Posts Tagged ‘cat’

나쁜 고양이 (bad cat)

I do not live alone.

Late in the summer after my initial arrival in Korea, I was browsing Facebook. A good Korean friend of mine had posted on the behalf of another regarding a certain cat in need of a new home. Cute photos accompanied the post so I naturally commented, not intending on adoption, just stating my approval.

My dear friend took the response in stride and immediately began hammering away the details of the adoption. Apart from the overarching concern of what would become of the cat in the distant future, there was also the near-future to worry about. I had already decided that once my contract had ended in 7 or 8 months, I would head home for the summer before returning to a new distant part of Korea. Who would watch the cat in that 3-4 month time-frame? How would I move a cat with only public transportation available to me? I was assured these things could be figured out once the time came. For the time being, I should prepare to become a single-parent (if you will) caregiver.

Here we are, nearly a year and a half later. Hayangyi (whiteness) and I.  We always want to put anthropomorphic titles on the relationships we share with our beloved pets. Often times we consider ourselves the parents. I try not to conform to this phenomenon. Hayangyi is an individual (albeit a rather needy one).

The first two-something years of her life were spent with a cute, tiny, energetic, little Korean gal. From what I can gather, Hayangyi was given lots of attention often in the form of manhandling (not unlike how a toddler would “love” their teddy). She was also seemingly spoiled as she arrived at my apartment with her own line of beauty products, accessories, treats and even individually wrapped-kitty-sized chicken breasts.

Who am I kidding. Contradicting myself, I equate her to a needy oriental girlfriend. I am going to do some objectionable stereotyping here, if I call myself out then I can’t get in trouble right? Hayangyi has a persistent and piercing voice that is always nagging. She usually doesn’t want any particular thing, just my acknowledging her existence. Shes clumsy. She falls off things, she runs into walls and doors. She has no lack for energy. But shes cute and well kept.

I understand I have painted my feline friend in a rather negative light. Did I mention that she is really cute? She has a serene, pure white, flocculent coat. Admiring light green eyes. She loves being handled. She loves being pet. Recently I learned that I can walk her (off leash) and she will trod along obediently in my company as long as there aren’t any sudden disruptions (or street cats to distract her).

This past weekend my good friend Anna came down to Yeosu for a visit. We ate our away across the city. Walked along the boardwalk. Visited a Dutch museum, road a tandem bicycle to an island (Odongdo). I climbed “the penis tree”, together we climbed to the top of the lighthouse and then we biked around the empty remnants of the 2012 Expo. More walking, more eating, a night hike with a view and finally ice cream. After this exhausting day we clamored up to my apartment. I input the code on my fancy automated door. A conclusive jingle affirmed the correct code. I pulled the door open just to have it abruptly slam to a stop. Immediately Hayangyi’s loud cries resonated into the halls.

There is a shoe cabinet adjacent to my door. It is here that Hayangyi enthusiastically perches at eye level for my arrivals home. Her perch is also at the same horizon as the deadbolt. Its not so much a “bolt” as it is a spring resisted hinged rail that swings into a clasp of sorts. The system is reminiscent of one of those old-school “Magnet Space Wheel” toys that grandma had laying around.

Somehow in the lonely distress of the day Hayangyi engaged the spring-rail. An action that can only be undone from the inside. I immediately realized this and tried to think of other means of entry into the apartment. I live on the second floor. The outside of the apartment is slick polished granite. Even if I could somehow scale the wall and get to my windows, (one of which I believed to be unlocked)  I would need to climb over the aluminum privacy fence with cut, raw unfinished edges. The only way in is through the door. I see one screw on each hinge. I use my set of school keys to try and loosen the screws. Futile. Despite the midnight hour, Anna urges me to wake up my kind-old-retired-kindergarten-teaching-landlord. I am loath to do it but Anna speaks pretty good Korean so at least we have that going for us.

A younger (late 50’s) aged man answers the door dressed in classic ahjussi (old man) hiking gear. Anna struggles to explain the situation. The ahjussi struggles to comprehend. Finally he is coaxed down to my apartment door to see the predicament firsthand. Soon we are on a similar page but it takes a bit of coaxing on my part to convince him that the door must come off its hinges. He departs and returns with tools.

We soon discover that taking a door off its hinges is more difficult than it would outwardly appear. After taking off a plate, a few screws and a pivoting pin; the top hinge is no longer hinged. After even more struggle its the same for the bottom. With the deadbolt still engaged-hinging the door from the opposite side, the ahjussi clambers into my apartment from the wrong side of the door. *It should be noted that Hayangyi is completely silent by this point.* Soon the deadbolt is disengaged and the door is a free entity. A bit of do-si-do, more struggling with the addition of hammering and the door is back to its original functionality.

The first order of business once inside is to tape the deadbolt hinge into place.

Second order of business. Trim Hayangyi’s claws as punishment.

…Maybe I should consider living alone…