On Saturday morning, JP Brammer was relaxing at home when he heard an odd scuffling noise outside his apartment door.
Brammer, a journalist based in New York, cautiously went to investigate and found something entirely unexpected.
“When I took a peek through the eyehole, I saw the two dogs and a cat,” Brammer told The Dodo. “The cat is what really threw me off. I was like, ‘Oh my goodness, the whole crew rolled up.’”
“I’ve heard these dogs before because they live right above me, but mostly at night,” Brammer added. “I think some part of me did know something weird and interesting was about to happen. It was one of those sideways moments.”
In disbelief, Brammer started live-tweeting photos of his interactions with the unexpected band of visitors. “There’s a … cat and two dogs knocking on my apartment door?” Brammer wrote on Twitter. “Like inside the building what do I do omg.”
When Brammer opened the door, the two dogs eagerly wagged their tails at the greeting, remaining respectfully in the hallway. However, the cat had other plans.
The orange tabby slipped past Brammer unnoticed and began happily rubbing himself on the furniture. It soon became clear to Brammer that the furry intruders had no intention of going back where they came from — but he was happy to spend a little time with the friendly animals.
“I always ask for permission before petting people’s animal friends,” Brammer said. “But they were so warm and friendly, I couldn’t help myself of course. I was excited to hang with them while simultaneously hoping the responsible parties would show up soon.”
Luckily, locating the “lost” pets’ home proved simple: “So the apartment above mine had a wide open door which is where they came from,” Brammer wrote on Twitter. “I got the dogs inside (but just heard a glass shattering noise so yikes?).”
With the dogs safely home, Brammer still had one puzzle left to solve: how to coax the uncooperative feline back upstairs. But a few minutes later, a noise outside the door caught his attention:
The pups were back to say, “Hi.”
Brammer realized that the mastermind canines had figured out how to open their apartment door, allowing them to come and go as they pleased.
Afraid that the dogs would escape the building if left to their own devices, Brammer accepted the fact that he would have to play babysitter for the day.
And the challenges kept on coming:
“One of the dogs who went back into his apartment …. locked the door behind him somehow,” Brammer wrote on Twitter, “so now there’s one dog in the hall, one in the apartment, and one cat in my apartment. I’m gonna take the German Shepherd in mine I guess!??”
Hungry and trapped in his apartment building, Brammer felt like the ordeal would never end — but around 1 p.m., help finally arrived.
“OH BLESS some actual dog owners who know what they’re doing showed up I have REINFORCEMENTS,” he wrote. “They have leashes and toys and food I’m SAVED.”
Working with his neighbors across the hall, Brammer finally managed to return all three animals to their rightful apartment, and secure the handle … with a string. “While I was making internet content, they took the dogs out for a walk and then tied up the apartment door to keep the pets inside until the actual owners showed up,” Brammer said.
By the end of the saga, tens of thousands of Twitter users were following Brammer’s thread. However, when the mysterious owners finally returned, the resolution wasn’t quite as juicy as most people were expecting.
“The actual owners seemed very nice,” Brammer said. “When they showed up I was just so relieved and happy that everything had worked out OK that all I really did was knock on their door, tell them how good it was to see them all alright, ask them about their door, and then go downstairs to pass out.”
“Ultimately, I think a boring, shoddily made apartment door was to blame,” Brammer added. “So it wasn’t as exciting as Twitter wanted it to be maybe, but in the moment it certainly felt like a ride!”