Neighbourly Concern

The new neighbour arrived without my noticing.

One day the apartment was an empty shell of freshly-applied white paint, and the next a family had moved in. Two tall, slender brunettes and their tiny child now occupied the home where Hank and Daphne had previously lived. They have no names.  If I were to see them on the street I would most likely pass them without recognising them as my neighbours.

They don’t have a dog.

What they do have is some sort of a cycling obsession. I know this, because the nieghbour man often puts his very expensive-looking bike on a stand on his balcony and cycles for hours. HOURS. Which is fine, obviously. Who am I to say whether or not it’s unusual to get dressed in your lycra onesie and hop up on your perfectly road-worthy bike only to never leave the safety of your balcony?

Unfortunately, Oscar, the once-kitten, now small-bear-cub, has taken a keen interest in all this cycling malarky. Any day with a sighting of the stationary cyclist is a good day in Oscar’s book. I know this because the first day that we saw him pedaling furiously to nowhere, Oscar made an ill-advised attempt at joining him. He was busted only as he dangled on the edge of the window – a hefty wad of fluff swaying drunkenly in the breeze – calculating how far he would have to leap to catch the cycling man.

It turns out my cats have even less spatial awareness than I do, and have yet to master the seemingly simple concept of small versus far away.

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Considering Cycling Man lives a block over and a floor down, I suppose it is – in theory – possible that Oscar has flying squirrel capabilities I am not yet aware of (who knows what lies under all that excess fluff), and was about to deploy these skills to glide gently and gracefully down to our new neighbour. Unfortunately, it is far more likely that he would have leaped optimistically off the balcony like a rotund, airborne starfish and speedily plummeted into the holly bush below our window.

Ultimately, he was snatched to safety and now I am far more aware of our neighbours’ activities than I was before, if only because I have a feline bicycle enthusiast.

If I look out the window right now, I can see Cycling Man pedaling away like he’s trying to out-cycle his demons. Oscar is watching him with obsessive interest.

The window, naturally, is closed tight.

 

 

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Tomorrow is Paddy’s Day so I just want to wish everyone a great Lá Fhéile Pádraig – please remember the cardinal rules relating to shamrocks (never clover) and Paddy (never Patty), and don’t drink too much green beer (know the one that’s one too many; one. One is one too many. Drink something decent instead)!

 

13 comments
  1. Perhaps Oscar would like to bicycle with you, complete with his own helmet and basket.

    1. Or, he’s recognizing you cycling neighbor as a rat in a maze and his hunting instincts have been aroused!

  2. I would love to hear animals’ internal dialogue with themselves in such situations. Especially after you foiled his plans.

  3. This has made me giggle – especially the image of a flying cat.

    Imagine if he’d managed it – would it have put your neighbour off his stride? A cat turning up from the sky staring intently at you cycling on the spot – I feel this would be off-putting.

  4. I’ll be having a Guinness…or three, and it sure as hell won’t be green. Happy St Paddy’s day to you, maybe the only true Irish person I sorta know. Funny how people claiming to be Irish will come outta the woodwork tomorrow. 😃😃

  5. What does he do while riding? I can run for hours, but I can only manage for about 20 minutes on a treadmill, I get so bored. Maybe he’s a more developed soul and he has no use for worldly distractions.

  6. Aww Oscar is the cutest!!
    Happy St Paddys ☘️

  7. You’ve got a bit of Amélie Poulain in you, don’t you?

  8. “pedaling away like he’s trying to out-cycle his demons” got me real good. Ha! What a fascinating hobby this man has… I’m not going to lie, if I were a cat, I would probably be an Oscar-type cat.

  9. Something decent: green dyed Bushmills. Two straws. I’m glad you agree.

  10. I don’t trust cyclists…let alone one that doesn’t leave their balcony! WHAT IS THAT!? I am glad the little bear cub is enjoying it… I mean, I guess someone has to :). I appreciate your Irish rule reminder as well – PADDY people. PADDY. Sending lots of love your way!

  11. Ahh pick me! I can confirm that it is actually perfectly normal “to get dressed in your lycra onesie and hop up on your perfectly road-worthy bike only to never leave the safety of your balcony”. Your new neighbor is in deep with the whole cycling malarkey, he’s most likely training for a competition. The thing he’s clicked his bike into is literally called a trainer, it’s used to help cyclists focus on certain skills (specific intervals, posture, etc) that they can’t focus on while out and about in the world with it’s varied terrain and unpredictable drivers and/or pedestrians.

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