My Adventures in the Holy Land

      My stay in Israel began a little more then a year ago, to be exact, May í99. Since this was the beginning of Summer (which in Israel lasts from April to October, the rest of the year itís spring) Israel did not make a favorable impression on me especially that I had just got off the plane. The flight had been the worst experience of my entire life, next time Iím going on a plane is when they ship my poor body back to Mew York to my family after I die of heatstroke.

The first month was the worst: we had bought a house and moved into it but because our baggage hadnít arrived yet the whole place was empty with only one broken conditioner which caused the lights to go out in the whole house when it was turned on. Luckily our house isnít far from the sea (well, the whole of Israel isnít far from the sea), about 1500 feet, which means that there was a nice fresh breeze blowing over our house, so I used to come out into the garden and go to sleep in the shade of the banana trees.

    The garden, especially at night was one of the funnest places Iíve ever been in. It had been neglected for about five years, which meant that in some places the lawn had grown to about shoulder height (I mean for cats) and in others died out altogether. There was a lot of small life, which in my book means prey. I had the time of my life chasing praying mantids, grasshoppers, spiders, cockroaches, geckos, chameleons, humming birds and one occasion even a gerbilÖ Luckily for me my supporting staff discovered it and scared it away, permitting me to descend from my refuge in a tree.

    We live in a quiet place with practically no traffic (that is to say, right behind our house is a highway but cats didnít usually go across it because there is nothing interesting on the other side: only the beach). Anyway our block is cat haven. I met my new neighbors on the first day I arrived. The first one I got acquainted with was Moshe (a lot of people, cats and dogs in Israel are Moshes). His territory was next to mine, which, at that period, was the size of our yard. On the very first day I had beaten Moshe off and taken a large chunk of his territory. Swearing with every word he knew, Moshe retreated to a friendly house. ĎSon of a dogí were his last words in my address.

Above: Mitz, my neighbor, 
rudely turning away.
      I continued conquering until I met Rats, yes, the famous Rats mentioned in so many of my stories. Our meeting was like that of a pigeon and an unexpected glass wall: ouch! I couldnít believe it when he cleared that hedge. Anyway, I was soon back and soon fleeing for my life again. Rats was as unstoppable as a tidal wave. And had roughly the same speed. After two or three more tries I became discouraged and gave up on Ratsí territory. My advance now turned in the opposite direction and that is how I met Mike the abyssinian, my future best friend. Our first meeting did not do anything to point in that direction. After a hard battle we retreated to our houses to lick our wounds and wait for the next night.
But just then I hit on the scent of a female cat in heatÖ
(To be continued)

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