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The Slice: Cat burglar alarm system might work a little too well

Tue., Oct. 22, 2013

Our neighbor’s cat is getting up there in years, but she can still move at approximately the speed of light when she feels like it.

I know this because on a couple of occasions recently, we have discovered that she has gained entry to our house without being officially invited in.

I’ll come back from fetching the newspaper and discover her inside impatiently waiting for a treat.

Or my wife will be making a second trip through the back door with groceries and see a small predator sitting in the kitchen with a look that seems to say “Get anything good?”

This is fine. We like seeing her. Always have.

But it creates a modern problem.

You see, the house has an alarm system. One setting, for when people are home, just monitors doors and windows. But another setting, the one activated when no one is going to be there, involves interior motion detectors.

Can you see where I’m headed?

Because our neighbor’s cat is capable of getting inside undetected, there is always the danger that she will slip in as we are headed out after having turned on the motion detectors.

I’m quite sure the cat’s movements would set off the astonishingly loud alarm. That would be bad, on several levels.

So if you ever see us leaving home and looking down with obsessive intensity, this is why.

OK, your turn. What’s your modern problem?

Warm-up question: Have you ever critiqued your own handshake?

Which of the following describes it best? A) Perfect degree of firmness. B) Retreating germaphobe. C) Obviously compensating. D) Girly man. E) Deceased trout. F) Relaxed, confident. G) Contextually appropriate. H) Wet. I) Lilac princess. J) Grip o’ Doom. K) Epically creepy. L) Limp. M) Strong farmer. N) Don Draper. O) Secret handshake known only to members of the Marmot Lodge and others who read the column in which I revealed that, as a salute to Spokane’s medical center, the lead-up to the handshake simulates the insertion of a colonoscopy wand. P) Normal. Q) Other.

Today’s Slice question: Ever heard a little kid try to say “abominable”?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email If you are not demonstrating your expertise at laying down a soft bunt, hitting fallen apples with a baseball bat makes a mess.


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