I have partnered with Apartment Guide to serve as an Official Apartment Guide Pet Blogger! As an official blogger, I will be sharing articles and ideas for exploring your space, city and style.
The first time I had a place of my own was when I was transferred schools and had to get my own apartment because on-campus living options were extremely limited. The college was about two hours away from my parents house, so we took a weekend trip to check out rentals before the semester began. After looking at quite a few duds (living in some granny's house where I had to walk through her front door and go upstairs to an afghan covered attic bedroom wasn't gonna cut it), we had just about given up hope when we decided to meet with a realtor who immediately showed us the perfect place. It was the bottom floor of a two-story house, and I had my own private entry through the back door. It was small, but comfortable: I had a living room, bedroom, kitchen, and old-school pink bathroom (tiles and bathtub) that I really loved.
I didn't know anyone in the area when I moved in, and the first year was pretty lonely for me. It was around this time that my cat obsession had really gone into overload, and I seriously started thinking about adopting a kitty to make the second year a little more bearable. Shortly afterwards, I found Priscilla, and after settling in to my parents house for the rest of the summer, we moved back to the apartment together in the fall. The previous tenant had a particularly messy dog, so my landlord had initially instated a "no pets allowed" policy; However, having three daughters of his own, he had a soft spot for my situation, and his wife convinced him to let Priscilla stay.
I had always grown up with dogs and had never actually cared for a cat on my own before, so learning all of the intricacies of feline behavior from a months-old kitten was an adventure for both of us. I quickly learned that rolls of toilet paper must be locked up at all times, feeding time is on her schedule, not mine, and no surface was too high for her to scale. I remember being amazed when I walked into the kitchen one day and found her sitting on the highest cabinet near the ceiling, and freaking out as I wondered how I was going to get her down (she ended up getting down just fine on her own, of course).
Since the apartment was so intimate and we didn't entertain many visitors, Priscilla and I became practically inseparable. When she wasn't staring out the window in my bedroom, she was glued to my side. I'd wrap my arm around her like a teddy bear when we were watching TV together, and she would sprawl out in the wet bathtub after I had taken a shower to watch me do my hair by the sink. I would take her on trips to the pet store to pick up litter and other supplies (she wore a laughable fluorescent pink, rhinestone encrusted leash and harness but her paws never touched the ground) but knowing what I know now, I definitely would have tried to socialize her more often. Although those early days of solitude together are what helped bond us for life, I also believe it's what led to her antisocial attitude towards strangers today.
One particular incident that stands out from our time in the apartment was when I thought she had run away. The only entrance was through a sliding glass door that I would painstakingly slither out of to ensure she didn't escape (not that she even tried, really). One day something happened (the details are fuzzy) and for some reason I had felt quite certain that she had gotten out. I remember the sinking feeling in my chest as I ran out into the backyard to frantically search for her, only to turn around minutes later to see her curiously watching me through the glass from INSIDE the house.
Another time, one of my best friends from home came to visit and spent the night on the fold out couch I had in the living room. This wasn't a regular fold out - it was a weird IKEA deal, so basically it opened up into a mattress on the floor. My friend is NOT a cat person (which makes them drawn to him even more, I think), and in the middle of the night I heard a scuffle and came to see what was the matter. According to him, Priscilla, my sweet, innocent baby cat, had pounced on his head while he was trying to sleep, and would not leave him alone.
We only lived in the apartment for a short year before I moved out, and sadly, I have very few photos from this short, yet memorable time in my life (apparently no one had cameras in the early 00s?). It's funny that I actually remember very little about the first year I lived in the apartment without Priscilla, which I think actually makes a very convincing argument for the age old adage that a house is not a home without a cat.
Whether you're living, looking or moving, Apartment Guide offers how-to tips for making the most of a space for you and your pet on http://www.movingtoday.com and http://www.apartmentguide.com/blog/.
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