Friday, August 07, 2009

The Many Faces of Artemis
(Warning: This post is probably interesting only to those who like cats)

Artemis: Kitty's official name, and how we usually refer to her. She is now 3 1/2 months old. She's gotten all her vaccines and is now allowed to roam outside our front door, though as yet we don't think she's actually gone outside. She has her first collar, but it's set at the tiniest circumference. Soon she will graduate from "baby cat" food to "kitten" food. She is quite fond of sleeping on my bed. Also having her tummy rubbed. Also suddenly running from one room to another as if something extremely urgent is happening; we have no idea what. Also hiding in cabinets.

(Here's she's trying to catch the little piece of paper sticking out of the top of my copy of Spice and Spirit.)

Bitemis: What she is called when she decides that chewing on a human hand, wrist, toe or ankle is a good idea. We push her away but apparently this is normal kitten behavior. Vet says she'll grow out of it. Lord I hope so. It hurts!

Squeeky: What we call her when she squeeks. She's obviously trying to tell us something but it just comes out as a high-pitched "eh, eh, eh." However she has another sound, a sort of rolling in the back of her throat (not purring, more of a gutteral squawk) which means she's verrrry happy. She makes this sound sometimes when we pick her up and pet her.

Someone: As in "someone dragged a roll of paper towels onto the porch and tore it apart" and "someone pushed my earrings off my desk onto the floor" and "someone found my winter hat and has deposited it under the couch."

Kitty: As in "here, Kitty Kitty," which we say when we want her to come to us. We've trained her to do it and so far it works 100% of the time, which is great when we can't find her.

Little Girl, Baby: Term of endearment used by both Liza and me.

Cutie, shnookie, sweetie-pie, cookie: Terms of endearment used by me, never by Liza.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

A Place to Park

My first two apartments after college had sofas. The first belonged to my then-roommate, and the second belonged to the landlord. I sat on those sofas all the time, never appreciating the glory of having a comfortable place to rest that was not my bed.

In my third apartment, in Manhattan, there was no room for a couch.

In the fourth, there was theoretically space, but it never came together. I had two roommates and pretty soon they were both engaged, and the sofa never happened.

In the fifth, there was no room.

In the sixth, the person who owned the apartment had a couch, but it was covered in 50's-style plastic sheeting and not comfortable AT ALL.

Then I made aliyah, to a studio, where there was no room for a couch.

And now here I am, in my eighth apartment after college, with a roommate who's been insisting she does not want one, for various reasons: we couldn't agree on a color palette (she likes earth tones, I like bright colors), I like plush sofas and she's a minimalist, she doesn't want me falling asleep in the living room all the time (which would certainly happen, natch), she thinks the salon is too small for a couch and our table-for-6-to-8 (I disagree). Even if I paid for the whole thing, she still didn't want it.

This was upsetting because, to me, the couch had become a symbol of adulthood. As long as I did not have a sofa in the living area, I was still living in a pseudo-dorm.

It is for that very reason that many Orthodox single people put off buying a couch, or other nice things. They do not want to admit that they are settling down somewhere without a spouse.

I'm 36 and that ship has sailed. If I wait for a husband before I buy a couch, I might be sitting on hard chairs for the rest of my life. I deserve better.

Still, time passed and I didn't buy a couch, because couches cost a lot of money (especially plush ones, which are not really available in Israel) and I had other things on my mind, and there was my roommate to consider.

The other day I was browsing around Janglo, an online bulletin board for English-speakers in Jerusalem, and came across an ad for a used sofa-bed at a great price, in a color my roommate likes and that I don't mind. I knew this was as good a deal as I'd ever find. I showed her the picture, and, inexplicably, she told me to go for it.

I still do not understand what happened there. Had I worn down her resistance? Catch her in a generous moment? Does she love maroon that much?

No matter. I went over to see it, determined it's in good-enough condition, hired a mover (which cost almost as much as the sofa), and now here we are (sorry about the glare. Sunlight!):

A place for me to sit! A place for guests to sit! And sleep!

Adulthood, at last.