Friday, November 28, 2008

Why I Hate Answering Machines...Or How To Stress Your Cat

First, before I start getting angry comments about cat abuse, let me state that I love my cats. They are part of the family and are probably more spoiled than our kids ever were (sorry, kids)!

When we returned home from an errand tonight, the red blinking light on the telephone indicated a message waiting. I dialed in to check and listened to the message, then listened again, and again, and again...I hate it when people talk so fast that the words slur together. Here's what I heard: "ADT Securities...Ro...Errrrha...test. If you have any questions call (phone number left out to protect the innocent). Well, yeah! I had a question. First, where did this guy learn phone etiquette, and second what the blinkety blank was he trying to tell me? So I called, listened to the three minute spiel of press this and press that (of which none of the numbers applied to "decipher a phone message") and finally "Hold for all other questions" So I held. And then heard a "busy signal". Oh, yeah. I'm feeling the pressure now. Dial, listen to the canned garbage, hold, finally...a voice of reason...maybe. So ADT wants to test our security system. We can do it now or you can call back in the morning at 9am. (No thanks, it took me fifteen minutes to get through this time). So I agreed to "test the alarm" now after assuring them I had no small children sleeping in the house. I set the alarm and was instructed to open one of the doors. A loud screech ensued...and my cats became acrobat artists. Their eyes grew large and they suddenly all had more hair than I realized any cat could own. Can we say armed porcupine? They ran in circles, stared at me like I should be doing something to stop the noise. And then...the alarm went off for real. The gal on the phone said it would have to go off for two minutes. She had set a timer and would let me know when the test was over. Then...I got a busy signal on the phone. NO!!! Now, what would I do? The cats would have shredded my legs if they had claws... Do you know how long two minutes are? When your eardrums are bursting, two minutes can seem like two hours! And...I had no lifelines left. ADT has hung up on me! The cats and I ran around in circles trying to avoid each other. They finally figured out how to stick their paws in their ears, but their eyes were about to burst from their sockets. Soon, I'd have to sue ADT for killing my cats. Then, the phone rang. It was ADT telling me the test was over. "Okay, so stop the noise!" She instructed me how to stop the alarm, and then hung up. Now I have a green ready light, and Zone 1 is orange and so is alarm. My fingers shook wondering if it would go off again. The cats have now climbed my back and are on each shoulder, while one is perched on my head just daring me to set that alarm off one more time. Let me tell you, cats can inflict a lot of damage even without claws. Have you seen their teeth? So, I tentatively pressed the code and armed the system. Then I pressed it again to unarm it...and breathed a sigh of relief. All was well.

My cats may not forgive me before Christmas.

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