A Mini-Vacay: Two Tortoises, a Cat, and a Clawfoot Tub

Some close friends of mine asked if I would watch over their apartment and feed their pets while they took a short holiday to see a friend out of state.

And they offered to pay! Of course I said yes.

I never expected how much a little change of scene would benefit me.

First, I must say that I adore older buildings. I would love to find a small one for my own, when I have the financial freedom to allow it. Modern homes are wonderful. But I like places with visible history.

I think they have character and charm. It was laid out entirely different than my little abode– with double the space. The light fixture in every room was different, pretty. Built-in shelves, wood floors, lots of dark wood and heavy doors. A small kitchen with cabinets and a porcelain sink.

I had four keys, three of which I used. It took me a bit to figger out which ones went where, but once I did I adjusted quickly.

I loved the foyer. Dark, quiet. There was only one other tenant in the building– the landlady. The stairs were carpeted a dark mauve.

It had all the trappings of a Chicago apartment! I love the city, but feel peacefully rooted in my hometown. It was wonderful to realize I wouldn’t have to move to find a place with the same qualities.

My friends’ unit was wallpapered– different patterns.

And all the windows!! So much light.

I loved the sound of trains nearby– distinctly a Joliet feature.

My friend offered to have her boyfriend explain Netflix and TV to me via phone– but I didn’t need it. I just enjoyed the peace of being in their space. Of the luxury of a different setting for a few days.

Best of all– the creatures.

After living without a pet for years in a building where they are verboten, I forgot how calming it is to be greeted at the door.

Their cat was always there when she heard the key in the lock.

But my favorites were the tortoises!

I followed my friends’ instructions for feeding to the letter– several different types of lettuce and leafy confections, piled high on a plate. These little guys eat well! And the cat eats the brand of cat food I sell– she took my recommendation and it’s worked out! Validating.

One tortoise is larger, the other small.

I was surprised how much I enjoyed the simple routine of coming over to take care of these little guys. How satisfying it was to have them not just depending on me, but also being able to interact with and hold them.

The bigger tortoise was my favorite. He was more affectionate than the cat!!

I took them out of their wooden home, and let them crawl around– keeping careful watch so they didn’t get stuck in a corner or into another room, underneath furniture.

The larger tortoise and I sort of cuddled. I held him by the sides and set him on my chest as I laid on the couch. He just chilled out there. He stuck out his neck and allowed me to pet him a little bit there. I definitely felt a little kinship!!

It’s all wonderful motivation to move forward. I enjoy my current apartment, but a little change is due.

And holy cats! You haven’t LIVED until you’ve taken a bath in a vintage Clawfoot tub.

I’m hooked! If at all possible, I want my next place to have one, too.

The deep basin made me feel like I truly WAS on some exotic vacation.

Simply bliss.


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