Inka, our cat, supervises repairs to the toilet tank pump.
I love older houses. They are full of charm, character and distinctive features like hand-wrought iron stair railings, embossed tile window sills and marble-framed fireplaces. In our case, the house is 64 years old. It is fun to live in a sort of history. When I was a Real Estate Broker for 18 years I told people that to live in an older house you must be able to celebrate differences, live with imperfection and embrace the unexpected.
When we ordered blinds and curtains for our windows we discovered that every window in the house was a different size. Oh, they were only 1/4 to 1/2 inch in length or width variation but it meant "no standard orders from the catalog." When we tiled the floor in our back entry we discovered that each of the five doors we removed had to be marked because none would fit in another's place.
When the pump gismo, in the water tank of a really old toilet, breaks it isn't just about a trip to Home Depot for a generic replacement, it's a trip to the local hardware store where they stock kits that can be "cut to fit." Then after a couple of hours of cutting and fitting, the toilet is working once again.
When selling homes I was instructed to keep my eyes out for "deferred maintenance." In older homes, there is always deferred maintenance. It is a revolving door of repair to keep up with it. I once said to my husband, "Did you know that three of the windows in the house won't open?" He replied, "There are 10 that will, use one of them."
In spite of the little annoyances, I would not trade my house. I will live here until I can no longer manage the stairs in a 2-story-plus-basement house. And I am so glad that our little cat has grown into such a helper.