Smudge seems to be the family member who most likes China, especially in contrast to her very limited life at the Alexandria Marriott.
What she likes: the fact that she can sit every morning on her little bed, which is on one of the armchairs, in a spot of sun.
The quiet of being on the 25th floor, where no one walks down the halls, and the ayi only comes twice a week.
Chinese cat food. She never liked Whiskas in the States, but here she eats every morsel. Either that or she is just getting her appetite back.
Being around me. I’ve never given her as much attention as I have these last few months.
The windows of the apartment. She can look out, but no one is looking in. Right now she’s gazing out over a “hazardous” air day.
New options for perches.
The fact that I now keep the bedroom door open at night, which gives her the opportunity to wake me up in the morning and sleep on my feet at night. I’ll open one eye and see the cat sitting on the floor staring at me. After a few minutes she’ll be two feet closer. Next she jumps on the bed. If that doesn’t work, she’ll walk up by the pillow. Since she’s not a vocal cat, she has to find nonverbal ways of getting my attention. That usually works.
I used to fret that I couldn’t be sure that at her advanced age, Smudge would ever make it back to the States and have a chance once more to sprawl in the sun on our patio, or sit in the windowseat and watch the garbage men come down the alley. Now I realize that for a cat, less is sometimes more and a mao is a mao.