My eyes open.
The sound hits my ears again. Heart pounding, I raise my head from my arms and listen.
Again. Clink. Clink.
"It's him..." I breathe. I roll off the couch. The carpet bites into my elbows as I inch forward on my stomach. He was back.
The light from the kitchen doorway shines like a beacon onto the floor, fencing in a square of brilliance in a meadow of dark carpet loops. My gaze lingers on the wall where I know the lightswitch hangs, but there is not enough time. A shadow appears against the square of light on the floor then flits away. I brace myself.
I roll across the floor, my back hits the wall as the sounds from the kitchen cease for a moment. I hold my breath and wait. The sounds continue. I inch towards the doorway and peer around the corner.
He is in here, but I cannot see him yet. The kitchen floor is hard under my knees as I crawl under the counter. Head down, I blindly feel along the counter top. My hand closes around a weapon. In my grip, I let my finger rest on the trigger for a moment before pulling the gun back down to my side.
The element of surprise belongs to me. There will be no escaping justice this time. Leaping to my feet, screaming like an Indian, I shoot.
Dishes fly. Silverware scatters. And a tall glass topples as the intruder scrambles for shelter, whiskers full of butter. But the stream of water from my gun is inescapable, and my aim is deadly.
Wide-eyed and wet, the repentant cat observes from under the Christmas tree as I replace the squirt gun on the counter and return to the couch to finish my nap.