I finally got a response from someone in Baka on one of the apartment hunting groups on Facebook. In addition, a friend had gotten me in touch with a friend of hers who was looking for a third roommate. I took a day off from work and went to visit both places, which happened to be in a 10 minute walking distance from one another. The first place was a really nice apartment, big kitchen, clean, big bedrooms. The woman living in the apartment seemed friendly enough, but didn’t seem too thrilled with the idea of a cat. The deal breaker was keeping the litter box in my bedroom. Truthfully there wasn’t enough room in the bathroom for a litter box anyway, but no one wants to sleep with a toilet in the room next to them. And litter has a tendency to get EVERYWHERE. Which is fine when you can just sweep it up from the bathroom floor every few days. But now imagine finding it in your shoes, and in your bag, and in your bed, and in your socks. It turns into living in a sand box which has been pooed in. That was not what I had imagined when I pictured leaving the nest for a world of exciting new adventures. At no point did brushing cat litter out of my hair every morning figure in to the picture. Although to be totally truthful, I didn’t so much as leave the nest as fall out of the nest onto my face. But the last thing I need is to fall onto my face into a pile of used cat litter.
The second place I went to to visit was in Mekor Chaim, behind the Hadar Mall. The place was 3 flights up with no elevator, but I do that ascent every day at work just to wake me up and get some exercise. The two guys living there were looking for a roommate after their previous one got married. The old lease was up at the end of July, and they needed someone to move in August 1st (which was the next week). They seemed like pretty laid back guys. The kitchen was big and functional and both guys cooked. They seemed a bit wary of living with a cat, and I wasn’t sure how they felt living with a female since they were both religious. They had agreed to meet me though, so there was hope. I on the other hand required a place where I could bring Johnny and where there was a kosher kitchen, and no smoking. I have pretty low standards, what can I say. Incidentally, I had written a message to one of the guys who had posted the apartment on one of the many Facebook groups I had been thrust into, but had not gotten a response. I didn’t discover that this was the same apartment until after setting up a meeting with them.
To my surprise, I got a text message that Thursday evening that the room was mine if I was still interested. And thus, we had a match born out of desperation. One of the guys had never lived with a woman before and the other had been married for 5 years and so had some experience (though how good that experience was I can’t say). I did live with a male roommate in Talpiot, along with a 39 year old Polish woman (actually they were both Polish) and her dog (who was not Polish but understood many languages due to the variety of nationalities of the woman’s friends). Frankly the dog was the best roommate I’ve ever had (aside from literally eating my homework one afternoon), but the only demands she made on me was my dinner and a belly rub now and then. The guy was in the army at the time though so I saw him for a total of maybe an hour or two a week, since he came home Thursday night or Friday and I went back to Ma’ale Adumim for shabbat. I only stayed in the apartment twice over shabbat and one of those times the electricity shorted 5 minutes after shabbat started. That was a very dark shabbat. So it would be a new experience for me as well. I couldn’t see that it would make much difference though since it’s not like I walk around naked or anything. And I tend to get along better with guys anyway, since there’s always less drama.
Which brings to mind a particular scene at a female friend’s place, when her new (23 year old) roommate announced that she had invited 2 guys over after lunch. We’re like, “ok, cool.” The friend had invited a bunch of people over after lunch anyway for games and such. The roommate proceeded to tell us why this was a HUGE problem (all while twirling her hair around a finger) because she invited the first guy over, whom she’s not into, but now maybe he thinks she’s into him, but she’s really into the second guy she invited, but she doesn’t know if he’s into her, and maybe he’ll think she’s into the first guy, and so on. The rest of us in the room just stared at her, failing to comprehend where the problem lied, and why she required alcohol to deal with two guys she’d invited over after lunch. I commented, that I couldn’t remember being like that when I was young, and my friend promptly replied, “you weren’t.”
So the next week saw me moving in my two carloads of stuff (ok, some of it was Johnny’s) and carrying it all up 3 flights of stairs with the much appreciated help of my dad. Johnny adjusted fairly quickly and was happy to be the sole feline in the house (and supreme ruler of the apartment which is what happens when a) you’re a cat; b) you’re a 10 kg cat). All that was left was to get some additional furniture and for my roommates to adjust to having a cat in the house (which Johnny didn’t make easy owing to the shower curtain incident and his formerly unknown love of challah). But these are stories for another day.