June 19, around 8:20 p.m. in Crestview, I woke up to a dark house. After slowly getting out of bed, I fed dinner to the cats.
8:40ish, I heard a noise but also heard thunder in the distance and assumed it was just wind or something else. I heard more noises so I lifted my head up and saw two lights.
"It's just a passing car," I told myself. Besides, the cats are restless and hungry, so it's time to get going.
Then I heard a man's low, mumbling voice, and then another voice I couldn't make out.
Then I saw that the lights were not car lights. They were flashlights — and there are at least two people in my house.
'PLEASE LEAVE MY HOUSE'
I called 911. The phone lit up brightly; I hid it quickly out of fear of giving my position away to the intruders.
Scared and shaking, I couldn't think of what to do. I asked God for strength.
In a raised, shaky voice I said, "Please leave my house."
Fortunately, I startled "them," and I believe they took off.
For peace of mind, I called 911 at 8:51 p.m. The 911 operator called me at 9:10 p.m. to let me know the officer was walking around my house and would ring the door bell soon.
The Crestview police officer didn't see broken glass or signs of a break-in.
He asked me what medications I was on and whether I take them like I'm supposed to.
Did I dream the incident or could I have hallucinated it, he asked.
I told him I was awake and wasn't hallucinating, but he repeated that he saw no signs of anyone being in my home or breaking in.
I might as well have been blind, and the officer's way to handle me and the situation was to tell me to just keep looking harder!
I went to feed the cats their dinner and discovered a case of canned cat food was missing.
"Ha!" I thought; proof that somebody was in my house.
I looked out the window, saw that the officer was still parked, and I ran out to tell him about the missing case of food.
He said he could write a report but highly doubted they would recover stolen cat food.
I tried to explain that I was trying to prove there was someone in my house.
IF THEY'D HAVE ASKED...
If the officer would have asked me, he would have found out that my automatic garage door opener doesn't work, so I have been leaving it cracked open at the bottom for two abandoned cats that take refuge there during rain storms and in the winter.
To leave it cracked, I prop it open by putting a screw driver through one of the rungs, so it was pretty easy for the intruders to open the garage door — why they closed it, I have no idea.
The bottom lock on the garage door to the utility room doesn't work well and one can jerk the door open. It is hard to bolt as the door swells (I will never leave it unbolted again).
I am a Gulf War disabled veteran, and my parents were emergency room nurses, so I've grown up knowing and respecting law officers.
Fortunately, Crestview Police Lt. Rick Brown stopped by my house on June 26 and we had a wonderful conversation.
He assured me that the matter was taken seriously and addressed. He made sure that I understood to never hesitate to call 911 in the future if needed. I appreciated the gesture and felt better.
After all, I explained to him, my only intent that June 19 night was to stand up for myself.