I just love the neighborhood where I live. My neighbors are a random mix of older folks, families with school-age kids, the middle-aged and at least one homeowner and family that may be transparent (I never see them but the cars appear to have been moved occasionally).
The loudest it ever gets is when the kids across the street are playing in their pool, but kids playing and hollering is like music to me. It’s the sound of joy, of happiness personified.
Okay, it also gets a bit loud when their dad mows the lawn, but I love the smell of freshly-mown grass, so that balances it out and makes it positive.
I did witness one bit of fisticuffs when one of the neighbors was apparently wrapping up a relationship with a significant other. Things were thrown and voices were raised, but I’m not one to be a looky-loo so I just went inside for awhile.
I have the best landlord on earth, if there was a trophy for Best Landlord Ever, he would win for sure (hi, Kegan!) I lucked out when I mentioned I was moving back and he mentioned he happened to be remodeling a trailer so he could rent it out. It was meant to be, really. He says he lucked out, because he likes having someone there who he knows, and someone who’s not going to trash the place or turn it into party central. I may not be the Best Housekeeper Ever (no trophy for me), but it’s tidy enough and I’m too much of a grouch to turn it into party central. That sounds loud and annoying and I’ll pass.
One of the coolest things about the place is the cat gang that lives there. A motley crew of strays that hang out under the trailer and on my porch like a gang of 50s greasers minus the leather coats and slicked-back hair. And switchblades and pegged jeans with black military boots.
Yes, I have imagined them all wearing such things, slouching on my porch, cleaning their nails with their switchblades and chewing on toothpicks. They’re all nice kitties, with the exception of one kitten we caught in a trap so we could take it to the Humane Society for a checkup and spay/neuter. That kitten was spittin’-mad to have been caught, snarling and hissing and being quite rude. It was hilarious, believe me. It was even funnier after he returned a few days later and got caught a second time, this time in a smaller trap. This time I went ahead and laughed at him and told him what a dummy he was. He was not any happier to find himself in the trap but he seemed quite pleased to be freed. Also spotted on my porch are the occasional raccoon or skunk. All are welcome, as long as they’re polite to the rest, and to me.
When I come home from work, there are usually one or two kitties waiting for me. They’re probably just hanging out on my porch because there are food dishes there, but I like to tell myself they’re waiting for me.
I usually greet them with something like “The reason I’ve called you all here today is...” or “Thanks for coming folks, we are gathered here today to witness....”
If cats could roll their eyes and scoff, I’m sure that’s how they would reply. They generally just stare at me, expressionless, until I go inside. Later, I come out with food and they generally stare at me, expressionless, until I fill the food dishes and the water dishes and go inside. Little fuzzy hoodlums, I love ‘em all.
Patti is Editor of the Greene County Daily World. She loves to laugh and also loves kitties. She’s kind of weird but has a heart of gold. If you would like to share a story or just make a friend, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.