Okay, that may be just a little bit of an exaggeration, but last night Koshka definitely came to the rescue.
I woke about 4am to hear a strange clicking sound, like a cricket or similar insect making a short zap-like chirp sound. The noise was intermittent, and seemed to come from both inside and outside the house as it was sometimes loud, and sometimes soft. Over this sound I could hear my (almost) 2 year old kitten “chuntering”. Now when Koshka chunters she makes a strange not quite mew, not quite teeth snap kind of sound, and it usually means something has her undivided attention but is out of her reach, like a spider high up the wall or a bug on the ceiling.
Great, thinks I, there is a bug in the house, and the cat is going to go crazy hunting it down and keeping me awake in the process. After five minutes the sounds of cat and bug were so completely keeping me from sleep that I got up to get a glass of water and help the cat solve whatever was puzzling her. I don’t like turning on the lights at night as it disturbs my wife, so instead I took a flashlight so I didn’t trip over my black cat in the dark. The beam from the torch illuminated my kitten sat in the doorway of my study, staring at the floor. As I approached expecting to find some poor cricket tortured by the cat I heard the zap-bug sound again but this time also saw a bright electrical flash!
I’d put some rechargeable AA batteries on charge earlier that evening and Koshka had spotted that a bad cell had caused the unit to short circuit, leaking and sparking on the hardwood floor of my study! She’d sat a short distance away making her concerned noise, and didn’t move from the spot until I turned off the power and took the charger and acrid smelling batteries outside and safely disposed of them. Then she followed me like a puppy and was rewarded with some well deserved treats. If she’d not been making her worried hunter sounds I’d have rolled over and gone back to sleep, and we’d only have been woken when the smoke alarms started going off. Not a thought you want to have in the middle of the night.