This is a cautionary and triumphant tale all in one. It celebrates the unknown skills that we have within us and it also reminds me that I will have to make trebly sure that our household insurances are well up to date.  Not only that but it reminds me of the slinkiness of Da Boss when I first encountered her as you will discover.

You MUST have experienced that terrible moment at some point, when a door has just closed behind you and you wonder whether or not you have a key to get back in. Well today that dreadful moment occurred for us. Da Boss and I were just popping up the road to a neighbour’s house to take out the rubbish and generally make it look as though they were in. They had gone off on holiday and we had promised to keep an eye on their place. You never know when a cunning burglar is keeping an eye out for empty houses, especially in the peak of holiday time.

So when I saw some keys in Da Boss’s hand as she closed the door behind us I wasn’t particularly bothered, although it did just skirt the fringes of my mind, but I shrugged and thought nothing of it. That was until she said:

“Have you got your house keys with you?”

“Why? You’ve got yours with you anyway, so why do I need mine?”

“These are for THEIR house!”

“Oh Bugger!”

Yes, dear reader, you have it in one. We were well and truly locked out. Things were looking decidedly awkward. Da Boss was remarkably relaxed about the whole episode though and so I knew she had a card or two up her sleeve.

“Why aren’t you worried?”

She shrugged and looked rather smug. “Well we have the keys to the neighbours house and THEY have a spare set of ours.  So there isn’t anything much to get in a fuss about!”

I recalled the number of far smaller items that had been plenty to get fussed about, especially if you were Da Boss, but I wisely kept my own counsel. Now our neighbours are incredibly organised. They even have a key cupboard, which would stun the police down at the local nick (Jail to my American friends). The cupboard was filled with keys of all shapes and sizes. All labelled and neatly arranged. In fact you could happily have spent several hours just working through the sheer number of locks and padlocks that could be opened with the contents of the key cupboard.

keys 119.39.42

They had all their own keys for everything from the garden sheds – yes I did say sheds, in the plural; and various garages, outhouses and what seemed like hundreds of locks and assorted places in the house – all carefully labelled and stored neatly. Neighbours keys were also neatly kept at the bottom of the cupboard in envelopes, along with emergency numbers and other relevant details. I thanked goodness for such organised and reliable people. Now all I had to do was find our keys!

That was when the atmosphere started to darken somewhat. For – after ten minutes of pretty determined searching, it was becoming clear that our keys were not there!  I turned to Da Boss who was happily rinsing out cups and glasses and let her know the news.

‘Don’t be so silly, of course they have our keys. We have theirs and they have ours. You are just not looking in the right place. Let me see. I’ll find them in a trice.”

Several trices passed before she turned back to me and admitted that the keys were simply not there!

“It doesn’t matter though, Betty and Tony (some other friends and neighbours) have a key as well, go and get theirs.”

“They’re out. I saw them going out earlier!”

“Right, then we’ll go back home, I’ll slip under the side gate and I left our bedroom window open as we were just going to be a few moments, so I’ll get in through that!”

So dear reader it was that Da Boss added cat burgling to her list of skills and abilities.  I could only stand (on the bottom of the ladder of course) and watch in amazement as she scampered up the ladder and slithered into the bedroom like a snake after a tasty morsel. Da Boss has always had the power to amaze me and she did so once more with her resourcefulness and willingness to overcome what could have been a really awkward day.

Now all I have to do is find out how to harness that “can do” attitude and simply leave all the difficult stuff up to her.  But first of all I had better make sure she doesn’t get her hands on this tale, especially not this last paragraph – or all hell will be let loose!