Thursday, February 18, 2010

Stealing time

I took a friend to the dentist on Monday morning, and sketched in this very nice little coffee shop while I waited. Back home, while so happily engaged - burglars were busy rifling through our house. I'm glad I wasn't there, but this sketch joins the artwork in the file 'While we were being robbed'. Whingeing about Joburg and its crime is boring and futile, but honestly, sometimes one just despairs. There are far more friendly, generous, nice people here than there are thieves and vagabonds, but that small proportion certainly makes life uncertain and unpleasant for the rest.
When my son and I got home, the sliding gate was a little open and we couldn't move it any further - we walked in and Kenzo our cat was wailing to beat the band. I thought she was hurt or stuck, but she was just trying to tell us something... then we saw the dog inside the house, when I'd left him out... a bit sheepish looking, but relaxed... then we saw the mayhem.
Poor old Gucci has been an outstanding watchdog all his life, but is now a bit deaf and creaky, and sleeps like a log. He may have woken up and given them a fright, as they had been disturbed while removing the computer - I am relieved that he's OK, as dogs also fall victim to the thugs.


They were after money and firearms, which unfortunately we had in a safe, hidden, but found and removed lock stock and barrel. And our son's precious playstation, and we may still be discovering what else for a while to come.

It's hard to imagine what sort of person looks at your family photos - of children laughing on the walls, at their collections of treasures and books on their shelves, at all the evidence of ordinary daily living around a home, and then trashes it and steals not only the goods, but the trust and peace of mind, body and heart. He can only have had an awful life full of hatred and violence... well that's how I deal with it - I'm afraid some of my family are feeling rather bitter and vindictive...


<--While my car was being stolen from outside the figure drawing class.
In a journal after all the computers at my husband's business had been removed one night...
-->

21 comments:

Laurghita said...

Oh, I am sorry about that, if they make a habit from that maybe your home look easy for them, invest in some crazy noise alarm, anything wich rise your home on unaccesibilty meter for bulgars.

RHCarpenter said...

Oh, I am so sorry this happened! I can't imagine the feeling of abuse and fear that comes with this - and outrage. I hope you either recover everything (especially those things that have meaning for you) or get newer, better things. Again, I'm so sorry :(
Sending you a Big (((HUG))) today.

laura said...

I'm so glad you and your son weren't at home, and that the animals weren't hurt (how horrible that would be!).
A similar thing happened to me when I live alone in Jersey City. My apartment was burgled while I was at work; the cats were fine, but my photos were strewn all around the bedroom--which gave me a very creepy feeling!
I often attribute bad qualities to where I am (a certain parochialism, philistinism, etc.), but then I think it's the same everywhere, bad and good. (If that's any comfort! I mean it to be ...)

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

How you manage to keep your humor (the sketch of the animals) is certainly an example to the rest of us.
I think an alarm system is in the card for you.
My sympathies, Cathy :(

Suzanne McDermott said...

Glad that Gucci and Kenzo survived in the midst of it all. Yes, these intrusions are things to recover from emotionally more than materially most times. You've taken the high path which is the best for your well-being. Laughter is the best medicine!

Cathy Gatland said...

Laurghita, I'm afraid we DO have an alarm system, but I haven't been setting it when I go out during the day - that has now all changed, too late!

Thank you Rhonda - back at you ((( ))), you need one too!

Laura, thank you - lots to be grateful for, and yes, there are baddies everywhere, and goodies, thank goodness.

Mary, thanks - as I said, the alarm from now on will definitely be put into action. Sad that it's necessary, but true.

Hi Suzanne, what I would do without pets to lighten things up sometimes, I don't know - am very happy they're OK!

vivien said...

How horrible for you :>(

I know just how you feel - we had a break in a few years ago and they must have been disturbed by either the paper being delivered or me coming home. Stuff piled ready to go but all they'd managed to actually take was a (broken!) video recorder.

I just hope they sold it to some big thug in a pub who beat them up the following week when they found out

wishing equally nasty karma to your burglars

It's horribly unsettling and you really have my sympathy.

Charlene Brown said...

That's awful that you've actually got a 'while we were being robbed' file. As you pointed out, there are a lot more good guys everywhere including Joburg, and you must have at least 100 times as many sketches done while you weren't being robbed.

Cathy said...

I'm so sorry! I know it must be very upsetting! I'm glad nobody was hurt.

Cathy Gatland said...

Vivien, that would be satisfying if one could know that 'what goes around comes around' to the burglars!

Thanks Cathy and Charlene - at least that many :)

Ginny Stiles said...

OH MY LORD...when you ended your post with a HISTORY of being robbed I was gasping! OH NO! How very awful.

My home was robbed only once (I hope). Someone broke into my home in Wisconsin...pried open a back door with a crow bar. They only stole cash (which was laying on my son's dresser). Even though this was minor I remember how violated I felt...a stranger and thief in my home. I had bad dreams for months. I am sad for you. (And I also love the sketch!)

Robin said...

How horrible to go through that! I can only imagine how your security must feel so threatened -- not to mention your privacy.

Teresa said...

Hi Cathy,

My heart goes out to you. I'm so sorry you had this (and the other) unpleasant experience. I know only too well the feeling of losing "trust and peace of mind". Will send you a private email on that one. Not something I discuss very often.

So glad no one was hurt (including the family pets).

travelingsuep said...

I left a message on USk, but would like to say again that I'm sorry this happened, but relieved you were out and no-one, not even the pets got hurt.

Pat said...

I am angry all over again just reading about it. I am in the vindictive category and I want retribution for you and your family. I do love that your art and blog practice hasn’t been stolen.
Big Hug from me too
Pat

Carol King said...

Oh Cathy! What a sickening feeling to walk in and find that your home has been violated. I'm so glad at least the pets were ok.

But yet after all that you still managed to post your beautiful drawings. You're amazing.

Again, so sorry to hear what happened. I hope those horrible thugs end up with something bad happening to them.

Gillian said...

On looking at your art which unintentionally commemorates this sad, mad, frustrating, frightening occasion, I think I feel most sorry for Kenzo who seems to have understood perfectly what happened! Ugh - so sorry you've had to go thru this AGAIN!! Sigh. Hope you're getting over the jumpies and able to relax again. Loved all your sketches,C. Something GOOD has come out of it... Hope to catch you on SKYPE soon. Lots of love XX

Vivienne said...

Dear Kenzo. What a hero. It was our cat (Mistletoe) who yelled and caterwauled during our one and, hopefully only, very minor burglary when we first moved in to this house. Gucci may have been saved from harm by being quiet.Thinking of you picking up the pieces. They can't take your hearts and souls. Probably lost theirs a while back. Stay safe. Lots of love.

A Brush with Color said...

Oh,my gosh--how awful. I'm so sorry you've had to experience this. Thank goodness, as others said, you are all ok. Your images here are wonderful! Art is healing, I'm a firm believer in that. (Obviously the perpetrator has no artistic soul.) Someone should have put a pencil or brush into his hand early on...

Jeanette said...

Its so disturbing to read something like this Cathy. There is no worse feeling than someone going though your home and possessions.

Its all too common a problem everywhere it seems and everyone needs to have a fortress with wild dogs to keep out the thieves it seems. I hope things settle soon and you can relax once more.

dominique eichi said...

I commend you on a good attitude. I got robbed of all my heirloom jewelry a few years back and the next day found out a friends daughter was diagnosed with brain tumor. I came to the realization that I would sell it all for my daughters well been. Having different priorities helps.
I love your sketch of your animals, so funny, maybe it's time for a young watch dog to keep company to your faithful old timer.
Sorry about this happening though.