The Palestine Entries: Riding elevators with lazy cats

// Entry #14

The most bizarre things happen in Palestine. We live on the seventh floor of a small apartment building. Our distant relatives live above us on the eighth floor but the elevator is not designed to reach that level. Already, things don’t make sense.

Not long before I arrived in the Gaza Strip, the relatives took in a very beautiful stray cat. It had no cat companions, of course, but it appeared content with the care the family was providing. Unfortunately, we were being very naive. It had companions alright. Days before I moved my belongings into the seventh floor apartment, the cat gave birth to five kittens.

I tried hard not to judge. I looked past her mischievous nature by charitably crediting it to her animal instincts. But then I started seeing her everywhere I went — on the building’s doorstep, on my way to buy ice cream, in the street staring back at me through a window. I reminded myself that she just gave birth to a litter of kittens and that maybe, just maybe, she was experiencing some sort of long-lasting side effect.

Last night, I came home from my uncle’s apartment and there she was, standing in front of the elevator as if that’s a normal thing for a cat to do. I avoided eye contact and pressed the button for an elevator. I walked in and so did she. I awkwardly kept my distance and so did she. I got off at the seventh floor and, again, so did she. She casually walked out, turned back as if to wish me goodnight, and continued up the stairs to the eighth floor quietly, of course, so as not to wake anyone up.

Only in Palestine are cats so lazy that they take elevators to their homes.

Sami Kishawi


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There are 4 comments

  1. Rechavia Berman

    Very funny. I live in a house in someone’s back yard (originally built for one of his kids). There are several cats in the yard, but I have yet to succeed in befriending any of them, most probably due to the fact that I introduced a dog to their formerly exclusively feline kingdom, and although he’s chained he still terrorizes them when they get too close. I am trying tho, because sitting in a yard with a cat in one’s lap is cool.

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