James Ronald had been working a dull job for several years. His mind had been wandering since day one, but now his body needed to wander as well.
And, it turns out, his code of ethics.
It started as a joke but with the help of the job, the wandering, and the booze, it became a reality.
James decided to become a literal cat burglar.
Up he went, up a neighboring building’s fire escape. (James had looked up the phrase ‘cat burglar,’ realizing he didn’t actually know what it meant exactly. What he found was that a cat burglar was “A thief who enters a building by climbing to an upper story.”)
He had watched buildings in his neighborhood to see if anyone was careless about leaving a window open. Since it was fall, nearly everyone was doing that. This worked out well for James who would have given up at the first sign of having to put a fair amount of effort into becoming the literal cat burglar.
He picked an apartment (the first one he got to on the second floor) and listened outside. Nothing. He crawled through the window and for the first time, it occurred to him, “wait – I’m committing an actual crime …”
That’s when the dog approached him.
James froze. The dog froze.
James was convinced this would be one of those movie dogs – the kind that growled and ate you alive. James was toast.
That is, until the dog came up, laid down in front of him and presented his belly for rubbing.
James, naturally, bent down to scratch the dogs’ belly. While doing so, he had an epiphany.
“Stealing a cat would upset a cat. And by being nice to a dog … I guess you could say I’m upsetting a cat … So I’m sorta doing this!!”
James was impressed. He’d never really managed to follow through on any of his schemes. He really was the literal cat burglar! This was James’ thought, and not a fact in any way – considering no cat had been stolen.
That’s when James heard a noise behind him. James grabbed the dog, while thinking, “why am I grabbing the dog?” and made a dash for another room. Or the couch. Or something. ANYthing.
Someone had entered the home through the window. James heard this person whistle for the dog and saw a treat being held out for the dog.
Oh no, James thought, it’s the owner. Then, wait, why would the owner come through the window? With a treat? And be wearing a mask?
James stood up. The dog ran to the treat.
“Hello,” James said, attempting to be bold.
“Aw man, I’ve been scoping this place out for weeks!,” I said.
“This apartment. They’ve got some nice jewelry and … well, I wanted to rob it. But, you got here first, so … it’s yours.”
I was so disappointed. The couple was rich, and stupid. Easy peasy. They were on vacation and had left their window open – really people? And, this is funny to me but I almost pity them – THEY were the ones to tell me they’d be on vacation! I was scoping out their home and decided to watch them walk their dog for a while to see if I had anything to fear. I decided to directly approach their dog (them as well). We got to talking and I learned about their vacation. It sounded like a pretty nice trip.
“Oh,” James said, not sure what to do with himself, “I’m just here for the cat.”
“They don’t have a cat,” I said matter-of-factly. I had assumed he’d done his research too, but I was beginning to doubt that.
“Yeah.” James said this dumbly, then stood there blankly.
“So …” I attempted to bring him back.
Then James entered confession mode. “I wanted to be a literal cat burglar. I thought it’d be funny. But … they don’t have a cat. And, I actually prefer dogs. I don’t know why I’m doing this.”
Click. Light bulb.
“Listen, I’ve been at this game for a while now,” I turned on all the sweetness I could. “It’s dangerous. It’s a LOT of work. I mean A LOT. And can you imagine prison? Yikes. But that dog there … she’s vicious with most people! You have a way with dogs. A dog whisperer I guess.” Insert fake laugh here. James took it, he laughed too. “Have you …,” with all the acting of a bad local theatre lead, “have you ever considered opening a dog walking business? A lot of people around here go on vacation … I’d know.” This time an actual laugh. You know, because I learn this since I intend to steal from them.
“Dog walking?” James was an inspired man. “Yeah … I could do that …”
Before he began to be ambitious, thus setting his lazy self up for failure, I cut him off. “Let me write down my number for you. Call me. I’ve got a lot of contacts, and I can get you set up with some potential clients right away.”
Here I am, two years later. James has his successful dog walking and kenneling business, from which I get 20% of the profits because of my investments.
Have you figured it out yet? Do you know why I love this?
I don’t have to do research for who is going on vacation.