Feline friends

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There is a small population of feral cats at our apartment complex. You can see them out and about but they tend to stay away from people. We noticed a kitten and due to it being so young, we got her to be comfortable around us by enticing her with food. Food is always the way to a pet’s heart, right? All of the cats look relatively healthy, so we’re probably not the only people feeding them, but I am glad I can help out in some way.

The kitten is black and white and just about the cutest cat we’ve seen (aside from our own cats of course!) and her mom is orange and white. We’re not sure if it is a biological mom since they look nothing alike. It may just be a foster mom. The mom is more skittish towards people, so for the first month or so, she just hung out in the background and kept a watchful eye on us. But eventually she realized that she was missing out on the food, so now she comes closer. We are able to pet the kitten, but not the mom yet, but at least she is getting some food now.

We kept calling them momma and baby so eventually we decided to give them names. Derek came up with both names. I said that I wanted to do something to do with a cow since the kitten was black and white, so he suggested Clarabelle, the Disney character that is a cow. I also suggested something to play off of momma’s orange color and Derek said Cheddar. I didn’t like it at first but it stuck eventually. So Clarabelle and Cheddar it is.

The only problem with feeding the two of them is that other cats have taken notice and boom, you have the crazy cat lady starter package. At least we don’t feed them every day. The cats hang out in a different part of the complex, by the front office, so they will only follow us back to our apartment if they happen to see us when we’re going to get the mail. At least it has not become an every day thing, yet.

Another good thing about feeding the cats is that our cats like looking at them out the window. Well, at least 2/3 of our cats enjoy it. Sabrina and Ginny seemed intrigued, but Chessie just hisses. Oh well.

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A Christmas tree in a small apartment

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When we first moved into this apartment, I knew right away that there would be no room for a Christmas tree anywhere. But seeing as we moved in August, I pushed that thought out of my mind for a while.

But then November rolled around, and I had to think and get creative. I knew I wanted a “tree” no ifs, ands or buts. I googled, “Christmas tree for small spaces” and my dilemma was answered.

Thankfully there were plenty of people before me who had the same problem, and came up with a wall Christmas tree. There are many different varieties, but I went with garland.

It was a little bit trial and error to get the trees (I did two!) to stay up on the wall, but I am happy with the results!

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Differences between house and apartment complex

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Derek and I have been taking note of the differences between living in an apartment complex and living in a house.

The good: When we first moved in, we had some minor issues like a leaky dishwasher, and needing new insulation by the front door. It is so nice to let maintenance know and to have them come and fix it for you, no charge for us.

Our complex has a pool and a small exercise room. I have used the pool a few times already. Will probably go on a treadmill or bike machine soon. It is nice to have these amenities for our use.

The bad: We’re not used to having to go to the row of mail boxes by the front office to get our mail. Sometimes it’s two, three days before we remember to get the mail. Also, packages and things that need to be signed for don’t get delivered directly to our door, so if it is a heavy package, we have to carry it back, or we have to go to the post office since the item couldn’t be signed for.

We are learning to tread lightly. We aren’t sure what can and can’t be heard. When we accidentally drop something on the floor, the downstairs neighbor probably hears it. Whoops. The other night, Derek started hammering something for an art project at 10 at night. I said, “what are you doing????” It seems he had temporarily forgotten about our situation, so he got a book out to place on top of the table and muffle the sound of the hammering.  Things like the volume of the TV and our music matter now.

The ugly: Continuing what I listed in “The bad,” the walls aren’t exactly thick around here. Our next door neighbor plays music often (at least it’s not in the middle of the night so far) and you can hear the front doors slamming shut all the time. Yes, I said slamming. I’m not sure what our neighbor’s door did to her to deserve such treatment! The front doors are only a few feet away from each other, so every time someone knocks on her door, we think it is someone at our door.  However, this being the worst thing about living here isn’t too bad considering that when we owned the house, our next door neighbors then worked on demolition derby cars each summer. The clanking around in the garage and driveway was AWFUL.

We have a year lease here. When the year is almost up, we will reevaluate. We could stay here, or find some place else that may be more accommodating.

What are your experiences with apartment living? Good or bad?