Meet Maya, who spends her days hanging out in the lobby/bar of the Les Chansonniers hotel in the 11th arrondissement of Paris.
Now meet Erica, or Princesse Erica for her subjects, who lays down the law at a little neighborhood café (with free wifi!) that is also in the 11th arondissement of Paris.
And last but not least, meet Mélusine, who reigns over an apartment in the 11th arrondissement of Paris. She plays hard to get and has a scary stare (look at those green eyes) but deep down is a sweetheart who likes to crawl under the covers and purr from about 4 am to about 7 am.
These are the three cool cats who watched over me while I was away from my ménagerie. I think they realized that I am an animal lover (not everyone is) and as such needed watching over. Maya came and sat on the bench next to me as I ate breakfast while waiting for my hotel room to be cleaned so that I could crash on the bed completely clothed -- coat and shoes included -- for a couple of hours after arrival in Paris. After that, she was never far from me whenever I was in the lobby/bar of the hotel.
Erica pounced on my coat for a nap as soon as I sat on the bench at Le Réfectoire, my office away from my office in Paris (free wifi!). She did this every day, though sometimes she chose my leather bag as her bed. One day, I had to move her to get my coat, which was underneath her haunches. She awoke instantly, hissed, gave me a swipe with her paw and then lay back down to sleep. Okay! I get it! I know who's the boss of me.
As for Mélusine, it took her a couple of days to understand that I had not killed her owners or kidnapped Arsène, their two-year old boy and her best friend. I knew she had warmed up to me when I woke up in the middle of the night because I felt a giant hair on my face. I was just about to swipe it away -- which would have been really bad for me in retrospect -- when I saw two green eyes staring at me and heard the purring of an engine. It was Mélusine, who had not been seen... she let me know she wanted under the covers. That was the beginning of a beautiful though strange friendship. In order for this friendship to work, I had to understand that there were certain places I was not to go. This was not so hard, since they were mainly cat-size nooks and crannies. Who knows what she kept in there? The body parts of prior apartment sitters? One night I accidentally set my left hand on the corner of one of her nooks and regretted it instantly. I heard a hiss and felt her claws as they sunk into the flesh on my wrist. Punishment was swift and effective. I never did that again. Mélusine's two favorite activities, besides disappearing for long periods into her nooks and crannies, were drinking from the faucet and drinking from a regular glass filled to the brim.
Three cool cats, whose lives go on without me in the 11th arrondissement of Paris.