Our neighbors (2004-03-15)
There are five apartments that make up our little
complex. Three two-storied apartments adjacent to each other face the
street and two single-story ones, one on top of the other, are tucked
inside the courtyard behind us away from the public. The tenant
occupying the top level is a single woman in her late twenties who has
a ginger tabby tom cat. She takes him for a walk on a leash
occasionally in the car park just in front of our apartment.
The one who lives under her has never shown his/her face. The
curtains are always drawn, be it day or night. Sometimes a package left
outside the door will sit there for months before it's picked up. If
not for the few times when the washing is seen hanging in the balcony
area outside the living room, you would not have thought that apartment
is actually occupied.
The tenant who lives furthest away from our apartment is a single man in his late thirties or early forties. He wears his hair long and likes to really turn up the volume of his music during the day and treat everyone who walks past his apartment to some thundering pop and rock. But the music never continues past three in the afternoon. He is reticent and he likes cats. I saw him feed treats to a couple of stray cats and play with them last summer.
Our nextdoor neighbor's name plate on the door has three names on
it. The name of the husband, the wife and their ginger tabby tom cat.
Yes, they put their cat's name on the plate. There is no excuse why the
cat's mail should end up in someone else's mail box now. The couple is
polite and quiet. The wife is as elusive as our neighbor in the back. I
have only seen her twice in the whole time we have lived here. Once I
caught them leaving their apartment late at night. The second time they
were out trying to walk their cat on a leash right outside our
apartment when I was on my way out to see a friend. "Trying" is the
right word because that cat obviously wanted nothing to do with the
walking nonsense. He was freaking up to his eyeballs yanking on the
leash using his neck to go anywhere but ahead. Who knows how long it
had taken them to trudge that one lengthy meter (three feet) from their
apartment to ours? I would've stayed to watch this farce unfold but I
was in a hurry.
There is an empty styrofoam tray wedged between some branches in their tiny "frontyard" area. It's been sitting there when dinosaurs walked the Earth and they have made no attempt to remove it. I could've removed it for them like the numerous time I picked up bits of trash that got blown over to their apartment and stuck behind some branches before. This time I want to see whose tolerance for frontyard refuse wears out first. I have a feeling it won't be theirs.
Coincidentally we also have a ginger tabby tom cat. I also take him
for a walk everyday from our apartment to the parking lot. That's the
least I can do for him to make up for the backyard freedom that is
taken away from him moving to Japan. He doesn't need a leash because he
never tries to run away. When he starts to wander off course, a "no" is
all it takes to steer him back on track. And he never misses the way
So there you have it, a unique clique of people sharing a small patch of land in Tokyo. We like to go for a walk, cats and all.
Back to top