This author discovers the internet isn't always the best place to find roommates in NYC
|After college, my paycheck from Urban Outfitters didn’t go very far so I did most of my shopping on Craigslist. My coffee table, synthetic Christmas tree, and neon orange bowling ball were all found by responding to listings. So when it came time to search for a new apartment, I knew exactly where to look. |
I perused the site and after a few email correspondences, I had two new roommates, Sam and Zach. They were great and I was really excited for my good fortune finding them on the internet. These guys were funny, they liked Entourage as much as I did, and our shower schedules were compatible which made for stress-free mornings. The only problem was, these guys were really messy and because of this, we had mice. Zach opened potato chips by popping the air out of the bag like a firecracker and I’d find barbeque Lays on the floor for days. Every dish in the house would be used and hidden in any room of the house (besides the kitchen, of course) before the guys would lift a finger. If I didn‘t clean them, they would never get done. Once, when every bowl and spoon in the place was dirty, I came home from work and saw Sam eating cereal out of Pringles can with a ladle.
I don’t know what was more disgusting, their lack of cleanliness or the fact that the mice in our house were fearless. After seeing them a dozen times, I gave up screaming; these were our pets.
“Hey guys? I think we have a mouse problem,“ I said one evening, walking into the living room from the kitchen. Zach was on the floor with a pizza box and Sam was sprawled on the couch eating a slice without a plate. They were mesmerized by the Simpsons on Television. I walked in front of the television and repeated myself, “So, we have a mouse problem. Do you think you guys could try to clean your mess up a little better?”
Zach said, “I haven’t seen any mice.“
Sam agreed, “Me neither.” He reached for another slice of pizza and green pepper dropped onto the floor. I rolled my eyes and headed into my room; the cleanest place in the apartment. I knew I wasn’t making up these rodents. I saw them so much I even named them, Shakira and Travis.
The hardest part was sleeping. I’d hear them hanging out all night like our place was a 24-hour Diner serving grilled cheese and pie in the wee hours of the morning. One Saturday night I came home about 2 am. I went into the kitchen and noticed Sam had been his usual messy self and left a box of Lucky Charms open on the counter. When I went to clean up his mess, Shakira was inside the box helping herself. Startled, I threw the box down and she ran away. She'll be back for more, I thought, her hips don't lie. Travis was nowhere to be found. My only hope was that he hadn’t met a girl. And he sure as hell better not bring that bitch home, I thought.
After a few sleepless nights, I decided to check Craigslist for a new place to live. But nothing was in my price range or in a neighborhood that I wanted. So, I did the next best thing and searched for cats. I wasn’t a cat person at all, but I was even less of a mouse person.
I immediately emailed a family who were giving their cat away to a good home. After an interview, on speaker phone with the family, they said I could have her. The mom even offered to bring the cat over since I didn’t have a car. The next evening, “Princess” and I were bonding. I quickly changed her name to Scout. I knew she was a cat, I didn’t need the name Princess as evidence.
Although she took some getting used to, I fell in love with her. She was a great cat and kept the mice at bay. She slept on my bed and made me feel safe from the late night party animals. But, when the holidays came around I knew I couldn’t take her home with me and searched for kennels in the area. I decide to call the family that had given me Scout and asked them for recommendations. To my surprise they offered to take Princess while I went home for Thanksgiving. They even came by my apartment again to pick her up. I felt better knowing Scout was in good hands.
After the holiday, I called the family but they didn’t answer. I figured they were busy finishing up their holiday and would return my call the next day. They didn’t, so I called again. When they still didn’t return my call, I sent an email to the address I still had from the original Craigslist email exchange. The email bounced back. I called the family every day for three weeks trying to get my cat back.
No answer. No returned call. Nothing. My cat had been catnapped so I decided to call the cops.
“Hi, I’d like to report a missing cat,” I said.
“Ma’am is this an emergency?” the NYPD officer asked.
“Well, not an emergency, really. But this is serious. My cat, Scout was stolen by a family on Craigslist. Sometimes she goes by Princess. But I’d like her to be on the record as Scout,” I said in my most serious tone. This was the first time I had called the cops since complaining about my noisy neighbors who insisted on playing “Oh Shiela!“ by Ready For the World on repeat until 4 am every Friday for a month.
“Call the Humane Society. I’m sorry, but we don’t have time for this sort of thing, “ the officer said.
That’s when it hit me. I had become a crazy cat lady. I hung up and settled for just missing her.
Gratefully, I found a new apartment a few months later. It’s a studio with no roommates. No pets are allowed but I often wish Scout would come by for a visit.