Take it away, Randi!
Living with Four Cats and A Husband in a 500 Square Foot Apartment
I had two cats in a 500 square foot apartment.
They ate in the kitchen and I ate on the couch.
They slept on the couch and I slept in the bed.
All three of us pooped in the bathroom - but my poop went into a different receptacle than theirs did. We could all be in there at once, but someone who wasn't me had to wait their turn because they only had one box in the tub. The bathroom smelled like Febreze.
There was room for all three of us on the one grey love seat. The noisy one sat on the arm glowering at me and the loving one sat on my lap grooming me. He thought I was very dirty and licking my face with his cat breath was a far superior bath than the Dove soap in my bathtub - than the Dove soap in his toilet's home. We watched Sex and the City together and they both agreed with me that Carrie could never afford those shoes on her measly weekly column's salary. The noisy one loved to eat my pizza crusts off the coffee table.
When I went to sleep at night, I would shut the door to the bedroom. The noisy one was quiet at night, and would have liked to share the bed. But the loving one was loving at night, and
wouldn't let me sleep. He would poke poke poke at my closed eyelids with his mitten-clad paw to make sure I was still underneath. If I closed the loving one out and let the noisy one
stay, the loving one became noisy. If I shut them both out, they danced the Meringue all night long and forgot I existed until I woke up to feed them.
Taking up one small square of 500 square feet was a tall scratching post. They scratched it 90% of the time, and scratched the couch when I wasn't looking the other 10%.
When I woke up in the morning, the loving one climbed into bed with me and bathed me to help me get ready for work. The noisy one followed me around being noisy. Then they told me to have a nice day.
When I walked in the door after work, two pairs of eyes greeted me. The noisy one's said "feed me." The loving one's said "I missed you."
This went on for four years. 500 square feet was big.
Then one day I had two cats and a husband in a 500 square foot apartment.
They ate in the kitchen and we ate on the couch.
They slept on the couch and we slept in the bed.
All four of us pooped in the bathroom. We could not all be in there at once. Someone always had to wait their turn, and on a good day the bathroom smelled like Febreze. Mostly, the bathroom
smelled like poop.
There was sometimes room for all four of us on the one grey love seat. The noisy one fell in love with the husband and sat on his lap. The loving one was jealous of the husband and sat on my lap
a lot less. He tried to sit on the love seat directly, so the husband couldn't sit at all. We watched football together and the cats were afraid of the shouting. The husband fell asleep with chicken wing bones on the coffee table and the noisy one needed to go to the hospital.
The husband never had a pet before so he would to leave the bedroom door open when he went to sleep. The noisy one was quiet at night, and would have liked to share the bed. But the loving
one was loving at night, and wouldn't let me sleep. He would poke poke poke at my closed eyelids with his mitten-clad paw to make sure I was still underneath. If I closed the loving one out and let the noisy one stay, the loving one became noisy. The husband slept very soundly and snored away while I woke up every night to my eyelids being poked poked poked by a mitten-clad paw. Eyebrow whiskers tickled my forehead and giant moon eyes stared at my barely open ones until I scooped up the loving one - eyebrow whiskers and all - under my arm and put him outside of
the bedroom door. Then I would pad back sleepily to wake the noisy one who was quietly sleeping like a cinnabon. I would apologize for waking her and scoop her up to put her out as
well. By the time I returned to the doorway with the noisy one, the loving one had already snaked through my legs, hopped back on the bed and eagerly awaited his turn again in the fun nighttime game. Luckily, the noisy one was offended easily. Once her beauty sleep was disturbed, she wanted nothing to do with the foot of the bed for the rest of the night. I shut them both out and they danced the Meringue all night long and forgot I existed until the husband woke up to feed them.
When I woke up in the morning, the husband helped me get ready for work by making me breakfast. The loving one climbed into bed with me and bathed me to help me get ready for work. The noisy
one followed me around being noisy. Then they all told me to have a nice day.
