Code Red: That time I nearly got shot, and somebody else lost a life…

Last month, I was away for a few weeks as a result of a nasty injury to my hand (sidenote: Dragon is proving absolutely invaluable), and since then, it’s come to my attention that I may have omitted several incidents that took place then that would probably be worth mentioning.

The first of which involves work, when late one morning, the head of the entire organization comes down to my office to inform me that the building was going on lockdown, and that we were not to leave or allow anyone else to leave or enter the premises until further notice – because a man with a gun was threatening to open fire.  I know.  Being in the closest office to the door outside, I immediately started panicking, dead certain that if anyone was going to get shot first, it would definitely be me. I paced the floors, closed the blinds, my heart racing the whole time, my thoughts darting between “what if this morning was the last time I see my husband?” and all the people I wanted to tell how much I loved them.  Of course, this was entirely self-induced panic, as the boss had told us it was just a precaution – and the likelihood of it actually happening were slim-to-none. But if I’m good at one thing in this life, it’s Worrying Unnecessarily, and for about twenty minutes, I think I can say I had a near-death experience! Everyone was fine – except me, two days later, when I was informed this man was coming back to the building between 7:30 and 8:00 that morning. Being the one who generally arrives half an hour before everyone else, I was asked to stand guard (at the completely transparent glass door), keep the door locked, and only let in people who I knew were supposed to be in the building. Me. The 5’3” waif of a girl who could clearly take on a potential assassin before any other staff arrived. (Sidenote: I did take jiu-jitsu for several years, but that was over ten years ago, and throwing a big scary man is slightly different from throwing other twelve-year-olds.)  Thankfully, he soon arrived with police and security, and all went on as normal. Phew.

The other noteworthy incident took place at home, and sadly, involved my little cat. I’m usually the first one home on weeknights, and I generally arrive to Miss Rose Kitten racing to greet me at the front door, meowing excitedly as if she’d been estranged for over a week, at which point I pick her up, take her out with me to pick up the day’s post, for all two minutes of which she soaks up her brief and glorious encounter with the outside world. This day, however, was different. I opened the door. There was no cat. I immediately thought she’d been accidentally locked in a room, so I quickly threw off my bag and coat, when I saw her coming down the stairs, strangely slowly. The usual mad dash was replaced by slow, cautious steps, and her head seemed to be hanging low – as if she were carrying something in her mouth. I didn’t have my glasses on, and my first instinct was something to the effect of crap, we must have mice, and she’s bringing me a present – until she got to the bottom of the stairs and didn’t look up.

Now, I should probably mention that Rose is pretty much the most fantastic cat in the world, and has an extensive repertoire of excellent qualities (case in point) – one of which most definitely isn’t her determinedness to stick her head in every glass of water, try and drink from it, then knock it over, spilling water everywhere. I turned the lights on, and to my horror, she had stuck her head in the glass carafe from the coffee machine (the lid had broken off months ago) while we were out, got said head firmly stuck with the mouth of said carafe around her neck, jumped off the counter in presumed terror, and smashed the glass on her head and all over the floor. This hadn’t removed the problem of it being stuck around her neck, and she’d spent the rest of the day in a chokehold with the spikey glass remnants sticking out around her face. One life very much lost. Thank HEAVENS she hadn’t cut herself, and I managed to get it off her quickly – but she’d probably been stuck like that for hours, unable to eat, sleep, or do pretty much anything. She was thoroughly traumatised, and I spent the rest of the evening keeping her cuddled close – until she saw a fresh glass of water on the coffee table. Head went straight in. At least we know her ordeal was short-lived…

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56 comments

  1. Oh my goodness, I had my hand over my mouth the entire time I was reading that!! Kind of alarmed as to WHY a man with a gun would be going to your office in the first place, and then why he was escorted there again by police?! But also, so so so happy your cat is okay, I was preemptively trying to figure out what happened before I read it. Phew!

  2. oh my gosh, it was the cat story that got me!! you know i have three babies – er, CATS – of my own, so these pictures and thinking about her like that all day just breaks my heart! i’m so glad she wasn’t injured!! xoxoxox

  3. Aww. I am so sorry about the poor lil’ baby. She seems very strong though to take it up all by herself all day long. Good cat.

    Loved your two completely different stories here, Emily. Keep writing!

    -Pooja

  4. aww, poor cat!!
    also: i hate guns. i would’ve been freakin out right along with you had i been there. yikes. i used to have these dreams where i got shot right in my face and i know they say you’re not supposed to be able to actually die in a dream but i DID like twice a NIGHT. i hate guns.

  5. Holy crap @ both of those stories! That first one about the gunman, WHOA. I would have reacted exactly like you, minus the jhu jitsu classes that I never took. Terrifying. And if my cat ever got into something like that I would have felt awful! Cats are so crazy though, atleast she bounced right back!

  6. Oh my gosh. You had me so worried! I was cringing as I read and waiting for something catastrophic to happen! Lol. Well written, Em. 😉 I would be thoroughly freaked out if there was a shooter at my work too! Ugh. Craziness. Lol. You did well, though. And you cat is so hilarious! I know she was probably miserable all day and that sucks, but it’s still gives me the giggles to see her with the coffee carafe stuck around her head like that. It’s awful but soo so cute too, you know what I mean? Lol. I promise I’m not trying to be insensitive to your cat. But. I’m happy that she got over it so quickly! 😉 Hehehe. Soo cute. ❤

  7. The last time there was a lockdown, I was a teacher and it was during my lunch time. We all had an extended lunch and the faculty had a blast. =)

    Oh Rose. So sad but so adorable.

