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My first houseguest

Way back in July, justinhowe posted that he needed a sitter for October, for a small black & white cat named Pirate Jenny. I thought about it briefly, then dismissed it, seeing as how it was Covered In Ants & Bees! season, and I couldn't imagine subjecting any animal to a couple of weeks in this poophole of an apartment. Plus, I thought I'd be going home in late October, so that was that.

Cut to a beeless, antless, travel-less October, and, well, you know exactly where this story ends:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/43288330@N00/sets/72157622489533887/

Pirate Jenny is a very teeny but fluffy cat, who has the amazing ability to stretch her body out to over half my height (that's her Maine Coon genes showing). She can also squeeze under bookcases with only 3 inches of crawlspace, as I found out approximately one second after Justin let her out of her cage this Saturday. Pirate Jenny was not amused at her reduced living conditions, and spent most of Saturday, and a good portion of Sunday, hiding under various pieces of furniture. I can't judge - I do the same thing when I have writing deadlines.

Anyhoo, as you can see by the meager Flickr set, she's warmed up to the possibilities of having a complete stranger be her total bitch for half a month, and has set about declaring most of the apartment off-limits to me, including: my office (now a litter box, but it was pretty much that anyway...), half the kitchen (the half with the awesome counter space and views of the Jersey City Powerhouse District), the space by the fridge where her food bowls are, and the bed (but only during the day). Luckily, I have a small space in the living room with my leather & wood chair (which turned into her scratching post this morning), a portable writing desk, and my laptop. She also lets me use the bathroom, which I appreciate, since I really didn't feel comfortable using the litter box, or kitchen sink.

Our day/evening routine seems to be this: she sets up watch at the window by the counter, while I tap away at various WIP's. We have a break every hour which consists of me sitting on the yoga mat on the carpet, scratching her head and neck while she rolls around and around, occasionally hooking her claws into my legs. Morning routines are evolving - she still gets a bit spooked by things like drawers and the fridge opening, although she's training me to do things slowly and quietly, so as not to startle her. Also, she bats my face if I get too close while looking directly into her eyes, and any touching of the belly (hers) results in some martial arts-style activity with her claws and feet - although, this morning her paw-pummeling took on a distinctly playful air. She's sort of like Bette Davis, but without the profanity. And even though I'm like Joan Crawford, but with extra profanity, I think we're getting along quite well. However, if anyone's limp body is left on the beach in the next couple of weeks, you can bet it'll be mine.

Marine Autumn

I owe you marine autumn
With dankness at its roots
and fog like a grape
and the graceful sun of the country;
and the silent space
in which sorrows lose themselves
and only the bright crown
of joy comes to the surface.

--Pablo Neruda.


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