Sawatsky Sign-Off: Face in the window inspires fright and fun
Published Thursday, April 11, 2019 1:06PM PDT
Last Updated Thursday, April 11, 2019 2:00PM PDT
When we ask people about the house they are passing and point to its front window, they either respond with stunned silence or an audible gasp.
"You're looking for happy stories?" one woman asks, looking at a large face peering out the window. "That's terrifying!"
The face can be hard to see at first. It's often obscured by the reflection of the tree outside. "It’s a robot," guessed one man. "It’s a demon cat," laughed another woman.
The woman who lives at the house says the face in the window is often mistaken for her grandmother. Alison says she and her husband are often told: "You're the house with the creepy old lady in the window!"
Alison says what's actually in the window is a giant stuffed cat, wearing a dress, a shawl, and roller skates. She says her sister created it to hold a tray and help host parties. When her husband Pat wheels it to the front door to show us, I scream. Not that it's scary, just that it's almost six feet tall.
Alison says Pat often pushes 'Roller Cat' around the house for other reasons. "It’s a practical joke," she says.
Sometimes Pat puts the cat in the guest bathroom. Imagine turning the corner into the shower and seeing Roller Cat staring back at you. "It’s a big surprise coming out at you," Pat explains. You can't help but here the theme to Psycho.
I also imagine the soundtrack to Jaws as Pat slowly pushes Roller Cat into the spare bedroom closet and closes the door. Pat often asks people to get something from the closet floor. "When they open the door they're tending to look down," he explains. "Then they look up and it’s a sudden scream you always here."
That's when the Jaws soundtrack climaxes.
"You know when you get a 50-year-old guy sounding like a 10-year-old girl?" Pat laughs. "That's the pitch I'm after!" And that sound, he says, is always followed by the best sound of all – laughter all around.
"If you can't have a good laugh once in a while, what’s the point?" Alison asks. "You only go around once," Pat adds. "So have fun!"
And that's why Pat has been parking Roller Cat by the front window for almost 18 years – to include the whole neighbourhood in their feline fun.