Living on the ground floor brings with it all sorts of new challenges. We have no neighbors above or below us, so you’d think that our lives would be quieter. You’d be somewhat incorrect about that.
Our San Francisco flat was located on the third floor above street level. We were on a corner, and a full floor above all the neighboring houses. Although we could see people out every window (and they could presumably see us), we were well-removed from the street goings-on. Here, we are not. For the most part, this doesn’t pose any challenges. Sure, we appear to have moved in next door to the resident College Party House, which is obnoxious, but we’re figuring it out.
That’s not the biggest problem, though. The biggest problem is the Scary Kitty.
Both of our cats love sitting in windows. As we don’t have air conditioning, the windows here are open all the time, and the cats love this. (They don’t love when we go outside, and they can see us through the screens, but so it goes.) It’s much more interesting for them on the ground floor, too. There are birds that fly by, plenty of action to see, and more smells than I can probably even imagine. Alas, the fun ends at night, because that’s when the Scary Kitty appears.
To be fair, the Scary Kitty is really cute. She’s small, mostly white with black spots, enormous black eyes, and she has a pink collar with a bell on it. And I’m fairly certain that she’s a giant moron. Because every evening, the Scary Kitty sees Pierre in a window, and promptly launches herself at the window in an effort to meet him. Since the window is screened, this results in the Scary Kitty bashing herself against the house, claws first, and then falling on the ground. And, in the act of doing this, the Scary Kitty scares the everloving crap out of Pierre. Who will now no longer go near a window after sunset.
The first night this happened, we did not understand what was going on. Pierre was sitting in the window, and suddenly flew from the sill as though he had been forcibly ejected. The first time he did this, we laughed and thought nothing of it. The second time, I looked out the window, and discovered that the world’s most adorable feline was staring confusedly back at me. We mocked Pierre for a full day… and let’s be clear: this cat understands English perfectly, so he promptly vomited on our bed. On the next night, however, we both happened to be looking at the window when the Scary Kitty attempted to jump up and say hello. And y’all? IT WAS SCARY. She has clearly figured out that something is amiss, because she attempted to scramble through the screen with her claws. The result, of course, is that the screen was slightly damaged (how to explain this to our landlord?????), and the NOISE WAS UNREAL. We actually thought Pierre had fallen through the screen, but we quickly realized that he had sequestered himself under the coffee table, between several piles of magazines. Scary Kitty, on the other hand, looked sadly back at me from the asphalt outside.
Pierre spent his day today blissfully sniffing the air through the windows, but won’t go near them now. I’ve seen neither hide nor hair of Scary Kitty in the daylight. The drama shall resume this evening, I’m sure. I’ll keep you posted.