Saturdays with Suzanne

I love Saturdays. Saturdays are my Sabbath. Most Saturdays I take time to read, write, blog, sleep, Netflix, and rest. This Saturday was the first Saturday in a while that I didn’t have any plans and I was really looking forward to sleeping in and then not leaving my apartment for the rest of the day. Well, I did end up leaving the apartment for a bit, but the day was still a relaxing one, with bits of excitement thrown in.

Kitten watch started early this morning when Daniela tried to get in through my bedroom window at 3AM. (We don’t leave Daniela in the house at night or when we’re not at home, especially when she’s pregnant. If she could have it her way she would’ve birthed all four of her litters in my hamper.) Finally, after being woken up again at 5AM and 7AM, around 7:45 I gave up and let her in. We had an uneventful morning – reading and Tumblring and Pandoraing.

Around noon things started moving and we took the party outside. Daniela has used the same tablecloth for each of her (now) four litters, but for some reason this time she had no interest in her birthing box. She was restless and wouldn’t stay put. Finally I realized what she wanted was me and I sat down next to her. Thankfully it was a beautiful day and the two and a half hours I spent sitting next to the birthing box reading my Kindle were very pleasant.

Caturday Saturday!

While on kitten watch, Melissa and I made some new friends. Maria Esther and her dad came to our apartment asking about our upstairs neighbor. The man explained that he had a motorcycle but it had been impounded, so he was looking for some money (money he hoped to gain from our upstairs neighbor, who is a friend of his) to get his motorcycle back and to buy some food for himself and his daughter, Maria Esther. Melissa said that she didn’t have any money for him, but that she could give them some lunch.

Maria Esther, a determined girl of about four who doesn’t speak but instead communicates through indistinguishable sounds, wasn’t sure about the quesadilla and eggs that Melissa made. When Melissa brought out the Ritz crackers and chocolate milk, though, Maria Esther was interested. While waiting for the food I gave Maria Esther a bouncy ball to play with. Man her beautiful little face lit up with a huge smile. “You don’t need words to communicate,” I thought and she smiled her thanks to me.

When they left, Maria Esther was in her daddy’s arms, holding her new ball in one hand and waving goodbye to me with the other. She kept waving and smiling until they rounded the corner and were out of sight. “We want good things for them,” I told Daniela, who had at that point successfully birthed my new cat pal, Nicholas Miller Stokes (obviously named after both Nick Miller and Nick Stokes, my two favorite fictional Nicks).

Since Daniela was pretty focused on the task at hand and not likely to get up and follow me if I left her side (I tested it out by moving from the patio floor to the couch just inside the door), Melissa and I decided to go look at some apartments. (We’re moving at the end of the school year.) We’ve been looking at apartments for about a month now and we’ve seen some good ones. We had gone back and forth about living separately or together and yesterday we came to the decision that we would be open-minded about it and just see what there was to see – that if we found two apartments that each suited our needs and fit our budgets, that we would live apart, but that if we found one apartment that had everything we needed and wanted, that we would live together.

The first apartment we looked at today is perfect for us. In fact, we’ve already each said about ten times today, “I can’t wait to move into our new apartment!” It has three bedrooms (one without a closet), a living room, a spacious outside space, a dining room with a ceiling fan, a beautiful bathroom, a nice kitchen, a small back porch, an actual separate laundry room with a second bathroom attached, and screens in the windows. It’s on the same street we live on now, which means it’s still close to school and actually closer to church. Across the street on each corner there are two nightly watchymen who also keep an eye on the apartment. Plus there’s barbed wire on top of the wall on one side and on the other side the wall is higher than the building. The apartment is above (and owned by) a wonderful older couple who seem very pleased by the prospect of renting to two American teachers.

They are even super cool about the fact that we can’t move in until the first of June! That gives them plenty of time to paint everything, put the screens in the windows, and fix up the cabinets and wardrobes. We are very excited.

Since we found something so perfect for us, we decided to keep looking a bit and find something perfect for Kristin (our current roommate). Well we hit the jackpot again with the very next place we saw. It’s a gorgeous third floor apartment in a gate complex. It has a very spacious living area, two bedrooms, a nice bathroom, and roof access! It’s perfect for Kristin and we are planning to back soon and talk to the owner about her moving in in June.

After all of our apartment success, Melissa, Francis and I went for dinner at Las Cenizas, which is a nice restaurant SO CLOSE to the ocean. I love the ocean.

Mama snuggling her new babies! Schmidt is all black and Nick is in there somewhere, black and white.

When we got back I went straight to the birthing box. Daniela was pretty much done with the birthing process. I had to help her out with the last kitten (aka pull it out – it was stillborn, sorry if that grosses you out) and remove it and another kitten who was stillborn from the box.

At the end of the day we ended up with two new kittens – Nick and Schmidt, the best of friends. Daniela is totally an absent mother and would rather prowl the street at night than comfort and feed her new babies, so I moved the box of cats into the laundry room so I can close her in at night. Daniela has notoriously ugly kittens (except Strawberry, who was a beautiful exception) but I’m hoping that since this time there are only two they can get all of the milk they need and then some and fatten up. Whatever they look like, I’m keeping Nick, which means Schmidt is up for grabs (or will be in a month or so). Schmidt also may or may not be female.

Kristin, Melissa and I wrapped up the night with a rousing game of Dutch Blitz (Melissa won) and some Cheese Puffs. All in all it was a wonderful day. Not quite as relaxing as I was hoping for what with all of the kitten and apartment excitement, but there’s always tomorrow!

This Thursday is the Dominican Republic’s Independence Day which means no school on Thursday or Friday. Three day week!! On Wednesday afternoon two of my favorite and oldest friends arrive for a five day visit! We are going to spend a couple of days in the mountains of Jarabacoa and I can’t wait. I love it up in those peaceful mountains and I know Carolyn and Joslyn will love it too!

I hope your Saturday was just the right mix of exciting and relaxing. If not, there’s always next Saturday!

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