I am sitting in someone’s else’s apartment, and I am bleeding. My stomach is in veritble knots and I haven’t slept But I’m here for a couple weeks while my apartment is in shambles.
This temporary abode is in the “heart” of Brooklyn. Some people really like it here, but it is definitely not my style. The train rumbles beneath the apartment all day and most of the night, making me feel like there is an earthquake happening every couple of minutes. There are no windows that open. The front windows are at street level, so if you open the blinds for daylight, you become a living display for everyone who walks by. We are living out of suitcases (so don’t give me any grief if you see me in the same, crumpled outfit more than once). There is no drip coffee maker but there is a French press that produced for our efforts, weak coffee with lots of grounds in it.
We are glad to have a place to be, since it will be a while before we can move back into our own place. I have lived in my own apartment for decades, so it feels very weird to be in someone else’s space, nicely set up for a life that is nothing like my own.
But that’s not the worst part. The worst part is that I have two beautiful, sweet, loving, civilized cats who have never encountered violence from human or animal, and now they’re living with “Emma.”
Emma is the family cat. she is a pretty orange tabby, but Emma doesn’t know how to “share.”
Every time we’ve had to visit my in-laws Emma hissed at me. Once or twice I tried to pet her and she hissed and scratched. She has always seemed angry at something, but I’m not sure what, And now, I’m in her space, and she’s clearly not pleased.
I have had cats in my life since I’ve been two. I love them. I used to say that there wasn’t a cat alive that I didn’t like. But maybe I need to change that to I love cats, but some more than others. Cats are by nature, curious and social, and friendly. Emma, apparently didn’t get the message.
I don’t imagine that cats, like babies, are born “bad” but Emma clearly isn’t a loving cat, and she’s got long, sharp, claws. She’s the type of feline that gives all of them a bad reputation.
The first day we got here I locked my sweet fur babies in the bed room but it’s a tiny room, and my 6 month old kitten got wanderlust. Eventually, this morning, after Nike made it clear she wasn’t going to spend another day in bedroom prison, we let Nike out to roam (my older cat, Jessie, is still hiding under the bed).
I expected Emma to growl and hiss. That’s natural. We are invading her space. Yesterday she sat in the middle of the couch (really the only place to sit in this place as the other chair is “Emma’s favorite” and we were warned not to sit on it). Emma let me sit down, but gave me the “evil eye” most of the day. The minute I tried to get up to get a drink of water, she reached out quickly, and clawed me. I ended up cowering the rest of the day at the end of the couch, while Emma luxuriated on the rest of it.
My husband, didn’t belive me when I reported this. “She’s just a cat,” he said.
This morning, when Nike decided to explore, I knew she wouldn’t cower on the end of the couchnd Nike doesn’t know enough to stay away. My husband left for work telling me that I was “ridiculous” for worrying, that Emma wasn’t going to do anything more than growl. But I knew better because I know cats.
The minute John left for work, Nike decided to prowl. How could I stop her? I went over to pick up my morning coffee, far away from Emma cold and angry stare. Naturally, Emma who had been staying away from me, quick as a wink attacked me on the leg, leaving an ugly, bleeding gash. This is the first time I’ve ever actually been intimidated by a cat.
I don’t really have a point to make here, it’s just a morning rant about having to awkwardly live in a place I’d never call “home” and don’t want to be in, nursing a clawed leg — all before breakfast. Yes, I am grateful to have a place to stay since otherwise I’d be literally, “homeless” until (or if EVER) the contractor finishes up my own home.
But I still love cats — even Emma
Love, Success, and Happiness to you,
Alison Blackman Dunham, The Advice Sisters