Tag Archives: neighbor

Drama of Apartment Hunting

We thought we might want to move into a new apartment.  Save some more money, move into a location that has more green area and basically go see what’s out in the wide world of Massachusetts apartments .  We’ve been in our current location for 3 years, but our rent keeps going up and it’s a bit absurd….so we thought we’d go look.

In reality, we miss thunderstorms.  Where we live now, we’re a weather vortex.  No thunderstorms.  Very little snow.  Notta.  In three years, I can count on one hand how many thunderclaps we’ve had here.  Everyone else gets them, but not us.  After studying the weather patterns, it’s obvious we need to move north or west.

So there you have it….the search is on for a thunderstorm location.

I have been using an online app that allowed me to filter by every requirement imaginable:

Location, cost, allowable pets, travel time to work, a/c in unit, how many bedrooms… etc.

On the weekend, we set off with a list of 6 apartments, we visited 5.  Came home with one potential.  Out of the others, the 6th location’s office was closed due to a showing and we waited but they didn’t return.  I was okay with this as one set of homies were hanging out in the back of a pick up truck and the another set of homies were having a party in the commons.  The other three, as you may guess, provided blog material that I couldn’t make up.

Let me walk you through the contestants.  Mind you, on the app, these looked like winners!  And yes, the communities have had their names changed to protect the innocent, or not so innocent…so it appeared.

Contestant #1: Castle in the Woods.  Going north of town…the online description was lovely.  You could even rent units that had a turret!  I want a turret.  We arrived and proceeded to do our customary drive through the development.

All the buildings were set within a wooded development.  It was a very cute tudor style concept.  We drove around and around.  Kids playing in the pool.  Several areas for grilling with picnic tables.  A few people of various nationalities walking around the development.

We go to the office, explain our requirement:

  1.  Washer and dryer in the unit
  2.   Access to outside via balcony for The Girls
  3.   Air conditioning

Everything else we can kinda work around, but these are must haves, without question.  Without these, we don’t move forward.

We are then taken on a tour of an available 2 bedroom apartment. Great, one is available, so this is perfect, as looking at the model is never ideal.  As we make our way over to the unit, the manager tells us, “All 2 bedrooms with w/d are on the first floor.” By first floor, I mean, subterrain.  Yes, as in underground.  This defeats our number 2 requirement of, “we have to have a porch or balcony for The Girls.”

Huh.  Okay.  We proceed into the building where you could have popped open the “security door” with a screw driver.  Inside the apartment, the laminate floors were bubbling up and the musty/mildew smell hit you like the odor of strong blue cheese.  Not to mention the rotting wood on the outside of the building.

We inquire when the buildings were constructed.  1971.  Oh, so these are retro original designs?  Great.

Upon the conclusion of the tour, we get back into the car and I’m trying to be somewhat positive about the whole experience.  “Well it had a lot of cabinet space.  We could make the stackable washer and dryer work.”  The Mister looks at me after awhile and says, “It was a shit hole.”

Whew, what a relief, cause I didn’t want to live there.

Contestant #2: Fields of Fancy.  We next drive to the location,  west of the city, as I had found a cute little development that had HUGE balconies.  Perfect for The Girls.   The website mentioned newly renovated interiors and the property is next to a big state park!  Sounds perfect.

We make the 45 minute drive, from the northern apartment hunting locations and drive through the development for first inspections.  Several red lights begin to flash in my mind:

  • Some units have curtains that are sheets or blankets – not usually a good sign.
  • There’s also some screens on the ground and some rain gutters as well.  Warning sign number two in my book.

However, we drove all the way over, so it’s worth stopping in to at least check it out so we can say we saw them.

After a few minutes, we find the leasing office, park the car and make our way inside.

  • Warning sign number 3 shot through the air like a flare,  when we saw the note posted on the door indicating that access to the pool was an additional charge.  What?

We go inside anyway.

The leasing agent currently has someone at her desk and the resident is very upset.  The Mister and I try to give them some privacy, which is hard to do, when you’re standing in an office area as big as an elevator car.  Luckily they had a coffee area off to the side, so we made our way over there to view the floor plans that were posted on the wall.  The Mister proceeds to make a coffee and the conversation begins unfolding like a movie.

His concerns went something like this:

“If you don’t do something.  If something happens to my wife.   If something happens to my dogs.  I will sue this entire company.  I am calling the police!  I will bring ICE in here and haul out the illegals by the truck load!”

At this point, I look at THE Mister, shake my head and tell him NO.  He says, “I’m not going until I get my coffee.”

The resident continues, “My wife’s right bumper of her car has already been pulled off and there is a scratch on her car!  She is a legal resident of the United States.  I am going to sue this place if anything happens to her or our dogs.  I even spoke to the woman who lives downstairs and she’s happy I’m doing something because those guys in the car are nothing but trouble.  I will bring ICE in here!”

I give The Mister the look again. This is getting awkward.  We need to go before we become part of something.

