Archive for May, 2012

Hannah & Sam consider the garret chaise.

I’ve been saying for a long while that I’ve wanted to move out of the garret, but, at this time, circumstances are still such that Hannah, Sam, and I must remain residents of the infamous abode for another year. So, instead of moving, I’ve shifted our internal place: I’ve bought a chaise.

I’d been thinking about it since I moved into the garret three years ago, but I didn’t know how I could make it possible. The garret stairwell walls stand 26 inches apart, and while at times I felt like swinging a sledge hammer through the wood (and all the walls of the apartment), I came to accept the space for what it is: narrow and small. I searched the web for “miniature furniture,” and came up with baby-sized chairs; I googled “couches for small spaces” but the smallest they came was 28-36 inches on all sides, without the ability to disassemble. I considered putting two chairs together and calling it a couch, but the arms got in the way. My friend Delia, who has an eye for interior decorating, suggested I buy a fancy bench and find pillows to attach to the wall: a makeshift couch. But I didn’t want to settle. Ikea was an option, but then it wasn’t – I didn’t find the styles appealing.

A few weeks ago, I went with Delia on an excursion to Home Goods and TJ Maxx in a wealthy part of town to see what “leftovers” I could find. They had several small chaises, but they were for cats. Why couldn’t they make one of those for humans? I pondered.

I perused Target’s and Walmart’s websites, but worried the one assembly-required chaise I viewed online would be cheaply-made in real life. Then, I happened upon Overstock.com, where I ended my search. The reviews were good. And if I purchased their inexpensive but nice-looking chaise within the next one hour and thirty-eight minutes, shipping would be free.

It arrived on Wednesday while I was at the Animal Rescue League, spending time trying to soothe a couple of frightened cats. When I arrived home, the chaise was there, in two large boxes, waiting for me on the front porch. Knowing my landlord would not lift a finger to help, I took the larger 45-pound box by the horns and pulled it up the garret stairwell in one upward motion. Joy filled my chest when it passed through the doorway, unhindered. I galloped down the stairs and outside once again to retrieve the second box, which weighed in lighter, at 16 pounds.

With the boxes safely in the garret living room, I wasn’t ready to open them for assembling just then, partly because I feared I wouldn’t like what I found, but mostly because I was too busy handling my late mother’s affairs to begin. Hannah sniffed at the box edges while Sam simply began to eat it. I covered the cardboard with a sheet, tucking the larger box in like a mattress.

On Friday, I (and Sam) could wait no more. I broke open the boxes and assembled the new garret chaise within an hour, with Hannah and Sam hiding in the bedroom for the duration. When all was quiet, they gathered around, peering at the chaise as if it were an alien species to be watched warily. I was surprised to not hear any growling or hissing. I think they were stunned. Sam was born without a couch, and so never knew of its possible existence, and Hannah had, I believed, forgotten about the idea itself, since it was three years since we moved into the garret, when we were forced to leave the loveseat behind. I’d hoped they would hop on top of the new chaise with glee. Instead, they preferred the floor.

Sam, posing as an adonis on the garret chaise. He even matches the fabric.

I don’t know, perhaps it has a “new” smell they do not trust? Hannah has snubbed her nose at the thought of sitting on it, though she used to adore the loveseat. Sam has tried his hand at it, twice, looking quite regal in his pose, but mostly he seems terrified of the thing and hides out with his back to the wall, underneath. I hope some cold day they will think to cuddle up with me, but at least now I have appropriate seating for my human guests.


My apologies for being a bit absent from the Hannah Grace blog lately – I’ve had a difficult time juggling my life while wrapping up my late mother’s affairs. In the process of cleaning out her condo, sifting through her belongings, and my memory, I’ve begun work on a new memoir about my relationship with her, her death, and writing. To learn more, click here.


Did your pets instantly cuddle with you on your new couch, was it an ‘acquired taste’? I’m eager to hear your stories…share them below!


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This past week, we celebrated Hannah’s 9th birthday, and our adoption anniversary. Happy birthday, Hannah… I’m so glad our paths crossed six years ago.

And thanks to all of you for supporting the Hannah Grace blog for the past two years! This is our anniversary week as well. To read about how it all began, click here.

– TLS  

What’s been your favorite Hannah story over the past two years? Share your opinion below.

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