Rosie and Jim: The time I bought a house with a “free” cat

Immediately after becoming lyrical about the joys of autumn, I got on a plane and traveled several thousand miles across the world to the Maldives, where seasons in the traditional British sense aren’t really a thing. .

In the Maldives, there is a hot dry season and a hot wet season; efficient, easy to work. In the UK we have four seasons and intermediate seasons between them and sometimes multiple seasons within a 24 hour period.

As my plane landed at Heathrow at around 6.30am Monday morning, the pilot gleefully announced that there was a clear sky over London and the outside temperature was… four degrees. The entire plane groaned in unison. We had left London in the fall – enjoyed nine nights of 30 degree heat, sunshine and hot wind – and returned to find it in the freezing grip of winter.

During those nine nights, I came across what must surely be the most beautiful building in the Indian Ocean. The Private Reserve, a four-bed overwater villa complex at Gili Lankanfushi – a hotel on its own island, a twenty-minute speedboat ride from the airport.

Reader, I tried to move in there, but couldn’t meet the asking price of $ 10,000 a night, so I started a crowdfunding campaign.

A villa’s sprawling, rustic, multi-level fort (all in bleached wood that looks like it comes out of the ocean in perfectly worn-out style) is 500 yards from the resort’s coastline. It takes a small boat to reach it. There’s an infinity pool, stretch nets suspended above the water that sparkles fifty shades of blue, and a waterslide. If you made it to the end of this sentence without donating to my campaign, I can only assume that you have no heart and no sense of fun.

Back in London and back to the insane task of looking at round apartments with no pools, slides or hammocks, I wondered what life would be like half in the ocean, barefoot, salty and sticky and the skin taught. by the sun. Expensive, I guess. So no change there.

I have a cat. As some of you may have noticed, keeping a close eye on this column, I recently moved into my own home. In addition to the usual white goods left behind (refrigerator, washing machine, oven), a white cat was also left behind. Whether it qualifies as good or not changes daily.

Mornings usually start with my waking up at 7:30 am to the high-pitched screams of a large Maine Coon that has landed about 6 inches from my face. It won’t stop until the food is delivered. As you wake up, it is irritating but effective. It was recommended to close the bedroom door while I sleep, but all this encourages the cat to start screaming and knocking on the door from 3 a.m. There is no escape from Ted.

After his breakfast, Ted then decides that in fact sleeping isn’t a bad idea and quickly passes out on the random sofa / bed / box for about 6 hours, while I sit in front of a computer to win of the money I can, in turn, use it to buy him cat food. A vicious circle. Every now and then he wakes up and complains about not having enough kibble. He usually has enough kibble, but unless those kibbles are right in the center of his bowl, they might as well not exist. He’s not a brilliant cat. He is, however, very cute. Principally

In the evening, I usually try to join Ted on the couch, where we watch television. He seems quite interested in Squid game, despite a significant lack of seafood, but do not like very much Seinfeld.

In an abstract sense, living with a domesticated lion / puma / cheetah / anything is a pretty weird thing to do. I’ve always been more of a dog than a cat, but looking back I’m very happy that Ted and I crossed paths.

He’s responsible enough that I can leave him when I need to go out in town. It can (mainly) feed. It is very popular with visitors. And having kept him alive for 3 months, it’s nice to know that I myself am responsible enough to keep a pet.

Best of all, he’ll be fantastic company for the dark winter evenings that follow. TV recommendations welcome.

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