Billy caiu na lixeira Brian!

Posted on November 27, 2011 by brian No Comments

THE STORY OF BILLY THE FLYING CAT.

Being a guy that was raised in the suburbs of Indiana the “City Life” is new to me in many ways. City apartment living is taking some getting used to. Even living in Houston, a major city, I still live in a house with a yard, weekly garbage collection at the curb, four cats, and a stubborn raccoon who comes thru the cat door. But in Rio, as I am sure it must be in all major cities, urban apartment living is different.

One thing new to me is the trash chute, or “lixeira”. Most buildings have a door to the trash chute on each floor where you put your trash. Of course there are rules like no large bags that may get stuck, no bottles, no cat poop. Those items you have to work out a deal with the doorman, or “poteiro”, as to how they are handled. Most trash chutes drop staight down to a receptacle of some sort on the ground floor that the Porteiro manages in some way. Pretty interesting deal.

Now, being less than a block from the beach, across from the Hotel Sofitel, and in one of Rio’s most desirable neighborhoods, the apartment we live in on Joaquim Nabuco does not have a building administrator that is really on top of maintenance. The Porteiro, Joao, is a nice enough guy, lives in the basement, but is not up to what you would expect from a building in this neighborhood. So certain things that should get taken care of, don’t. One of which is the doors to the trash chute. The latches on our floor are broken so the door stays open most of the time.

We have two cats that live with us there in the apartment. Billy and Chaninho. Brothers. Less than a year old. They have allot of energy and are intelligent guys. Billy likes to get up on the refrigerator and open the freezer, pull out the frozen meat and throw it on the floor. Chaninho dutifully waits for the “package” and then tries to open it for the both of them. I had to install child proof locks to keep them out of the cabinets. Chaninho likes to wander the building and has several girlfriends who invite him in for a snack. Joao brings them back to the apartment on a regular basis.

So one afternoon I just got the feeling that Billy was missing. I asked Raquel where he was and she said in his normal sleeping spot on top of the armoire. But I knew he was not in the apartment. Raquel went floor to floor in the building looking for him and I went back to what I  was doing on the veranda. I could hear Raquel calling for Billy as she went up and down the stairs. That’s when I heard a faint “meow!” of distress. Apparently the veranda is above where they empty the trash receptacle. I got up to investigate and Raquel runs into the apartment “Billy caiu na leixera Brian! Billy caiu na lixeira!” Caraca! How did he manage that. Billy apparently did a dive down the trash chute. Billy being the same cat that a few months ago feel out a fourth floor window. Or jumped. We never have figured out which.

And sure enough, we stuck our head in the trash door and called out his name. “Meow!”. Caraca!

We ran downstairs and got Joao to open the door to the dumpster and there was Billy. Dazed but I think convinced he had died and gone to heaven. We fished the now stinking cat from the dumpster and took him for a bath. No real harm done except for some scrapes and scratches. The next day Joao came by and said that he found claw marks all the down the trash chute. So aparently Billy tried to arrest his fall. Me and Joao got a good laugh out of that.

And in Brazil, cats have 7 lives, unlike the 9 they get here in the US. So Billy has either 5 or 7 left. I hope he uses them wisely but I found him on the window ledge a few days later chattering at a pigeon on the lamp post. So who knows?

If you would like to know more about apartment living in Rio de Janeiro drop us line. We have exciting things happening and are here to help you when you are ready to invest in one of the worlds fastest growing economies.

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