Portland Day 1: Foiled Again!

When I touched down in Portland at around 7 on Monday night, I was gearing up for a trip to IKEA to pick up the couch that Chandler had preemptively selected before even seeing her apartment. This was a high priority since, otherwise, I’d have nowhere to sleep. We had big plans for trying to squeeze in a million errands before the stores closed, after which we’d clean her new place into submission and pass out surrounded by bottles of Lysol and in a noxious puddle of bleach. Oh, to dream.

Not so. Turns out, her landlord didn’t realize she actually wanted to move in on Monday, so we were both homeless and, more importantly, without any projects. We love and thrive on projects. Womp-wah. Luckily, Chandler’s roommate from freshman year, Petra, let us crash at her campus apartment since she and her roommate were home anyway for winter break.

Artwork by Petra Lesser.

This was, of course, lucky news for us. But even luckier news for Petra’s cat, Boris.

My usual reaction to animals is to squeal and promptly go about sucking up to them. It’s not so much that I want them to like me, it’s that I need them to like me. I’ll shape my body into awkward positions to satisfy the whims of their physical comfort, straining my joints in directions they don’t bend in order to pet them just so. I’ve never owned a cat, or really even spent much time around them, so my basic knowledge of how to properly treat a feline comes from this insane woman (who I adore, by the way).

So I attempted to apply my knowledge. I’d always been under the impression that cats were a bit finicky and hard to win over. Not Boris. This chubby little fur-nugget was all up in my business— quite the, er, aggressive lover. Cute kitty cuddling quickly turned to weird kitty paw-kneeding, which progressed into filthy little love-bites. Eventually, that little fucker nibbled on my lower lip while I was trying to fall asleep—not hard as if to cause injury, but more like he was going in for some romance. I’ve never felt more violated.

4:30 a.m.

Aside from being sexually molested by a member of another species, I’m also sick. Like, might-have-plague-sick.

Seriously, body, why?! I’m almost never sick, especially when I have important things to do. I’ve decided that this is all about willpower, so with enough over-the-counter medications and a healthy dose of denial, I’m willing myself into tip-top shape. There is work to be done, and there’s no time for weakness. Period. End of story.

We did get one important thing done on Day 1, however. Chandler had her car shipped from D.C. to Portland by a bunch of sketchy, disorganized Russian dudes, so after about three hours of phone-tag and confusion, we finally met them on the side of the road to pick it up. It was all very clandestine and creepy. We’re also pretty sure he pulled a slight of hand and finagled us out of $150, but we can’t confirm or deny. Either way, sketchy.

11:30 p.m. Shady times.

About Daniel Kanter

Hi, I'm Daniel, and I love houses! I'm a serial renovator, DIY-er, and dog-cuddler based in Kingston, New York. Follow along as I bring my 1865 Greek Revival back to life and tackle my 30s to varying degrees of success. Welcome!

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  1. 1.6.11
    Susan said:

    Long time reader…or you know stalker. You had me with the sexxy wool bed glam-over and earned my undying DIY-admiration by proclaiming landlord or no- you were gonna paint the vanity.

    Just had to say this is one of your best posts yet which I know is odd because you didn’t actually acomplish anything. Naturally that is why I love it. To many DIY sites breeze over this kinda stuff and give you the la-ti-da everything went smoothly and exactly as planned which of course, makes you feel like a eight-thumbed idiot with less sense than a pinapple when things go askew in your own projects.

    So thank you. Next time the paint colour turns out wrong, the mirror won’t fit or the last plan failed and it was plan z, I will curse and possibly cry before reminding myself it happens.

  2. 1.6.11
    Monica said:

    Boris looks, er, huge and I am glad that you survived your night with him and the meeting on the street. Hope this isn’t some novel like foreshadowing of things to come. Might make a fun read for us, but I think it might be better for you if you stay away from cats with Russian names and Russians dudes that want to meet up on a dark street.
    Feel better soon.

  3. 1.6.11
    ModFruGal said:

    Yikes…feel better soon! Is that a crowbar on the ground next to the car? Sketchy indeed….

  4. 1.6.11
    Simone said:

    The cat does that because you are so good at cuddling him that you remind him of when he was a kitten and drinking from his mom. The paw-pushing is a reflex that stimulates his mom into producing more milk for him. Our cat does it to.

    Any mistakes in my writing should be attributed to my IPod that is dutchspeaking and tries to correct my english in weird ways, by the way. (he just tried to turn ways into “eau’s” for instance).

  5. 1.6.11
    Laura said:

    Just to confirm how sketchy these Russian dudes are, I actually got to deal with them first hand when they came to our house to pick Chandler’s car up in the first place. We too played some phone tag for about 30 min before I realized they wanted me to drive the car several blocks down the road to them. After finally agreeing to do so, the Russian decided to end our phone call with a simple, “I like you. I like you”. I sent our older brother Jeremy to deliver the car.

  6. 1.6.11
    misa said:

    that video just kept getting better and better.

  7. 1.6.11
    Mom said:

    Ok, no offense meant to the cat lovers of the world, but that cat massage lady was f’ing nuts. Did you see the way that cat was looking at her? Like wtf are you doing down there? WEIRDO! Beware of cat scratch fever from Boris–not a disease to be taken lightly!

  8. 1.6.11
    Mohamad Saleh said:

    I could relate to having a plague like sickness, for some reason I woke up yesterday with my head weighing 10x the weight of a bowling ball, my body aching worse than the gears on a 1921 Model T Ford, and my thought patterns… BLEH!

    Quite an experience to have a cat molest you, it may have thought you consumed some of it’s Meow Mix (meow, meow, meow, meow..), when in reality all you really had ate was some Cup Noodles (what ever happened to the cup noodles in times square?).

    If the cat had really injured you, you could blame the Ancient Egyptians, it was then that they domesticated the animal, but then again the cat was also considered to be a god, so I guess it would be an honor to have a “god” nibble on your lips.

    Get well soon, if you need any recommendations I would recommend the gargle of saltwater , the consumption of 1 clove of garlic, and the drinking of 2 liters of water with a hint of lemon(gatorade contains sugar which suppresses the immune system), and for dessert you should eat some pineapple. Good Luck.

  9. 1.6.11

    Oh man. I’m sorry that I’m laughing in the face of you having plague, but between the molestation-by-cat and the fact that I already know the sofa isn’t going to fit in the apartment door (you can see that coming too, right?), I’m dying here.

    Poor Boris! He thought he was going to get milk out of you, and all he got was cold rejection.


  10. 1.6.11
    S@sha said:

    Okay, I know its not nice to make fun of sick people, but that weekly pill dispenser proves that you aren’t lying when you tell us that you have the style of a 90 year old woman. I hope that whatever its holding helps you feel better soon since being sick while traveling is the worst.

  11. 1.7.11
    Erin said:

    Boris sounds amazing. I only wish you would have been completely creepy and brought him along to pick up Chandler’s car.

  12. 1.7.11
    katie said:

    does boris have a pink heart tag??? i also love the name boris.

    sounds like this adventure is going to be interesting, hopefully things just get better (including you!) from now on!

  13. 1.10.11
    Jill said:

    oh my lord, i feel dirty after watching that video. *shudder*

    i hope you feel better, dude!!!

  14. 1.16.11
    Robyn said:

    LOVE BORIS! Friendly cats are, well, friendly :) Mine kneads me, likes to lick any exposed skin, has nibbled my chin but never my lips. Ick!

    Your description had me in tears.

    Awesome blog and love the humor!

  15. 2.11.11
    Diane said:

    For a tom cat, that Boris sounds like a bit of a minx.