useless junk." Each job was for unskilled labor at various seasonal venues. In my off time, it is important to note that the room I was renting shared a vent with the next-door neighbor's air conditioner. Although it was a rare day if I bumped into her, I still didn't like my neighbor much at all, to be honest. To best describe her, I would pull together the words; gothic sugar baby who tried too hard to be Dita Von Teese, only without the glamour, style, or class. Disliking the neighbor didn't improve my aching bones or exhausted state though and after what felt like the longest day of my life, things came to ahead.

That morning I had to start my day an hour early and finish my last shift 3 hours later than I was supposed to. I was ready to fall into bed for a mere 4 hours before the cycle started all over again for the next day. By the time my bus took me close enough to my building for me to drag myself up the stairs and in my bed to go to sleep, I felt like a fever dream was my reality. That night, I didn't even bother to change out of my uniform. The instant my head hit my pillow I was out and seemed to be fulfilling my plans of soaking up sleep like a cotton ball soaks up water. My peace was temporary, unfortunately, as I was rudely awakened by the sound of something quickly tracing quickly around on my floor. Too tired to care if a lizard or bug of some type was in my room, I ignored it. Then a few minutes later I felt something the size of a cat run across my ankle, causing me to jump up from my slumber and turn on my lamp.

As the light reached every corner of my room I could clearly see that nothing was there, and I mean nothing not even a hair tie on the floor. It made no sense. With all the noise that I had heard things should have been askew. Thinking the long hours of work and the lack of sleep were finally getting to me I turned off my light while thinking that the faster that I got some rest the better I'd feel in the morning. Only those scratching and tapping sounds happened again a few minutes later. The unmistakable sounds of a small creature on my floor were too obvious for me to shrug off. Yet, each time that I turned on the lights, there was nothing there. "Oh great I'm insane with exhaustion" was what came to my mind and it was like this for the rest of the night as I drifted off into a light sleep, being slightly awakened by the rustling in my humble abode periodically.

The next night, I went straight to bed from not getting much sleep at all the day before. Maybe I was getting used to my unwanted mystery guest. Only this time as soon as my lamp went off, something the size of a cat jumped on my chest, and although I did not get a good look at the thing, I knew it had fur and sharp claws. Frustratingly, when I turned on my light nothing was there again. The truth is that I was so tired if a small monster was in my room I wouldn't have cared, but this beast was waking me up so I had to investigate it to send it away. Still, no matter what I did I could not find it or how it was getting in or out of the room. There were no animal droppings or evidence of an animal at all.

Not sleeping for two days and calling the building supervisor at 3 am certainly did not set up my information delivery for success. The conversation went something like this; "there's an invisible demon cat in my room that only comes out in the dark and you need to get rid of it." so...not a reasonable request. The maintenance man came by in the morning anyway. He told me he would look into my "concerns." I assumed that my asking him to find out what had been vexing me was going to be a fruitless effort. That evening on my transit between my second and third job, I received a voicemail from the diligent maintenance man. His report on my invisible demon cat was surprising. It seemed that there was a rather large rat that was using the vent between the two housing units to conceal itself from sight while it lived off of the trash in my untidy neighbor's home and hopped around in my room to avoid her. Lucky for me, the maintenance man actually checked into my complaint because a less patient man surely would not have. He set up a humane animal trap near the vent that it frequented. Sadly the hefty rat did not enter it. Much to my anger and disgust, my neighbor bragged to me later that week that she cruelly killed it by coating peanut butter on a brillo pad that she then left in the vent for the animal to eat, thus causing it to die a painful death.

Ultimately the rat died a terrible death at the hands of a terrible person. Still, the maintenance man did help sort out my nighttime mystery of the invisible demon cat. The rat was the size of a small cat. When the maintenance man emptied the vent with the dead rat in it, I saw the remains of my sleep-disturbing foe. The maintenance man believed me because the building had had rats for some time and even though I could not describe my nighttime visitor correctly, he knew that rats are nocturnal, which I did not until then. My point is to look into things if a reasonable person has concerns but may have an unreasonable explanation, if for no other reason than to prove the person wrong. Communication breakdowns are not an excuse to dismiss someone's experience and in my case of the invisible demon cat, there was a logical explanation, I just didn't know it at first.