Thursday, September 01, 2005

Yellow Eyebrows

My apartment takes up the whole third floor of the converted multi-family house I live in, but two families live in two separate apartments on the second floor.

Behind door #1: the outwardly sweet but increasingly sketchy couple who have a gorgeous 18-month-old toddler named Alicia who adores my pets. She loves Bella, whom she calls "Goggie," and aside from her attempts to eat the salty, disgusting tuna flavored Whiska Lickins' herself, also enjoys petting Fred and feeding him treats.

Behind door #2, the Vaquero family, including Aide (eye-DAY) , now 6, and Andrew, 13. I used to say that if Dora the Explorer were an actual child, she would be Aide Vaquero. (Except that Aide has grown about a foot and a half since they moved in two years ago, and actually I kind of think that Gaby reminds me more of Dora Incarnate now, which is neither here nor there. But I digress.).

Now Aide, on the other hand, adores Fred: "I wanna touch your kitty! Por favor!" But Bella scares the shit out of her. The people who lived in the apartment before the Vaqueros (Are you keeping track of all the tenants? There might be a quiz!) loved Bella. She used to go in there for tummy rubs sometimes, so after they moved out and the Vaqueros moved in, Bella would stand by their door and wait for the love when we came back from a walk, usually while I shoved four more quarters into the dryer on the second floor.

The first time Aide met Bella, my dog was right outside her family's door (while I was adding more quarters to the dryer) in the common hallway, which she wasn't expecting. She opened the door, saw the dog, screamed, and slammed the door so hard that a decorative plate fell off the wall in her apartment. She was 4 at the time, so the breaking plate really scared her, too. Of course, Bella barked when that happened, and Aide has been terrified of Bella ever since.