  8. Just over a year ago we had a hostage taking at my work – the entire building was evacuated by the SWAT team. Scary stuff …

    I’m glad you and your kitty are both okay 🙂

  9. Man oh man! First of all, SO glad that nothing serious came of the incident at work! That is some scary stuff. And your poor kitty! Thank goodness she managed to avoid getting cut from the broken glass. Eek!

  10. You’ve had an insane few weeks, my dear! The thing at your work is terrifying to think about. Thank God nothing happened! And your poor cat! She’s incredibly lucky that she wasn’t seriously injured. I can only imagine how grateful you are. She’s one gorgeous, lucky kitty.

  11. I saw poor little Rose’s situation on fb and my jaw was on the floor, how terrifying for her!! glad to hear she wasn’t seriously hurt… and she’s not too traumatised. i LOVE that pic of her and the harry potter book. priceless!!!

    that situation at your work is so scary!!! why was he threatening to open fire, why did he come BACK??? glad everyone was ok!

    1. We work in the same building as Child and Family Services – I think he’d had his kids taken away, from what I heard :S

      And yes!! That Harry Potter pic makes me laugh every time 🙂

  12. Is it wrong that I laughed when I saw Rose Kitten’s pictures? It just looks so pitiful! Poor thing.

    And holy crap about the gunman! That’s so scary! I’ve been on lockdown twice when I was a student, but never anything too frightening. Mostly, we turned off the lights and played card games so it was fun! 🙂

    1. LOL no thank goodness she has seven lives left 🙂 She used the other in an unfortunate incident of getting her jaw stuck under her colalr after tring to gnaw it off and I walked in on her with her mouth stuck open, bleeding out of the gums from where she’d tried to free herself of the collar! Silly kitty!!

  13. WOW.

    Your poor kitty cat, I’ve never seen a cat do that before! That is absolutely horrifying.

    And the gun man thing – EEEK. you’re very brave!

  14. Oh my, two bad situations. One terrifying. The other made use of one of those 9 lives. The only time I was even in a lock down I was on a plane. Glad both events are just something to blog about now!

  15. first of all, holy scary batman! i’m glad you’re okay and very much alive.

    as for the second part of your story… 😦 ! i frowned the whole way through, and the pictures… ugh, my heart! please give extra cuddles and kisses to little miss rose!

    … and to you too! FOR NOT GETTING SHOT.

    jesus.

  16. OMG Emily! Life really is never boring for you is it?
    I knew since you were posting about the gunman incident that you were obviously alive, but what a ridiculous ordeal. It makes no sense that your boss would leave you there alone. I’m glad all is ok.
    That said, I read the account of Miss Rose holding my breath. I can’t believe she didn’t injure herself. I’m so relieved all is well for both of you.
    That said, I am not surprised that she is back to her old tricks.
    A friend once left her cat in the fridge to teach home a lesson and forgot about him for hours. She made it home before he ran out of air and the very next morning he jumped right back in!
    I’m so glad the software is working!

    1. I’m glad you came to the conclusion I was alive LOL 🙂

      That’s a terrible story about your friend’s cat!! Poor thing… I had a friend whose kitty jumped into the dryer once, between her putting in the clothes, going upstairs to get something, and coming back down… and turning the machine on. Thankfully she heard the screams (this BROKE my HEART) soon and let the poor little fellow out ASAP!!

  17. Terror in the office and at home? I think you might just have to start carrying a weapon. I mean, not a gun, but maybe throwing knives. Because you never know.

    Also, a well positioned knife can be safely leveraged to free a cat of a neck constraint.

    Knives it is.

  18. Rose is the most dangerous and extreme cat I’ve ever heard of. She’s obviously one of those cats that people talk about and say things like, “Seriously, nobody could kill this cat. It got trapped in the wall for a week, jumped out of a moving car, fell into the garbage disposal, smashed by the garage door and always survived. Best cat.”

    Great story.

  19. OHmyGOODNESS. You’ve been through quite a bit these past couple on months!!

    If Nicholas’s cats did something like this I would be so scared!! I’m glad everything is okay, with everything. xoxo

  20. oh holy sh*t, rose must have had three guardian angels by her side that day. that is scary. phew. that also got to me more than the other story (sorry) because i’d freak out if our speedy would ever do something like that…. glad everyone’s okay! xoxo

  21. Woah – what a crazy series of events!! And !!! about your cat! That’s so bizzare, and heartbreaking! I’m glad she was okay in the end.

  22. Darlin’, this scared me half to death. I’m glad that everything worked out okay, especially with the gun. I was holding my breath for the poor kitty. My Ziggy-cat also sticks his head in every glass in the world and I am always afraid he is going to get hurt. I’m glad little Rose is okay, give her extra cuddles from me.

  23. Wow, that was definitely an insane day at work for you! I would have totally freaked out and thought the same things as you did. I’m always like that and freak out/worry easily. Glad you’re okay and no one got hurt!

    On the other hand, poor Rosie!! She’s lucky to have you that will give her plenty of love especially after that event. ❤

  24. Emily, you are a splendid writer and your posts are so entertaining to read, The first half of this post I laughed, I don’t know why, and the second half… well I just couldn’t believe it. I shared it with my friend chillin next to me, and we about agree: that is craz-ay. Give your kitty a big hug and tell him he’s a poonum.

    Anyway, glad to hear you’re still alive haha

  25. Oh. My. Lord.

    I think *I* would have been traumatized!!!!!! =O

    She’s lucky she was okay and then also lucky that she’s so cute, she probably gets 11-12 lives verses the usual 9. 😉

  26. Eek! Too many near death experiences! I cannot even imagine how I would react if I discovered there was a crazed gunman running about…I’d probably spend the time in panic too. And poor kitty! It really is amazing she didn’t cut herself up…

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