Step-by-Step: Making Aliyah to

Documenting the very personal process of making Aliyah (immigration to Israel) by one very atypical American-Israeli girl. Aliyah on 17, August, 2005. Roadmap: What do you mean there's no roadmap?! Is there an atlas? A geopolitical blueprint? A globe? Hang on, we're in for a bumpy ride! Oy!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Diaper training, bootleg DVDs and moral equivalence

I don't remember it being this rough. The late nights. The A&D ointment in my hair. The spraying.
I can't understand why Matun is excelling at sewing, Russian ballet and scrapbooking, but can't seem to understand the concept of a diaper.
I didn't have this trouble with Mischa (oh Mischa! Ahhh. I hope the army is cooking your hard-boiled eggs just how you like them!). Yep. Mischaleh took to diapers right away, allowing me to view six flats in one afternoon when I first got here.
The diaper debate has really taken off in the past few years. After running into trouble with Matun, I picked up Dr. Spock's Baby and Cat Care, 7th Edition and to my surprise, he dedicated an entire chapter to the issue. One uber kewl tidbit I wish I had read right away:

123. When changing a male cat, put a spare diaper loosely over his appendage, until
you're ready to fasten the diaper. This will keep you from getting sprayed if he
happens to urinate before you're done.
Yikes! Ain't it the truth! The next chapter had a fascinating discussion on whether it was best to move on to potty training or just skip right ahead to the toilet. Heh. Who knew?

So there I was, passed out on the couch with Pandy asleep on my stomach when I heard Matun squeal from the kitchen. It must've been like three in the morning. I jumped up and ran to find him standing arch-legged in a puddle of his own making. Sux!
I picked him up, wiped his paws with baby wipes and brought him to the changing table. Heh. You ever try to get a cat in a bathtub? This was ten times worse! He fought me every step of the way. Done, half asleep and full of buttpaste, I heard a noise from the bedroom. It sounded strangely like people speaking self-consciously about the morality of their actions when responding to the immorality of others.
I put Matum in his Graco Pak N' Play and crept to the bedroom. When I tip-toed in, I found a startled Buffy with the remote control in her paw and an illegal copy of "Munich" in the DVD player.
"Buffy! What are you doing?!"
"I'm... Uhhh... I'm learning about the history of your people."
"Buffy, that's not an accurate portrayal of events but rather an apologetic attempt at moral equivalency between terrorism and counter-terrorism! Where did you get that DVD?!"
"I can't say."
"You tell me right now or no catnip hits tomorrow."
"Mischa sent it in the mail. He said he got it from some Palestinian cat named Fatah. Fatah Cat."
"The truth, Buffy."
"Yael, is there really a boycott of Cat Bulldozers?"
"I'm not talking politics at three in the morning."
"'Cause I have stock in Cat and..."
"Goodnight Buffy."
"Is that buttpaste in your hair?"

Monday, March 06, 2006

Will be adopting 50,000 starving Bedouin sheep. Worked out a deal with the uber kewl shepherd guy to trade their wool for 3,000 cases of textured vegetable protein burgers to feed them. Sababa!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Oleh grace period up... time for army service

The day I’ve been dreading has arrived: I got the call from the IDF. They said to report for basic training at 6 a.m. tomorrow.
Yikes! What to pack? Blankets for sure. And combs and brushes. Hair dryer? Check. Heh. Mischa loves when I brush him, I hope he can do it himself or at least get another cat to help him.
But I’m totally not prepared for the buzz cut. Had to run to the store and pick up a feline buzzer with a ¼ inch comb. Yippie. Took me 2 hours to catch a bus, ask the driver for directions from the stop to the petronics store (the only one in Israel!) got lost, walked in circles for 30 minutes, found the right bus and made it to the store to see their gates down. Sux.
Worked my way back home and knocked on my neighbor’s door. Luckily, his cat had finished his call up last year and brought back his shaver. (Part of me thinks my neighbor was just humoring me about the cat serving in the army thing and that the buzzer was his. Hmmm.)
I called Mischa and he came right over from the crossword puzzle he was doing and jumped in my lap. I let him sniff the buzzer and he gave a confusing “Meow.” Yep. This will be easy.
I flipped the buzzer on and brought it to Mischa’s side and he freaked. He screeched and jumped across the couch, onto the windowsill knocking some plants over and then ran straight towards the door to get away. The ruckus scared Matun and Buffy who both ran from their sewing circle in different directions yowling uncontrollably. And then I heard it. THUMP!
Mischa had hit the door headfirst trying to escape. Apparently I left the buzzer on and it had fallen on the floor but stayed on. It was creeping across the room by itself right towards Mischa who continuously rammed his head into the door in an attempt to get out. I started chasing the buzzer but Matun lunged at it and kicked it under the bookcase. Mischa continued to ram his head into the door. I couldn’t grab him so to prevent a concussion I opened the door and he ran into the hall screaming. Pandy looked up from her newspaper, took her pipe out of her mouth and (undisturbed until this point) said, “You’d better get that cat back in here before someone calls the authorities.”
Terrified at the initial thought and forgetting that it would take six months for a third-rate Israeli bureaucracy to even get my address right, I threw Mischa’s army blanket over him and dragged him back inside slamming the door behind me.
Heh. Aliyah’s gonna be harder than I thought.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Took in a rabbit today. Not really a rabbit, but a giant Trojan rabbit bed. When I brought it inside my apartment, 34 cats came out and proceeded to take over several rooms. Ole!