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Archive for June, 2013

Hannah and Sam, on the new couch in our new "spartment."

Hannah and Sam, on the new couch in our new “spartment.”

Greetings from our new digs! It’s been one week since Hannah, Sam, and I moved out of the garret and into what a friend termed “the spartment,” a word that comes from the merging of “spa” and “apartment.” Why? Because after living in the substandard garret for four years, the spartment, a spacious one-bedroom apartment with its full-sized refrigerator, up-to-code electricity, high ceilings, and many windows, it feels like we’re living in a spa.

The move itself wasn’t as bad as I’d imagined. Sure, I had to get after the city traffic and parking office since they forgot to post my moving truck parking permit signs in one location, and then I had to call the police to tow a car parked in the other location. But the movers got us out of the garret and into the spartment in two-and-a-half hours. As for Hannah and Sam, I kept them in the garret bathroom at first, turning it into a virtual playroom. I sprayed the carriers

Garret bathroom, as Hannah & Sam hideaway, on move day

Garret bathroom, as Hannah & Sam hideaway, on move day

with Feliway and gave Sam some Rescue Remedy. Although in my “test trials” of the stuff neither had any effect, perhaps using them is why, to my surprise, I was able to place both cats in their respective carriers without struggle. However, then the wailing began…mostly from Sam.

At the spartment, once the movers were gone, Hannah was the first to venture out. Within a matter of minutes, she was in love with the place, as seen by her enamored look on the new couch (a couch!), a piece of furniture we have not had in years. Sam, on the other hand, stayed in the carrier, whimpering, for hours. I sat beside him every half hour or so to pet him and feed him treats, but he would not be consoled. After all, the garret was the only home he’d ever known (Hannah, on the other hand, had already moved with me twice before). Eventually, I picked up Sam, taking him out of the carrier, and brought him from room to room, showing him the food and water bowls in

Hannah & Sam, upon arrival at the "spartment."

Hannah & Sam, upon arrival at the “spartment.”

the kitchen, underneath a lovely windowsill where birds were congregating; the living room with the garret cat tree; the bedroom with the familiar bedspread comforter; and back to the bathroom, with the litter box.

Sam decided then he’d camp out under my bed for the next twenty-four hours. Hannah cried for part of that first night, but for the most part she relaxed like I haven’t seen her relax in years.

Finally, the next evening, at dinner time, Sam came out. He spent part of the evening perched on the windowsill in the kitchen, quickly running back under the bed when he saw I saw him enjoying himself – he wasn’t going to forgive me too quickly for taking him out of his garret.

Hannah is in love with the spartment couch.

Hannah is in love with the spartment couch.

Now, just as the thick air of summer has arrived, the cats and I are beginning to settle in to our new home. There are still some rules to work out – the other night I caught Hannah leaping onto the couch arm and then proceeding to use it as a scratching post, despite the four real scratching posts in the place – and Sam is still a bit disoriented, occasionally missing the window sill when he leaps up (the garret windows were much lower) or slipping and tumbling on the hardwood floors (he’s only had carpet), and scaring himself silly. But those small bumps aside, I can say with great confidence that we are happy.

– TLS

Sam finally came out from hiding the evening of our second day, looking to Hannah to show him the way.

Sam finally came out from hiding the evening of our second day, looking to Hannah to show him the way.

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Hannah loves every inch of the spartment.

Hannah loves every inch of the spartment.

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Sam’s favorite spot is the kitchen window.

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*Writer’s note: Look for my essay, “A Topic Too Risky,” appearing in the Sept/Oct issue of Poets & Writers Magazine, arriving on newsstands in mid-August!cs-gy-88x31-4

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