For the most part, I really like my place. It's huge for a studio, has a full kitchen, and is pretty reasonably priced for a downtown apartment. The only big complaint I really have is that it has no view at all; I'm on the ground floor, and the few windows I have look out onto a courtyard that I'm pretty sure no one's entered in at least a generation. There's some sort of big box in the middle of it - I'm not sure what it is, but it looks a little like one of those old green electrical boxes that used to pop up every once in a while on the side of roads in the suburbs - and the pigeons and an occasional seagull have adopted the place as a base of operations for what I can only assume are their strategic bombing maneuvers. I myself find the constant chirping and scratching slightly irritating. My two cats, however, both in the young adult stage of their development, are eager to see their share of the action in the War on Things That Move and Make Noise and see the situation as a call to arms.
We have, as a result, entered the War on the eastern front and embarked on a daily drama of alternating espionage and displays of military strength. I awake every morning to the rattling of the plastic window blinds as the kittens peek around, under, and through them in an effort to find the best vantage point from which to conduct their gathering of intelligence. Lola, the older of the two by a few months, then proceeds to give the smaller one, Bob, lessons on the art of pigeon hunting.
"First," she says with all the gravity of the expert, "you twitch the tip of your tail like it's on fire and you're trying to put it out."
"A little faster than that. You want to show them you're serious. Stop beating mom in the face with your tail, though, or she'll throw us off the bed."
"Shape up, soldier! Here, let's touch noses."
Whereupon they normally kiss. I suspect it's to make a show of their solidarity.
"Okay," Lola says then, "it's time for tactical maneuvers. Start making noises like you're possessed."
"I'm trying. I've never quite been able to get it."
"Just pull your whiskers back and chatter your incisors a little more. Try to look scary. It won't be long before we actually catch one, Bob, and then we can leave it in the kitchen as a present for mom."
"I'm tired," says Bob. "Now that we've effectively attracted every pigeon in Seattle and permanently woken mom up for the day, I think I need a nap."
"Yeah now that you mention it, I could stand to sleep a little too. Race you to the armchair!"
And so on and so forth.
We are also waging the battle, rather fiercely, against post-pubescent rebellion. Lola has entered the stage where the fast majority of her responses to the world around her involve rolling her large green eyes and - I swear it's true - shaking her head dramatically. Bob, slightly more gregarious and far more, well, male, has developed an oddly passive-aggressive side, meowing nonstop at me and getting into everything that could possibly get him into any trouble, only to roll over onto his back submissively when I get close. Worse yet, they've developed a system of cooperation to their rebellion. Lola has figured out how to open drawers and cupboards, and regularly does so in order to allow Bob easy access to the hidden treasures of the kitchen. For his part Bob, once again probably owing to his gender, will eat anything that even remotely resembles food, and has divined the fine art of opening packages with nothing more than his claws and a can-do attitude. Their favorite thing to pilfer, oddly enough, is dry spaghetti. I've come home more than once to a kitchen floor littered with half-eaten stems of uncooked pasta and shards of plastic wrapping.
The thing is that it might all be rather annoying, if it weren't for the tremendous company that the two little ratfinks provide. For all of their little idiosyncrasies, there are few things that can match the contentment I feel when I wake up in the middle of the night with two fuzzy little heads nuzzled into mine, even if the sound of their purring in stereo does make it feel like I'm at a motorcycle convention.