What's Your Next-Door Neighbor Story?

NDN -- Cat Alley

There once was a neighbor who lived downstairs, directly underneath us. A short, stocky, little battle-ax with gray hair, always untamed, mangled in a bun. Her smile was conflicted with a lone rotten tooth apparent in gapping gums. We dubbed her the ‘cat-lady’. Not to be confused with ‘catwoman’ sexy, fem, fatale! No, no, the cat-lady was mother to at least 15 cats and one permanently stoned adult son. Our apartment complex bordered a canyon. A five foot walkway between cat-lady’s apartment and that canyon was the playground for the fetid, sometimes farrell beasts she called her children. “Muffkin”, she cried in reference to her orange, flat faced, long haired, matted bundle of joy. Her constantly stoned adult son lived with her and her tribe. More than one conversation had been had with her about her brood, literal and fictional. Her excuse ridden stories were worth listening to and we frequently took a seat on the balcony to take in the festivities. Many inquired about the pungent odors escaping her dwelling; smells, some feline in nature and others of the more herb oriented skunky scent. While holding her one arthritic finger in the air, randomly pointing, she would dramatize brazen stories about “the Coons” (Raccoons from the canyon) who were terrorizing her little tribe. Some of her other authored tales were reminiscent of neighborhood ‘kids’ who’d come around and smoke the bad stuff, leaving their scent behind. It was all too often that we’d hear, smell, and see her out on the catwalk with a can of scented deodorizer. Cat-lady sprayed with wrecklace abandonment, trying to permeate all the fusty oxygen atoms with rose scented sickness. All the shenanigans’ were usually laden with a backdrop of Russian music. This was due to the fact that our other neighbors had recently immigrated from ‘the old country’ and quite often held card games, and impromptu dances, on a stretch of the sidewalk next to cat alley. The “Russian” stretch of the sidewalk we could see, smell, and hear from our bedroom window. It was always filled with fun, laughter, and much vodka, and other various liquors the Russians more often than not invited their neighbors to share.


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Have a Next-Door Neighbor Story?

As part of our new webcomic, Next-Door Neighbor, we thought it appropriate to have a little contest. Tell us your best true next-door neighbor story, and the winning tale will be matched with an artist and transformed into a webcomic and included as the final installment of Next-Door Neighbor.

About Next-Door Neighbor

No matter how close or how far, we all live next to someone, and we all have a Next-Door Neighbor story. With that in mind, editor Dean Haspiel asked some of his favorite storytellers and cartoonists to create their favorite NDN stories so we could share them with you.

The Fine Print & Contest Rules

By submitting an entry, you are granting SMITH the right to reprint or republish that entry online or in print, as well as make any necessary edits. See SMITH's terms of service for complete details.

This contest ends September 1, 2008. Prizes are not redeemable for cash and must be accepted as awarded. Winners are decided at the discretion of SMITH judges and all decisions are final. SMITH reserves the right to change the contest rules. Enter as often as you want. SMITH reserves the right to reprint or republish all entries.

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