Motel Party, Dude!!!, no...

or, At Thirtysomething, Living in a Motel is Much Less Cool...

For the past ten days, I've been living in the Motel 6.

Our house is in the process of being raised, and it's a slooooow process, and so we are, for now, living in a motel.

"We," in this case, is not only myself and The One And Only, but also the cats. We're staying at the Motel 6 Extended Stay, which is pet-friendly and also has rooms with kitchens. We could've stayed with friends, as many of them offered to put us up, but because pretty much all our friends either have pets themselves or have allergies, none of them could've taken us and our cats. I really didn't want to board the cats, and so I was relieved to find that boarding the two cats would only be minimally less expensive than boarding all four of us together at the Motel 6.

Tista demonstrates the fine art of relaxation.

And yes, he really does like to have a pillow for his little head wherever he sleeps.

So now we're all here, in a 10x20 space, trying not to get on each others' nerves.

We're adjusting to the motel with varying degrees of grace. Tista, as usual, is the mellow one. He's got his little kitty bed in a nook, and that's where he spends most of his time. He'll sit in the window or hang out with us from time to time, but mostly, he loves his kitty bed.

Once again, Tista and the fine art of relaxation, this time in his kitty bed.

Zora, on the other hand, represents the end of the spectrum farthest away from "mellow." First thing she did when we got here was... stay in the kitty carrier. Tista explored; Zora cowered. She finally got brave enough to do some wandering about, but that didn't last too long. The second day, after we'd put away the kitty carrier, I came home and found her sitting in the safest spot she could find - inside her covered litter box. Yep, my little girl was just sitting there in the litter box, watching the Motel 6 world go by from the safety of clay-covered poop. Wonderful.

In additiont to sleeping, Tista's hobbies include being on top of things.

(Believe me, I have known expert guilt trippers in my time, but no one can lay a guilt trip on you like Zora can.)

Zora, exploring the possibilities.

(That's our comforter from home on the motel's bed - we brought our own sheets, too, which made all of us feel much more at home.)

I only managed to convince Zora that the litter box was not a good place to rest by inadvertently offering her another hiding place when I put my clothes away. No sooner had I opened the dresser drawer than Zora was in the drawer...and through the drawer. No sense stopping where you'll have to share space with socks - might as well press on and get into that space behind the drawer.

Zora in the drawer - echoes of her early days with us.

After she got out from behind the drawers the first time - a feat that stumped her brother, as he got stuck behind there the one time he tried it - we tried to keep them closed, worried that one of us would, in a moment of distraction, try to close the drawer on her, but no dice. Zora made it absolutely plain that closed drawers were simply not acceptable. When they were closed, she walked from drawer to drawer, sniffing all around, pawing at them, and lamenting the loss of the behind-the-drawer space with heartbreaking, high-pitched, miserably sad little meows.

Zora, now more comfortable with visibility.

The drawers have, of course, stayed open ever since then. We figure open drawers are a small price to pay for a content Zora.

With the security of the open drawers (or rather, the space behind them), Zora has been getting braver each day. Toilet flushes no longer faze her, and she's happy to watch the water run from the faucet (which she ran from in the bathroom at home). (Yes, yes, she has fear issues.) Even parking lot noises don't freak her out on a regular basis anymore, although anyone walking too close to our door will send her scurrying for the safety of The Space Behind The Drawer. (It's a good thing housekeeping only comes by once a week!)

The one table we have in the room offers endless possibilities for cat relaxation.

(This of course means the rest of us have to find somewhere else to, you know, do our work and stuff.)

Meanwhile, I have to admit that I am somewhat surprised at how well The One And Only and I have been getting along. I mean, yeah, he's the one and only, but we're living together in a space smaller than most people's kitchens, so I figured friction would just be part of the deal. And sure, for the first few days we did our share of bickering, but since then, it's been startlingly smooth sailing. I figure if we can manage this, marriage is going to be, relatively speaking, a breeze.

Zora guards TOAO as he sleeps.

Our house should be more or less habitable in about ten days, or so we hope. In the meantime, we'll keep on making do with the Motel 6 - whose parking lot at least offers the cats a great deal more excitement than any window views in our house could ever hope to.

Keeping a wary eye on the parking lot.


6. February 2005


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