by Whitney | 1:55 pm

I moved into a gated community in 2007. I really did not think about it at the time but it was a quiet area and I was busy educating the children of the region. My Principal recommended a gated community because it was a safer place for a teacher who worked with special needs children. Most of the children in my class had, had experience with the law. I mean they had been arrested multiple times. That information put me in a sad mood and I decided to sun bathe on my veranda. I took a glass of wine, and walked onto the veranda and sat down on a lounger chair.

What was that?

I was listening to a popular local radio station, relaxing, and sipping my wine when I noticed a strange looking cat watching me. “Who are you,” I said. The cat raised its nose in the air and streaked by me. I did not pay it any more attention and dozed in the sun relaxing. About thirty minutes later, I had, had my fill of the sun, and got up to go into the house.

Where did it go?

I picked up my things to go inside and found my headband was missing. Where did it go? It was there I swear. I searched the veranda and looked everywhere for my headband. Normally, I would have ignored it’s lose and just got another but my grandmother had made it for me, so I continued to search, but had no luck finding it. I washed my wine glass and returned it to my china hutch. I went to take a shower and took my time wrenching in cool water, it was a hot humid day. I had just dried off and put on my dressing gown when the doorbell rang.

Who are you?

I opened the door and a Scottish terrier dash inside my house. The woman was holding the cat I had seen earlier. “I AM Irene Carter,” she said, “your next door neighbor. This young lady is, “Ten Bells and that puppy is Happy.” The dog had taken one of my slippers and was chewing away joyfully. I asked her to come in and have a seat. I asked if she would like something to drink and got her a glass of iced tea. I noticed she had my headband and she offered it to me saying she was sorry.

The School of Ten Bells

I told her it was all right and thanked her for returning the headband. She put her cat down, and said she needed to explain. Ten Bells is a very unique cat she is a thief. That is how she got her name. When she was a kitten, she stole my shoe and then something else went missing and I knew who had taken it. She has a hiding place I will show it to you just incase she steals anything else. I named her Ten Bells after a school for thieves that is called, ‘The School of Ten Bells.’

An interesting turn of events

My neighbor was a flight attendant for a popular airline. I would see her come and go on a regular schedule. We were always polite in our passing and I noticed she took her animals to the vets to be housed while she was gone. Until one day, I was bringing in groceries and her cat and dog disappeared into my house. My neighbor dashed inside my house, tried to catch them, and could not find them. My neighbor apologized and asked if I would mind babysitting them because she had to work. I thought about it and said I would babysit. The instant the words came out of my mouth Happy and Ten Bells appeared. My neighbor thanked me profusely and left to work on a commuter flight. That was in December of 2007 and we have been friends for more fourteen years. All because of a cat thief called, ‘Ten Bells’.


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