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.
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,