If you’ve ever lived in an apartment (or still do), you know the marvelous wonders of apartment neighbors. You don’t know them (or maybe you’re friendlier than us and you do) but you know strange details about their lives that you really feel you shouldn’t.
Now, I know we’re not the best neighbors. We have cats which sometimes results in raucous romps through their room in the middle of the night and the odd meowings and scratchings whenever they feel like torturing us it. But overall I think we’re pretty awesome. We try to keep the noise level down after ten (aren’t we considerate). We don’t have wild sex at odd hours of the night with weird music blaring (unlike some neighbors I’ve heard tell of). And for the most part, we don’t have any complaints about either of our neighbors. (We live in adjacent townhouses that have two stories each.) For the most part.
We have literally never heard a peep from our neighbors to one side. So much so that I would wonder if anyone lived there were it not for the cars parked in their car port and occasional sightings. However, with our neighbor on the other side… We’ve had more interactions. He’s signed for packages for us and we’ve done the same. He gets up at the same time I do, so I can hear him showering while I’m getting ready for work. And from what I can tell, he lives alone, is mostly quiet except for over-loud movie watching, yelling at sports (We assume. He could be doing weird, devious things, but we give him the benefit of the doubt.) and occasional Smashing Pumpkins. We heard a loud female ::clears throat:: “having fun” shall we say, once, but I’m not altogether convinced of the validity of her “affirmations”… It sounded a little staged to me.
Our biggest complaint with this neighbor (whom we’ve never really met. I’m not going talk to a single guy and Aaron doesn’t really talk to anyone) is the kids… Now, I don’t know if he’s a divorced dad, a considerate uncle or what, but every now and then (and bugger me if I can figure out what kind of schedule they’re on) he has two young boys staying with him and with the arrival of the children comes much aggravation.
I’d estimate the ages of these two boys to be around ten and eight. They have a dog that started to come with them around the end of last year that stays in the tiny little “yard” that we all have behind our apartments. He isn’t happy back there and whines and gets bored and has broken into our little patio area a few times, much to the upset of our cats. (They like to taunt him through the window.) And much like young boys (we’re assuming brothers) will do, these two little tykes like to run up and down the stairs, chasing each other screaming and laughing and crying when one of them gets too rough. This, in and of itself, is not [too much of] a problem. It’s annoying and we complain about it and roll our eyes when we hear the whining that unfailingly comes at the end of a laughing tussle, but doable. When it becomes a problem is when it is occuring at all hours of the night… Which has happened on multiple occasions. Let me tell you, I can pound on some walls! ;)
Lately, the biggest problem is with the cats. Our apartment has two bedrooms. Ours shares a wall with our neighbor’s room and the other (our spare) shares a wall with his spare room (which is where the kids sleep when they’re over). Since I don’t like to sleep with the door closed and we don’t want the cats to have free reign of our room (or the house) at night, the spare room has become the “cat room”. There’s a twin bed and a loveseat in there, but it also contains the litterboxes and their food and water. And at night, when we go to bed (or when we leave the house for any length of time) we put the cats in their room.
This has been the routine since we got them last May and they seem to be fine with it, EXCEPT, when they hear signs of life (talking), they feel it is their right to be included and one (Elliot, the orange tabby featured on my header) will meow (occasionally) and the other (Molly, the calico) will scratch on the door (all the freaking time!). They are used to me getting up early and showering and everything (6 is the latest I get up) without being let out, but if they hear anything more than my quiet shuffling and thumps, they want out, by George! The scratching has been a problem for some time that we are still trying to sort out, but lately it’s been fairly under control. Until this weekend.
So, assuming he’s a visitation dad, our neighbor had the kids this weekend. They weren’t home much, so really the only thing was the dog trying to claw through the the fence (I think he’s gradually making it tilt… I wonder if it will fall over some day.) until Saturday morning. I don’t understand these kids. They stay up pretty late (for kids). We usually hear them until 11-midnight which, I would think, would entail sleeping in. But apparently not. Sunday morning, the cats started making noise around 6. Aaron went to “take care of it” and for a while it stopped, but it was clear by 7 that we might as well give up and get up. It struck me as odd because, as I said, Molly scratches pretty frequently, but not lately and Elliot doesn’t meow all that often. But I forgot about it.
Then yesterday morning, AT 5AM, Molly starts scratching at the door and though I tried to ignore her and go back to sleep, she continued. Pissed beyond reason, I tromped over there, opened the door and hissed at her to shut up, sprayed some anti-scratch herb stuff that we’ve been using to curb the scratching and started to head back to bed. That’s when I heard THEM. The little buggers next door were talking and laughing! Quietly, I’ll grant you, but enough to wake up the cats and make them think that they should be up and let out. With EXTREME irritation, I went back to bed muttering foul things and lay there begging for one of them to get loud enough for me to hear from our bedroom. Molly quieted down after one more scratch (until I left, apparently. Aaron said she started up again. I assume the kids were talking again.) and I slept fitfully until 6 when I dragged myself out of bed. I’m just glad I went to bed early on Sunday night!
*Woah! Long post! And I don’t know why I’m being all ” bugger”y…