What My Cat Taught Me
While it is easy for many to define what a home is and feel at home at least somewhere or sometime in their lives, it has not been so for me. Having had probably one different address for each year of my life has made for a long search. I could not even narrow down one country out of the three I have lived in that I would call home. When I recently moved in a 12x14 hotel room I didn’t even know what to call it, most certainly not a home - especially with my photos and other precious memories in a storage unit not accessible to me.
When Hurricane Irene hit last weekend of course we lost power – here in Richmond the power goes out every time someone sneezes. Amazingly enough it was back on only about 26 hours later – or so we all thought. For one minute all was fine, then everything went dark again.
But wait … my microwave clock was working – blinking, but it was on and I heard the hum of the fridge. I looked outside and some hotel windows were definitely bright, so they obviously had power. Most however remained dark, like mine. A trip to the hotel front desk revealed that when the power was shut back on something went wrong and it was up to the power company to fix it. Some rooms had AC and lights but nothing else, while the others had fridge and microwave but no AC or lights.
When I got back to my room to adjust to the new situation, my fire alarm went off. So, I tried to grab Princess Gracie to evacuate but she would not come. I am standing in the hall with the door open calling her, but nothing. One of the hotel attendants came up the stairs and was wondering why I was in the hall. I told her about the fire alarm but she said there wasn’t one.
To make a long story short, in my room the fire alarm goes off randomly. This ranges from short bursts to periods as long as 45 minutes. By 11:30 that night I could not take it anymore and stumbled downstairs. Luckily, they assigned me a second room to use for the night.
I coaxed Gracie into her carrier and along with a nice lady’s help from my floor moved her and her essentials into the assigned room – down the stairs and two long hall ways away. As luck would have it, this one had air condition and lights, ah! The room features were also upgrades from my previous room and it was bigger.
I was happy thinking we would get a good night’s rest because Gracie would be in air-conditioned comfort with more room to run. It wasn’t so however. Gracie kept jumping on me all night and meowing through the room. When it was time to check out, she almost walked into her cage as if she knew.
I was worried she would act strange coming back to the hot, dark room but noooo … she just flopped down after smelling everything and went to sleep. As far as she was concerned, this was home despite the problems. I hope I can come to the same conclusion some day soon, but in the meantime – where Princess Gracie reigns is my home as well.