Without looking back, we make our way to the door and exit.  The Mister, with his coffee in hand, of course.

We get to the car, The Mister advises, the coffee is nothing but dark colored water….and he dumps it out.

Obviously,  Fields of Fancy is a big nope.

Contestant #3: Welcome to Paradise. Another western development, that looked gorgeous online and was advertised as spacious homes was Welcome to Paradise.  All two bedrooms faced a green belt, it’s near the commuter rail, has granite kitchens, theatre room on site etc.  I truly thought, this could be a good possibility.

However, when we pulled up, we should have taken our cue when an unattended car, left in reverse, rolled into one of the employees’ cars….which rolled into a resident’s car….and dented the shit out of it.  But you know, accidents happen.

We were off to a great start.  They have limited 2 bedrooms come open due to their popularity – a good sign.  But they may have something when we are looking to move.  The agent advises she does have one unit open for viewing, A9, the new tenants are due to move in next week, so it’s currently vacant.  It’s the exact floor plan we’re interested in so we can quickly go view it.

Fantastic!  She advises, “since the last tenant has just moved out and the new ones have not yet moved in, we haven’t turned it yet, so it will be a little messy.”  By turning it, she means they haven’t had the professional cleaner come into the apartment yet to prep for the new tenants.  Not to worry, we won’t care.

The three of us head over to the building next door and head up to the 9th floor to see the unit.  It’s like going to a fancy hotel.  Very she-she.  You walk into the main lobby and they have a big round reception table with flowers and then a bank of elevators behind that.  On the 9th floor, we get off and step on plush carpet and the walls are a beige and royal blue color – very nicely chosen.  I think, I could do this.  Very nice.

Once at A9, the agent knocks on the door, just to make sure and then inserts the key.  She opens the door and the first thing that catches our eye is a Whole Foods shopping bag.


She opens the door a bit more and yells out, “Hello?!  Welcome to Paradise management, is anyone here?”

She opens the door a bit further and we see several pairs of shoes and flip flops and an areas obviously set up for a baby.


Then a voice comes from the back of the apartment, “Yes?”

The agent says, “I’m with Welcome to Paradise management, is it okay if we enter?”

The voice and now person, who is a young man…with baby crying in a bedroom in the back somewhere says “Yes.”

I look at The Mister and think, “SQUATTERS!”   Then I take a step back and think, “We aren’t really going to go in are we?”

Next thing I know the agent it going in and apparently so are we.


The previously tenants very obviously had NOT moved out at the end of their lease, 3 days ago.  This gentleman had apparently been sleeping, by the looks of it and was caught completely off guard.

Not to mention, so are we!

Here we were standing in his hallway as the agent explained the layout of the apartment.

All I could think was:

  1.  I’ve never seen so many pots and pans in my life piled up in a kitchen.
  2. I don’t know what to say.
  3. I don’t even know where to look.
  4. Could the earth open up and swallow me?

We get past the pot & pan collection center, to the living room area and all I could utter was, “it’s remarkable how spacious it appears.”  Then I wandered over to the sliding glass door to look outside.  Yep, there’s trees out there.

At that point, the agent advised we wouldn’t be seeing the bedrooms.  Heavens no, I thought.  This poor man is about to have a coronary right here on the spot.

We all thank him and go back to the hall.  She locks the door and then we all look at each other, “Well that was awkward.”

While I can’t say that our apartment hunting was a failure, it gave us some great stories and we found one possibility up north!  Most people would only be lucky enough to experience just ONE of these experiences on an apartment hunting mission.  Leave it to us…..we get multiples.

I’m almost afraid as to what will happen the next time we go in search of our next nest.  We are creating the next list, stand by.





Keeping It In The Family – Vet Style.

We have two kids.
FeeBee, a small, gray, snuggler – rescued from the pound.

FeeBee with Festive Hat

And Liggy, the only Manx in the litter with a tail – who is a light 18-pounds. She was rescued from my hairdresser.

Liggy contemplating exercise.

About five years ago, Liggy started to smell unpleasant. I couldn’t figure it out. Since she is a long haired cat, I would check her butt to make sure nothing got stuck….but still, she smelled off.

After a while I made an appointment with the vet, thinking maybe cats are like dogs and sometimes need to get their anal sacks squeezed. What do I know? My cat smells like poop! That’s not normal!

Off we go. Liggy in her extra-large cat carrier – 6 miles to the vet’s office with Liggy telling me about how unhappy she is the entire way. Anyone with cats will tell you, car rides for cats generally aren’t like car rides for dogs. Although FeeBee, our other cat, could care less….

We get to the vets office and are ushered into an exam room and the vet comes in. I explain that my cat smells like poop and maybe she needs to be squeezed. Poor Liggy, she’s the size of a watermelon, and trying to get her to sit on the baby scale for an accurate weight is not an easy thing. Especially when you have hairy feet. That long hair between the toes must be a bitch.

The vet pokes and prods her. Checks her vital signs and then looks at me and says, “I’m going to take her in the back and will be back in a few minutes.”

