The girl estimated there must be 140 apartments in the building. 20 floors at 12 apartments each floor equalled 140. She typed the sum into her phone just to be sure. Maths was never something she was very good at, nor interested in. Some things just worked because they did and that was quite alright with her.
She knew there were 12 apartments on each floor and that there were 20 floors because she’d caught the lift to the very top of the building from level 9 where she was staying in an Air BnB with her family. She then walked down the fire escape, through the preceding level and then down the fire escape on the other side and through that level’s preceding level. And so on and so on until she returned back to level 9. She did this not because she wanted to know how many apartments there were in the building, or had some time to kill, or liked the smell of hallways, but because the cat was missing. The smoky colored one. They white one was still safe in the apartment.
The family had scattered throughout the building looking for the cat. They had turned over the whole apartment. The girl was immediately embarrassed after, but she’d decided it might be a good idea to call to the cat through the air conditioning vents. They had asked various maintenance men, the security guard and any neighbor who answered the girl’s mother’s frantic door knocking. Nobody knew anything. The girl knew the cat was somewhere. Even lost things were somewhere. She knew that something you had lost wasn’t really lost because to someone else it was probably found.
Failure to find any leads had made the family turn on each other and they were all arguing. The girl's mother said her father had opened the door to go and buy coffees and bagels and that the cat probably got out then. Her father said that even if the cat had escaped then, there was no way it caught the elevator down 9 levels on its own and escaped out the two security doors out front unseen. He then opened the door to scan the hallway another time, and her mother told him to close it before the white one escaped too. The girl suggested they let the white one go and then follow it to where the grey one might be hiding. Nobody found her joke funny. And so that’s when she retreated to the main bedroom to do the sum about the apartments.
While she was waiting she got up to start creeping through the owner’s drawers. It was her favorite thing to do in air BnB’s. And that’s when she found the smoky cat curled up in an underwear draw. The cat had just looked back at her with its big green eyes. She called to the family and they all cheered and hugged her. They went out to celebrate with iced coffee and to get ingredients to make sandwiches for lunch. The family were in such good spirits they let the girl buy goat cheese and special olive ciabatta from an Italian underground bakery, which costs quite a bit more than ordinary bread from a supermarket.
- Himalayan pink salt
- 1 large ripe pear, finely diced
- Half a bag of arugula, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons spring onions, finely sliced
- 1 tablespoon dill, finely chopped
- Juice of half a lemon
- 4 tablespoons fresh goat cheese
- 12 slices smoked ham
- 1 large tomato, sliced
- Mix the pear, arugula, dill and spring onions in a large bowl. Combine with mustard, mayonnaise, honey, lemon juice and salt.
- Slice the bread lengthways and spread generously with goat cheese.
- Layer with sliced tomato and ham and top with salad mix.