In 1950's France, kitchen help was standard, and Roo de Loo was no exception. The apartment came with a 22-year-old farm girl named Frieda, who cooked fairly well but had no grasp of the concept that one serves food from the left, or how to arrange a table. This proved a slight difficulty, not to mention that Julia really didn't want to have domestic help-- she wanted to 'keep house' herself. She spent a lot of her early shopping trips buying enormous amounts of pots, cheese graters, frying pans, dishes, and other kitchen accessories. The last piece of their new life was finally put in place when a cat adopted them. Although Julia "had never been much of an animal person", 'Minette' was soon a major part of life in the kitchen-- she liked to sit on laps during meals, and was always twitching her tail while gazing intently at something underneath a radiator. Soon, Julia started seeing cats everywhere, and began to think of them as Paris itself.
Julia was falling in love with Paris, and she knew it. It was big and friendly, like a Saint Bernard dog laying at your feet, panting. However, some of the Childs' friends did not think the same way--a woman named Alice who Julia had met a few months ago was miserable, and said she hated the French. Julia had been close to Alice and used to identify with her, but Julia loved Paris now, and that was that.