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Post Traumatic Stress

Occassionally my cats remind me that I was not the only one traumatized when my house was burglarized. In fact, I was relatively lucky. I was not home and I lost a few “things.” Fluffy and Sidewalk (who is no longer with me) were home.

I do not know what happened in my home. I left for church the first Sunday morning I lived here. 2.5 hours later I returned home to discover I had no DVD/VCR deck or [individual] VCR. The stereo was unpacked, but not stolen. Clean laundry was strewn about the living room. All the quarters in my change dish were missing, but the nickels, dimes and pennies remained; and an entire laundry basket full of high heels also disappeared.

A friend had returned home with me. We searched the house. The back door was wide open. It hadn’t been when we drove up to the house. This means as we entered the front door, the burglars exited the back.

Almost that full day went by before I could coax Fluffy out from under the bed. Sidewalk remained cowering in the dusty dark until late Monday afternoon. Sidewalk never recovered. Her sunny nature turned slowly paranoid, then violent. I had to send her away because she constantly bit and scratched anything or anyone that moved.

Between the robbery and Sidewalk’s exodus to the kitty mental asylum, Chrissy was born (the child of Sidewalk and Fluffy). Sidewalk was a conscientious, and loving mommy — but she trained her daughter to flee at the slightest odd sound. Currently the siding on my neighbor’s house is being repaired while Fluffy and Chrissy cower beneath my bed.

I do not need my possessions back, but we all truly mourn our loss of security. As a Christian I know I should not wish grief upon anyone, but during moments like this I secretly wish that my intruders someday face a similar violation.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. Thanks for visiting, and your kind words, I suspect though that this is not the first time we have met. Back in 76/77 Dr Feelgood were playing on Canvey Island (or was it the Isle of Dogs?). You were seeing the drummer at the time and I was a roadie, you made some comment about my T-shirt being cool. During the gig, Lee the singer dedicated a song to you on behalf of the drummer. The song was called Baby Jane and I can still see the grin onyour face when he said it. In fact I still see the grin on your face every time I play the song.

  2. I do not know if you saw my comment earlier but check it again in the previous post.

    I am so sorry about your kitties and what they went through. I am glad they left (thieves) as you came home and did not stay and threaten you.

    I hope you all recover.

  3. I am so sorry to hear about this. I can’t imagine the insecurity that must come with home intrusion, especially for small, fragile animals. Peace upon you all!

  4. That is really strange. I have never heard of cats being so easily traumatized.

    I hope things are going better for you now.

  5. I know how you feel. I remember the day I came to my church office to find the door kicked open.There was a footprint into the door and the lock was crushed. The computer and copy machine were gone. It felt horrible. Given the size of the footprint I was thankful we never met the guy. It is not a nice world out there and I am sorry for your cats as well.

  6. Poor Sidewalk. I hate it when people are mean to animals and your story makes me wonder if one of the robbers hurt her in some way, to make her as truamatized as all that. I hope you are all recovering.

  7. I very much fear the cats were abused by the robbers. Both of them used to be loving and friendly. Sidewalk never was again. Fluffy is to a cautious degree. He is very slow to get to know people now, and though he still enjoys a good scratch, he no longer likes to be held.

  8. I am so sorry to hear about the theft. Any theft makes a person feel vulnerable; and any cruelty to trusting animals is even more sad, because they dont know how to retaliate.

  9. OH Quill, so sad, I know how it is to have a loving cat, and then have their personality change. Cats become members of our family, and it really hurts when they no longer feel content. There is nothing more peaceful than to have you cat curled up and feeling safe, and nothing harder than to know they are scared. I suppose you are right, something bad must have happened……robbers take more than our possessions, they rob us of our comfort zone.

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