When I walked in the door after work, three pairs of eyes greeted me. The noisy one's said, "feed me." The loving one's said, "I missed you." The husband's said a little of both.
This went on for two years. 500 square feet was cozy.
The husband and I decided to volunteer for an animal rescue group.
There were two young cats. Saved from a terrible death at the kill shelter. Blind. Overlooked. Waiting for a forever home for a year that never arrived for them. I fell in love with the baby. He chirped and nuzzled in my neck. The husband fell in love with the grandpa. He looked high in the sky with his no eye at the husband and mewed "PICK ME!" at him. Weeks went by watching the baby and the grandpa not get adopted and our hearts broke a little more each time.
And then one day I had two cats, a husband and two more cats in a 500 square foot apartment.
They eat in the kitchen and the living room. We eat wherever there is space.
They sleep on the couch. And on the rug. And on the floor. And on the bed. I sleep on the bed too but they have their side of the bed and the husband has his side of the bed. I squeeze where there is room without moon eyes or people eyes snapping open in annoyance.
All six of us poop in the bathroom. The four of them poop in the kitchen too. I'd rather poop at work. There are often poopy pawprints on my white bathroom tiles. I need to locate the perpetrator by grabbing each one and smelling their feet. The culprit gets a sink bath. So far, the culprit has never been the husband. I scrub the bathroom tiles with a toothbrush and am lucky when the bathroom smells like Ajax.
There is not room for all six of us on the one grey love seat The noisy one sits in her tower and glowers at us from afar. The loving one wrestles with the baby for my attention on the one grey love seat while I'm trying to sit on it. The grandpa sits on the floor directly in front of the love seat on the
husband's feet. I step on the grandpa daily. There is a floor to ceiling tower. There is a scratching post that the noisy one and the loving one scratch 80% of the time. God knows where they
scratch the other 20%. The baby and the grandpa use their blindness to convince the husband that they don't know where to scratch. The husband doesn't like to yell at the baby or the grandpa. They use the scratching post 20% of the time and scratch where ever they feel like it the rest. There are
cardboard boxes that some might call "garbage" but the cats call them "mine." There is a bed shaped like a strawberry in the middle of the living room floor that they take turns sitting in. The loving one likes to ambush the blind ones from inside the strawberry. And the hallway closet which used to be for wrapping paper and duct tape is now for cat treats.
It is impossible to shut the door at night. The grandpa wants to sleep with the husband. He cries all night if he is not permitted to do so. Young cats have a lot of patience when crying at night. The husband lets him in and he sleeps very nicely at the foot of the bed. Sometimes he makes muffins up and down my leg obsessively. The baking doesn't go on very long because if the grandpa is allowed in, the loving one cries at the door. When the loving one cries at the door, the noisy one and the baby come to keep him company. Nobody wants to cry alone. Sometimes, I ask the loving one if he is going to sleep nicely and he always promises with his giant moon eyes, "yes momma," so I let them all inside. But as soon as I fall back to sleep, he is poke poke poking my closed eyelids to make sure I am still underneath. Then we play our fun nighttime game where I try to take one cat out of the room at a time while the husband snores soundly.
When I wake up in the morning, the husband helps me get ready for work by making me breakfast. The loving one climbs into bed with me and baths me to help me get ready for work. The noisy
one follows me around being noisy and the baby stands on his hind legs in the sink while I'm brushing my teeth so that I will pick him up and carry him around the 500 square feet. The grandpa gets stepped on because he likes to sit down at my feet while I'm trying to put my pants on. The husband says to have a nice day at work but the cats all beg me not to leave.When I walk in the door from work there are five pairs of eyes looking at me from the doorway in different states of "I MISSED YOU and FEED ME."
Now I have two cats, a husband, two more cats and a real estate agent.
Randi is a Brooklyn Native, a high school guidance counselor, an animal advocate and an avid wedding dress re-wearer. She spends much of her time trying to save the world one teenager at a time, convincing people they need more rescue cats in their lives and finding new places to wear her wedding dress in New York City.