Hello fellow member of WorldwideHousesitters.com! You were chosen among the 10,000 applicants willing to exchange two-weeks “free” lodging in my Manhattan apartment for providing care to my lovely kitties aka “my beloved children.” Thank you, City Council for banning Airnb!
I hope you enjoy everything New York has to offer and get to experience life here as a native. Just remember, the cats get anxious so try not to leave them alone for too long. Twenty minutes trips to the bodega are fine!
First, let me tell you about the building. This is a New York City coop. You probably don’t have coops where you are from, but if you are from Eastern Europe and remember a time before the fall of the Berlin Wall, you might have some idea.
We are a community. It is important to speak to your temporary neighbors in the elevator. This will establish that you are someone who understands the culture, and knows that New Yorkers are as friendly as any other people! Please remember to be vague about details of your visit. Just tell them you are my guest. Do not mention that I’m actually out of town as this could be considered an illegal sublet or Airbnb-type arrangement and I will be banished forever. If anybody comes to the door looking for me during the day, tell them I am sitting in the car because of alternate side parking. If it is evening, tell them I am out looking for a “good” space for tomorrow. No one will question these explanations!
This is a pet friendly building, but there is a two pet limit. So under no circumstances are you to reveal the actual number of cats currently residing in my apartment. (Besides, it’s kitten season and I wasn’t able to get everyone fixed, so I’m not even sure what that number is!)
If you are accidentally locked out of the apartment, please do not contact management, but instead knock on Betty’s door — 12C. Betty has an extra set of keys, possibly for everyone who has ever lived here. Do not under any circumstances enter Betty’s apartment even if she invites you in and asks you to help her find the keys. Betty has some clutter issues, and we cannot be responsible for your safety in her apartment! Also, nobody has seen Betty’s husband for years and we don’t want to put you — our guest — in an awkward position.
I know you are a digital nomad and will be working during the day. It’s generally quiet except for the sound of the grand piano and accordion in the apartment directly below mine. Unfortunately, the pianist has “a right to practice” and his parents are both lawyers, so there isn’t much you can do. Usually, I go over to the radiator and scream, “God he sucks,” just to get it out of my system. Don’t say it more than once or he could sue us for harassment! Then I ask Alexa to turn on the white noise. Your choices are ocean waves — no loops, summer rain, rain on tin roof, or Amazon rainforest. Enjoy! Note: I also left earplugs by the bed!
From time to time neighbors may leave missives. These are typed or occasionally handwritten notes left under everyone’s door. This is just a way some of us communicate. These may be signed, unsigned, or signed in all caps or crayon. Here is a passage from something we got last week: “Fellow and Sister Cooperators: The current board is filled with faux-socialists who can’t wait to dance on our graves! We must lower the fliptax from the untenable 25% which is making our apartments unsellable. Anyone who disagrees with this statement is planning to buy up apartments at estate sales and vote to lower the flip taxes after we are gone. Then they will flip our apartments for the millions they are actually worth! They are running dogs who deserve death and yes I am talking about you, Larry, Mr. Big Shot, Board President!” Please feel free to place any such missives in recycling unless they are written on tissue or toilet paper, in which case throw them down the chute.
Laundry: We are not permitted to have private washing machines and dryers in our apartment. There are washers and dryers in the basement. I left a laundry card for you. Your clothes should be safe while they are in the machines, but please do not leave anything valuable unattended in the laundry room, including the shopping cart. Especially the shopping cart. In fact, keep your hands on the cart at all times! (If you happen to see a large red cart with my initials on the handle, please bring it back to me even if the white haired woman with the support socks insists it is hers.) The laundry is open from 6:00 AM to midnight, except every second Tuesday when it closes for “reasons” in the afternoon, also the third and fourth Thursday, and sometimes Mondays. It is still customary to wear KN95 masks in the laundry room and elevators and maintain social distance. Failure to do so will result in accusations that you are “Trying to kill us all so you can dance on our graves and buy our apartments cheap before lowering the flip tax.”
Finally, as for cat care: The cats graze on dry food. There are bowls in every room. Just replenish them. And by all means use filtered water. The litter boxes also need to be scooped at least once a day. Simple! However, we recently got a new foster who is staying in the second bedroom. Please keep that door shut and locked. Use the special feeding chute we had installed. Feed him 10 pounds of thawed raw chicken or horse meat three times a day. Just press the green button to open the chute. Put the food and water on the tray. Close the chute and press the orange button to open the inner chute and push out the food. Don’t worry about the litter pan! He actually goes in the ensuite bath tub and we’ll deal with the mess when we get home. Seriously, don’t go in there or open the door under any circumstances. We’ve left some air freshener if it gets a little funky!