"Everybody's got a plan, until they get punched in the mouth. "
Yeah, most don't have a plan for that.
All of our bedrooms open on to the main room of the house, with bedrooms on two levels. I too take my cues from the dogs. If the Min Pin is out of our bed there's something wrong. Our lab will bark at deer, or raccoons in the yard but if the little one is up there's something to go check out. We are down to one 20 something still at home, so its usually him coming in late. But the little dog alerts when he opens the gate at the top of our driveway. That's about 100 yds away from the house. DR
No kids, no dogs, full house alarm system all ports of entry alarmed. If they come in the alarm will go off and has done so 2x with a window that was not latched and the wind got it. Alarm goes off it is check the zone and then call 911 before the alarm company as it will be a cell call since the alarm system will have the home phone line in use. I will wait for them to come to me. I keep a set of house keys on a large dongle to throw down to the Police to get them inside with out the doors getting kicked in, and it also has two challenge questions and answers they can use to verify if it is really me on the other end of the conversation so I don't get shot. From there it is play it as it goes.
Just personally, in my state the fact an intruder is in my home at night has him bought and paid for. There is only my wife and myself, nobody that knows me would knock on my door at night without yelling who they are much less enter unannounced so I have no worries there.
That said I wake the wife give her one shot gun leave her in the bedroom and go deal with the problem.
If the cat hasn't growled there's nothing to worry about. I'm not (completely) joking! If someone of something is in the yard or house in the middle of the night one of the cats has what can only be called a gutteral growl that sends chills up a grown man's spine! :gah:
OK, there is more to it than that but trust the animals. If the dog didn't respond it was a noise he (or she) knows. Same with the cats at my house. Watch the animals' reactions. If something or someone is moving in the house they'll know.
That doesn't means roll over, it just means don't walk the house in full panic mode... yet...