Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Cats Are All Right

One of my biggest concerns about moving to an apartment was the impact on my two cats, who from kittenhood have enjoyed the run of nice gardens. They napped under the shrubs, patrolled the perimeter, greeted guests (or hid from them); in short, they were a part of the landscape. I felt sad that they wouldn't have that any more. I might have been projecting, just a little...

Fortunately the complex I chose is pet-friendly; and after a few busy weeks, we're all settling in just fine. Haku can now be found lounging on the balcony love seat, and although Zennie still spends much of her day under my bed, she does emerge at night to claim the top of the cat tower as her own (Haku is learning that it's best not to dispute this, especially when she has "that look in her eyezzz!")

Haku and Zen are brother and sister, almost eight years old, and getting to that "sleeping most of the time" stage of their lives. I felt no need to "cat-proof" the balcony, although I probably would with a rambunctious kitten. Their requirements are met, we're all OK with the litterbox situation, and there is still plenty for them to look at...

Like our first hummingbird at the feeder!

This birdhouse has sheltered several generations of chickadees, titmice and sparrows in turn. Hopefully it will be discovered here. I love the "happy accident" of its reflection in the mirror on the storage room door, allowing me to watch from the living room.

So far I love apartment living; I miss my washer and dryer the most, but love the endless hot water, low heating bills, and the nearby grocery store, nursery, movie theater and light rail station. I've lost more than the weight of my mortgage; for once I feel as though I'm living within my means and touching the earth more lightly as a result. There is now room for new things in my life, and I'm starting to discover them.

It was less than four months ago that I began this final stage of life re-engineering, in the autumn of a tumultuous year. Now it's January,  and I'm home. There's a feeling of spring in the air and a strong sense that everything is going to be OK. Thanks for hanging in there with me!


  1. Laura,

    I am not certain what brought about this change in your life; but, I do know what it is like to feel at loose ends in life. To lose my job and then have my husband lose his and approaching almost 60; we stepped out in faith and bought a farm to raise alpacas.

    I wish you the best in this new stage of your life adventure. It is so nice to feel one is unburdened. Good luck to you.


  2. Laura, I am with you. Although I had an extra re-engineering this last year i was not anticipating, I will make it. You hit the nail on the head when you mentioned that lightening our load in various ways allows for other things to take their place that are special too and allow for us to grow and experience things we might not have otherwise had the opp to do so.

    Happy to hear you are happy! Cheers to those of us who start again at our place in life!

  3. Thanks, downsizing started 4 years ago with a divorce, and this latest decision was made for economic reasons. Life happens, better to roll with it than rage at it!

    Steph, I've thought of you often during this process; I know you know what I'm talking about. It can be hard to restart, but thankfully it's never back to zero...whatever we experience (and survive) makes us just that much cooler, right?

  4. Laura,

    I'm just so happy when I read your blog, and hear how gracefully you managed to simplify your life, how beautiful everything is. I have a big house and garden right now, and shudder to think one day moving into a smaller space will be the sensible thing to do. Seeing the beauty you are creating helps a lot.

  5. Thanks, Mouse! Downsizing is hard but feels good afterward. A beautiful living space has been important to me since I first got my own bedroom (how many houseplants CAN I fit?) Even my dorm rooms were nice. Distilling my "stuff" to only the things that are beautiful, useful, or particularly meaningful gave me nice things to work with, without overflowing closets or drawers. Thanks again for your good wishes! Hope to see you at the Garden Show?

  6. Amen on the downsizing, sounds like, as in my case, it took a little time for the dust to settle before you could really feel how nice it is not to have all that stuff and obligation. It's nice to be able to think less about that and more about...say...a good camping trip in Big Sur!