Thursday, July 14, 2011

Manaqish, Kittens, and Jambiyas, Oh My!

Blogger says this is my 99th post.  So I might as well get some really silly/boring thoughts down on this one before I feel pressured to be all classy and erudite in my 100th post.

So here's three fairly random and not at all erudite stories.

1. My newest guilty pleasure-

I am not opposed to paying people to do things that make my life easier.  I couldn't live without my housekeeper, as I've come to learn.  But there are some things I just never saw the need to have someone else do.  One of them is having someone take my grocery cart from the store to my car.  That is, until I realized a couple of weeks ago that it's more than just transporting the cart.  In the grocery stores here, there are always men at the checkout (usually store employees) looking to help.  They bag groceries, they take the cart to the car, and, as I recently discovered, they take the items out of the cart and put them on the conveyor belt for you.  All I have to do is wheel my cart to the line, and they'll take care of the rest.  I cannot tell you why all of a sudden this extra service makes me relinquish control of my cart, but it's my newest guilty pleasure, well worth a couple of dollars in tip.  It may indeed be a slippery slope to employing several domestic staff.  But please, stop me if I ever suggest hiring someone to carry my purse for me.  Seriously, that's a job description here. 

(Also related to grocery stores, I recently discovered that the bakery will make fresh manaqish for me.  Cheese manaqish may just be my favorite food, and coming home with a hot plate of it makes the toil of grocery shopping that much more tolerable.)

2. Life With Cats-

My cats are very attached to their schedule, so much so that even the slightest deviation causes great consternation.  In the morning, they like to wake up and cry outside my door until I wake up.  This can go on for hours, and they progressively get louder and whinier until I finally succumb.  At this point I must IMMEDIATELY give them their shared can of Fancy Feast.  If I hesitate even a moment, they will bite my toes. 

I then go about my get-ready-for-work routine, with both cats underfoot.  They are occasionally so curious that one or both will fall into the shower and let out a high-pitched squeal when they get wet.  Then, Griffin will do his level best to make me forget he is hiding in my room and close the door on him.  Having done this a few times and left him accidentally for 9+ hours, I don't know why he continues to insist on trying to get locked in.

I am pretty sure they spend their days sleeping and watching birds on the balcony.  This is based on my observations on the weekends.  I have a cozy setup for them by the balcony door, and this is a favored spot.  They also get extra treats and cuddles twice a week when my housekeeper comes in.  I have to be careful not to let them overeat on these days. 

When I come home, Callaghan is always waiting at the door for me.  I think he hears me coming up the stairs and then fumbling for keys.  Griffin tends to sleep a bit longer, and I'll generally find him curled up in some uncomfortable-looking spot a few minutes later.

As soon as I open my bedroom door, they run in and explore to see what they've been missing all day.  From what I can tell, nothing has changed.  (I have come home a couple times on days my housekeeper was there and found Griffin locked in my room, which means he plays the same game with her.)

Evenings are cuddle time; whenever I'm sitting on the couch with my laptop, Griffin curls up on my right side and Callaghan on my left.  When I cook, they insist on being underfoot.  They are both very good cuddle cats, which I love.

Then it's playtime.  The cats will chase each other around the apartment and play fight and get all their toys out and tear up cardboard boxes and have a grand old time.  Whatever chores I'm working on, they will help with.  Wihtout fail. 

When I start getting ready for bed, they get all excited.  Until recently, they both used to try and hide in my room and make me forget they were in there.  But I found a foolproof cure for this.  Feline Greenies.  Right before I turn off the last of the lights and head to bed, I throw out a handful of Greenies on the other side of the apartment.  This distracts them long enough for me to get into my room.

Then, once they've finished their treats, it's time to spend 40 minutes trying to break into my room.  They succeed on occasion, and it's always startling to have two heavy furballs jump on you just as you've fallen asleep.  (And you wonder why they are not allowed to sleep in my room?)

(About once a month I'll forget how annoying it is to have them sleep with me and will allow them in my room while I take a weekend nap.  Callaghan will sleep on my head, and Griffin will spend the entire time trying to make me pet him, whether I'm willing or conscious or not.)

I have been very proud of myself with the Greenies treat trick, but I am a little afraid they'll start biting my toes if they think I am up past my bedtime and they're hungry for treats... 

The cats sleep in the spare room, usually on the softest box they can find.  This, despite the fact that I have several cat beds/baskets throughout the apartment.  Their newest favorite sleep spot is together on top of a stack of rubbermaid containers. 

See below photos for Griffin's horrific(ally cute and fuzzy) home haircut and Callaghan's odd foot posture when he's stalking a cardboard box.

3. My Jambiya

Courtesy of one of our wonderful drivers, I am now the proud owner of my very own Yemeni jambiya.  He surprised me with it a couple of weeks ago, and I am so excited.  It's beautiful, and I need to figure out how to best display it.  I may have it mounted in a long shadow box that can also accommodate the belt.  See below for pictures of this as well. 

1 comment:

Connie said...

Your cats are adorable and it's sweet to read about how much love they bring into your life :) We missed our cats over R&R and are thoroughly loving catching back up with them. Our cats have access to our rooms, and after they got used to our sleep routines, they rarely bug us at night, although they've been all over us this weekend ... I think we were missed.
We have 2 jambiyas with leather/brass sheaths. I braided a long leather cord and made rough loops to hang them on the wall. To cover the nail, I also hung a leather sculpture of a Bedouin woman (face and flowing scarf) over top. I didn't actually plan this, but needed to do something with all 3 items and it turned out nice.