I remind the vet how heavy Liggy is and to not to throw his back out when lifting her….could you imagine that lawsuit?!

So I sit down and wait. I thumb through the magazines in the exam room and learn that dog beds with cedar chips help to combat smell. I ponder the idea of making Liggy a necklace with cedar blocks used in closets….when the vet returns.

Actually TWO vets have returned. The second vet is cradling Liggy like she’s a 18 pound new born. First vet, probably did throw his back out – duh, I warned you! Liggy does not look happy. But then again, neither would I if I needed my anal sacks emptied.

Wow – two vets, this can’t be good. Immediately I start thinking what could it be? Tumor? Cancer in her butt? She’s dying from some rare form of feline disease yet to be discovered? I’m not a very good mother. This is why I don’t have human kids. Oh Liggy, what are we going to do? You can’t die. You’re too young. We’ll fight this! Shit.

Vet 1: “We tried to squeeze Liggy’s anal sacks and they were fine.”

Me: “Ok.”

Vet 1: “That wasn’t the problem.”

Me: “Ok.”

Vet 1: “The problem is your cat is so fat she has fat flaps.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Vet 2: “If you look here on your cat. (turns her butt towards me) Sorry, we had to shave her butt….but see here, she has two fat flaps on either side of her butt.”

Vet 1: “Yes, they’re about the size of peanuts in the shells. (points at two definite flaps)”

Me: —– dumbfounded —–

Vet 2: “Unfortunately, she’s gotten so fat that she’s unable to clean herself properly. Because of this, the poop has gotten up under these fat flaps (points at flaps) and has irritated her skin.”

Me: “uh-huh”

Vet 1: “We had to shave her butt, due to the amount of poop that had accumulated under the flaps. You’ll notice the area on either side of her anus is very red and raw?”

Me: “Yes.”

Vet 1: “That’s due to the compacted poop. It’s diaper rash.”

Me: “What?”

Vet 1: “Your cat has diaper rash.”

Me: —- dumbfounded —-

Vet 1: “I’m going to give you a prescription for medicated pads. You’ll need to wipe her butt area twice a day for the next two weeks. If she shows a flare up during the two weeks, then we can write a prescription for an ointment. She needs to loose weight. Until she does, you’ll have to keep shaving her butt.”

Me: “So, my cat is fat. Has butt flaps. Has diaper rash. And I have to wiped her ass twice a day with the medicated pads. Are you sure she didn’t need to be squeezed?”

Vet 1: “And keep her butt shaved until she looses weight. You can bring her in for shaving, one of our technicians can do it.”


They help me load Liggy back up into her extra large carrying case and we head out to get the perscription and pay our bill. On the way home I tell Liggy, this will be our secret and we won’t mention it to anyone. How humiliating…fat, non-existent self cleaning abilities, diaper rash, medicated wipes, potential of ointments and now regular butt shaving! I’m thinking: They need to offer a shot service to the parents at the conclusion of your vet visit. Would you like a tequila, whiskey or jello shot before we continue? I need a drink.

Fast forward a month – and it’s time to go get Liggy re-shaved. I call the vet and they tell me to just swing by and one of the techs will take care of her. Apparently it only takes a few minutes to accomplish. Back in the extra-large carrier Liggy goes. Into the car – both of us screeching the entire 6 miles to the vet’s office.

We get to the vet’s office and the front desk gal tells me to take a seat while she notifies one of the techs. There we sit. I point Liggy’s carrier towards the window so she can watch the birds and cars go by. It also takes her mind off the enormous black lab that just walked in for an appointment….when suddenly….

I hear Liggy’s named called…..by a voice that sounds oddly familiar.

How strange is that?

Then I hear: “Donna! It’s you! I didn’t know this was your cat!”

I turn around to greet the person who is talking to me….

It’s Ed.

My literal next door neighbor.

I mutter a cheerful, “Hey Ed, how’s it going?” And we exchange pleasantries for a few minutes. I don’t see Ed very often, except when we’re both on our balconies.

Then Ed says, “So Liggy needs to get her butt shaved…It’ll only ttake me a minute.”

I mange to squeak out: “Wait. What? You’re shaving her butt? I thought you worked in the vet pharmacy?”

Ed: “Oh I do, but I also do tech stuff too. Did you want to go with us for the shaving?”

Me: “Uh, no.”

Now mortified, that Ed, my neighbor, knows I’m not a good mother….and I have a fat cat….with fat flaps on her ass….that had compacted poop….which caused diaper rash….who needs her butt shaved….so much for keeping it in the family.

I’ll take that tequila shot.

Liggy and Ed return.
She won’t even look at me.
I can’t look at Ed.

Fast forward a month….the patron saint of pets and their unfit mothers has smiled down on me! In the “lost and found” box at work I happen upon a Wahl Hair Trimmer set. Score! We’ll be closet butt hair shavers!

I wrap it up and present it to Liggy as an early birthday gift.

She looks at me and orders a double cat nip.