Dedicated to Kris & RJ
In the beginning there was nothing. In the apartment, that is. Only a sofa-bed from Conforama, which I called The Living Platform. And a leftover coat rack. Which I called The Coat Rack.
The cat was confused by all that space, even if it was just two rooms. And a small varanda.
So I said, "Hey Kitty! Don't worry, everything's gonna be alright!" The cat was also confused by what I said, but I didn't know that yet. All the furniture was still on a ship. At least I hoped it was.
The furniture had sat and sat in a shipping container in New York until I had a Portuguese address. Then it was supposed to ride the shipping container all across the Atlantic Ocean until it got to Lisbon. At least I hoped so.
One day finally the boat arrived, and after many many documents and many many negotiations and many many signatures, the furniture finally came home.
There were beds and bureaus, dishes and books, pillows and blankets. And a big red comfy chair. And a big black shelf made up of nine cubes.
The cat liked to jump up on the cube-shelf. It came from someplace called Target.
The furniture filled the empty spaces, but I could tell the cat was still not happy.
Something was missing.
On the day the new TV arrived, I had it installed on top of the black cube shelf. Perfect.
I turned it on and heard, "Bom dia Portugal!"
The cat, eating in the kitchen, bolted into the living room, shot across the room, and jumped up in front of the TV.
And there he sat for a very long time.
He listened to all the futebol scores, from Benfica to Barcelona.
He listened to all the condições meteorológicas, from the sunny beaches to the chilly hills.
He listened to all the tráfego reports, from the Autoestrada do Norte to the Autoestrada do Sul.
And I could see he was...happy!
So now I only speak Portuguese with this cat. Agora só falo português com o gato.
Well, most of the time, anyway.
Sometimes I still say, "Hey Kitty! Don't worry, everything's gonna be alright!"
He knows my voice now.
30 NOVEMBER 2021