We have had a most adventurous house guest the past few days: a young cat, whose curiosity is equaled only by his nervousness. He has been great fun to watch as he explores his surroundings, then retreats from them immediately.
Misha lives in an uptown neighborhood in a midrise condo building. While he has been out in the world plenty with his “parents,” his outside reality is the building’s hallway and the apartment’s balcony, which looks out onto towering trees and a busy road.
The English basement rowhouse grime of Capitol Hill thrills him. People walking by feet away are better entertainment than a 3D viewing of “Cats & Dogs.” The walled-in patio area out back is filled with sights, sounds and, unfortunately, smells, that lure him out and send him screeching back inside in the same motion.
Misha the cat is aware of many of the same things that would-be renters and buyers notice about their future living environments. They ask themselves a slew of question — before they commit that down payment or first month’s rent — to make sure their new home jibes with their way of life:
Is it busy or slow outside? Can I stumble home from the (catnip) bars? What kind of view will I have? Is it really safe out there?
We don’t know which environment the cat prefers; it probably doesn’t matter. A change of pace is what excites him. And explains a lot of reasons why we, the people, move so frequently as well. Even two years ago, in the throes of recession, over 10 percent of Americans changed residences. So, why do D.C. residents move from one part of the city to another?
A better view, lifestyle, a little closer to a favorite restaurant or perhaps just something different. Part of living in a cosmopolitan area like Washington is the possibility of experiencing the different lifestyles that each living situation will afford.
That is something that both cats and humans should appreciate. I know at least one little guy who does.