Until I got her, I didn't realize just how dirty my apartment was. Let's face it--there are places you generally avoid when you clean because, well, no one can see them, and if no one can see them, what does it matter?
Well, when you get a kitten who comes out of those crevices, chinks, and corners with giant dust-balls clinging to her whiskers, when you have a kitten who develops a sniffle--which you assume to be from all the dust she's inhaling when she's playing in those hard-to-reach places--you realize that suddenly it does matter.
But it's not just dust and grime. It's also weird, forgotten things from previous residents. In the last month, Abbey has dragged a few Leggo pieces and a neon green plastic soldier into my bedroom, which is her favorite place to play. I don't know where she found any of these things--maybe in the back corners under the radiators?--but suddenly they're here, and they're hers, and I have a feeling if I throw them out, she'd be pretty pissed at me.
I could've used Abbey and her gift for ferreting out the things left by previous tenants when I first moved here last year. The first few days I kept finding strange things that had been left behind: tampons, baking dishes, hoses that looked like they belonged on the back of a dryer. It grossed me out to touch things that didn't belong to me--after all, what did I know about the people who were here before me, and why should I have to be touching their tampons?--but it might've been easier if she'd corralled those things for me, put them all in one place, and I could've scooped them up into a trash bag and never thought about them again.