"an elegant tapestry of quotations, musings, aphorisms, and autobiographical reflections" (James Atlas)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pets (2)

To continue my story about the pets that have shared my life....
In Frankfurt, I lived on the 11th floor of a high-rise, in a village called Schwanheim. This was very close to the airport, where I worked. The high-rise ("Hochhaus") consisted of 1 and 2 bedroom apartments, and had an interesting mix of inhabitants - the first 7 floors were occupied by elderly folk, who were quite independent. The upper floors were rented out to single women, most of them airline staff. Many flight crew shared rooms there, and ground staff as well. I first shared a two-room apartment with a flight attendant from Cologne, then moved into my own 1-room bedsit. It was quite cosy, with an alcove for the bed,  a large-ish living area, separate kitchen and bathroom and a balcony overlooking the Main river. More about that another time.
After living there for a while, I thought the company of a kitten might be nice. I can't quite remember now where I got him from, but soon a little tabby tom joined me. He was very cute, with a white tummy and socks, and I called him "Julius". He provided endless hours of fun, loved to curl up on the window sill and watch birds flying past. I couldn't let him out on the balcony, for fear of him falling from such a height. Instead, I got a lead and we went for walks. Well, he went for walks, and I followed! He grew into a magnificent cat, and I couldn't get home from work too soon to play with him! At night, Julchen slept in my bed. When I went to sleep, the pillow was mine - by the time I woke up, it was his!
By the time Julchen was a year old, I had met DH and knew I was going to live in Australia. It would have been enormously expensive to take Julchen along, and the idea of leaving him in quarantine for months on end did not appeal to me either. So, sadly, a new home had to be found for my kitty! Luckily, a lady at the cattery saw him and wanted to adopt him immediately! It turned out to be the best thing all round - Julchen lived a long, happy cat life being pampered by his new owner (she wrote to me for many years telling me about his exploits), and spending his days in cosy comfort, with a garden to play and chase things in. He had indeed fallen on his furry paws!
Once in Australia, one of my priorities was finding a new kitty. I was lucky to have found a partner who also liked animals, so we ended up with the three mouseketeers.....more next time!

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