Monday, 23 June 2014

The cat, the flat and the happy ray of sunshine

How quickly things can change!

Last week, I was practically cursing the heavens as everything was so awful and stressful. This week, however, I have only good things to report. I will itemise them, as I am feeling refreshed (despite the hayfever) and purposeful.

1. The Cat

Corny, as you may recall from the vitriol that was my last post, was due to be taken by a family when I left. They strung me along, inconvenienced me several times and later horrifically dumped us. At 10pm. Via text. Twats.

Heartbroken, I allowed myself to cry for a full ten minutes before stopping and being practical. I gathered a list of shelters and numbers, emailed the ones I could, posted to facebook and then wrote up a post expressing my disgust. The latter, while not really very useful, served two purposes - catharsis, and allowing people to read rather than ask. I didn't want to talk about it.

My friends were fantastic - messages of support and to see if I was ok, reposting my status - I'm so grateful.

Amazingly, some of the shelters got back to me that night - by that time, about 11-11.30pm - and asked for details and whether or not they'd have room for him. Obviously, leaving Corny in a shelter (he is a bit spoilt. I couldn't help it. He's just so cute and baby tiger-esque) was my last resort, but there I was. Or way past it.

I then remembered something that that horrible 'Cat Chat' lady told me - about a process of direct rehoming, where you essentially send details of your cat to the shelters nearest you who offer it and then they put you in touch with people looking to adopt.

The next day, at about 11pm, I got an email from Cats Protection Hendon, saying someone in West London had contacted them stating interest in rehoming an indoor cat about 5 years old. Could it be?

I emailed back expressing my thanks, and called the next day. The lady who answered is older, has had cats for years and is ready for a new one. It seemed her catchphrase is 'Awwww lovely!', as whatever I told her about my Corny was deemed exactly this. I quizzed her for about 20 minutes, trying to work out if she was right for Corny (What? At least I know I'm overprotective!). She has a vet on her road, and all the stuff a cat would ever want or need. I sent a quick description of Corny, his likes etc and some photos over to her carer and said I'd call back the next day once she'd seen them.

Although she said she'd take him while we were on the phone, I've been messed around once and hell, did I learn. Always secure a definite 'yes' at the beginning. No stringers here!

So the next day I called. She was very happy to hear from me, telling me she'd printed one of the pictures (I think it's the one where he's hiding in a box) and stuck it in her kitchen! She told me that she'll give him 'all the love and attention he deserves' so I think he's going to get on well there. I have a good feeling about this.

I explained that I want to spend as long with him as possible, which she said she understood completely, and we organised for me to drop him off at her on the Wednesday, 4 days before I leave.

I'm going to be an absolute state, but I am so deliriously happy that Corny has found a new home, and with someone that I feel pretty good about too.

2. The Flat

Tuesday was a highly eventful day it seemed. I rushed home from school to meet someone from a local estate agents, of whom my auntie had been singing high praises.

The estate agent chatted to me about various important things, took the pictures and put it on the website the next morning. That evening, I had 3 flat viewings. The next day, I had 3 flat viewings. The day after, I had 2.

In 3 days, I had 4 offers.

So now, I've found a tenant for my flat!

He seems a bit of a meshugana, but in a good way. he's an older gentleman, Iranian, a lecturer.

I think he'll take good care of the flat. While I was showing his female significant other (wife? girlfriend? I didn't want to ask) around the flat, he'd wandered over to the bookshelf, where I'd left out some stuff to take with me to Israel.

He was looking at the family picture from my brother's engagement party, then turned to me and said:

'Ah! I didn't know you were Iranian! Is this your father?' He points at my stepdad, 'Such an Iranian face!'

He went on: 'Is this your grandfather? Such an Iranian! Is that your sister? Ok she looks a bit more Arab, but ok, Iranian! Is that your mother?'
I nod. It is my mother, after all,
'Where's she from?'
I tell him she has Spanish-Portugese blood, which is true,
'Ah!' This pleased him. The he turned to me, in the picture and in real life.
'Then why are you so white?'

It's a question I ask myself every so often. Blue eyes, pale skin, about a foot taller than the women in the family, I must be some kind of genetic throwback from when my family were schlepping across Europe.

Now, I know how to deal with Middle Eastern men. Hell, I got mad skills when it comes to that. But in order to get what you want, you have to play along.

The next step was, of course, the coffee chat. So outside to the balcony we all went, drinking coffee and talking about the old country. I reverted back to the good old 'yes...but...' tactic I referred to a few posts back. I'm delighted to report that it worked a treat.

So, the next day, the Iranian put the deposit down. I called the estate agent and told him that if the tenant ever referred to me as 'that Iranian girl', he had to smile and play along.

'Don't worry,' he told me, 'I know the story. Sometimes I'm also Irish.'

The whole experience of the last week has knackered me out. But now these two things are sorted, topgether with some exciting developments otherwise, I am one happy ray of hayfevery sunshine.

To top it off, my school friend Amy, who made aliya a few years ago, is back in Blighty for a bit. So we met up and discussed everything - our lives, her aliya and plans, my aliya and plans - in a 7 hour convo.

It was wonderful to see her and reconnect, and also really informative.

It really was the best, most perfect end to an upturned week.

Now I just have to pack up the flat... and my 60 kg allowance. Eek!

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