Paws against terror

If you’re scared and you know it, clap your hands.
If you’re scared and you know it, but don’t really want to show it… if you’re scared and you know it, clap your hands…
Is it a funny song or not? Mom said she saw a lot scared gloomy people in the underground today. Everyone has his own mechanism to hide his/her vulnerability. Mom is smiling. To almost everything…she embraced a complicated smiling system Thai people use not to disclose their feelings. They have 13 types of smiles. It seems that Mom has even more sometimes. I wish she had only one – the happy smile.
We are far from St. Petersburg and Moscow, but we live in the third populated city in Russia and many things are getting scary here lately as in any other big city in the world. Like taking an underground, going out during important holidays, being in a crowd or taking a plane.
It is normally scary for introverted people as well as cats, I believe, but every year it becomes more and more dangerous due to acts of terror. Terrible, pointless, inhumane. I know, I am just a catman, but maybe my human friends could explain why someone would blow up innocent people, crush a plane into a building or start a war? I am not able to grasp the idea. Maybe those people know another God, who is NOT Love? In my world the answer to everything is Love or at least 42…but not this.
I’ve noticed that I am using word “inhumane” to describe actions of humans more and more often. Humans, please, be humans! It is more difficult than being robots or animals, but it worth it, believe one tiny wolverine cub who made a great effort to become a true catman.
My paws are against terror! Join me, my furriends! Raise your paws too!
#pawsagainstterror #pawsforpeace

Airports and airplanes

I’ve been to several airports in my life and I have explored them all. In Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok every staff member and passenger of our plane was eager to get to know me, but I was overwhelmed with the amount of people, and after a short walk I decided that my cage was not for keeping me in, but for keeping me safe and I hid inside.

Every time Mom would take me out to pass the scanner or another checkpoint, I’d hold on to her shoulder so hard that would leave marks on it even though my claws were cut before we hit the road.
The staff there checked my papers carefully. Two times for some reason. This is a huge airport with me being not the first cat to fly out for sure, the airport staff was a bit confused and not sure about the papers and rules. But still after rechecking everything the man informed every checking point that there is a cat traveling so they were waiting for us and were very helpful.

It was the longest flight in my life yet: Bangkok- Moscow – Chisinau. I am fine in the plane, but very eager to leave the cage once we are outside, so transit time is the hardest period of every trip.
It is strange that in Russia no one really cares about animals traveling and their documents. You have to spend lot of time and nerves to get them, but no one asks them in the airport. For the first time we arrived to Russia Mom would ask everyone who she needs to show them to. Everyone was surprised and the animal service officer was not pleased that we woke him up when we finally found their office. I didn’t like Domodedovo (airport of Moscow) at all. It is very big and we had to run far every time to show the documents to the vet service that was not happy we are law abiding passengers…

In the nameless airport of Chisinau we were met by the officer at arrival and had to pay a special fee for my entrance to the country and one more strange fee for me to leave it. You have to pay every step of the way there. Even documents for departure are made in three different places with three more times to pay than in the other counties I have been to.

In the Tolmochevo, airport of Novosibirsk Mom would ask again and again who to show my documents to upon arrival. But the place where the animals should be checked was empty and no one seemed to care. One lady officer was standing at the exit and watching Mom running around. Finally, she asked Mom: Is your cat well? Mom said: – Yes, we have all the documents needed and a couple additional to prove that, – she prepared to open a folder with my docs and to show her my passport with all the shots noted, microchip certificate and traveling health certificates. But the tired woman shook her head:
– Go then. It’s fine.
But Mom just kept staying there. She is always so worried that I might have problems with documents and may be taken away from her and put in quarantine or something, so she checks everything 10 times before she could breathe normally.
– Don’t you need to put some stamp on the documents? Will there be any problems for us later, when we travel again if you won’t? – she narrowed her eyes.
-It’s gonna be fine. Just go already. – the woman smiled.
M9m shook her head thinking that there are no guarantees in Russia that you will meet no problems even if you do everything right. One official says one thing, the other says different and it is always your fault…
Still she took me and walked away. We also were pretty tired. This is the only airport where I had no walk so far. It is small and usually crowded, no safe corners like in Moscow, where I made some friends checking out every small shop with snacks and newspapers.

Geckos’ tails

As you know, I am from Cambodia. And Cambodia is the land of sweet little lizards, geckos. I love them. No, I LOOOVE them… Mom says that it is the wrong kind of love, because I love to hunt them. But I even dream about them sometimes, what is it if not love?))

They were not only outside and on the walls of our apartment buildings hunting countless types of insects in the evening, but they were also inside our place. I used to sing my hunting song and drive Mom crazy trying to get these tiny fast as hell creatures. Sometimes I was faster or cleverer and managed to catch them.

Mom tried to save my prey every time and most of days I was left with franticly jerking gecko’s tail in my mouth. Oh, sweet sugary tails. These were happy times! I would play with my trophy for hours!)))

Now that we are far from Asia, I miss geckos  so much. Anyway, we found the solution! There are some plain thin hairbands that I steal from Mom here and there. One day my favorite hairband snapped and turned into a gecko’s tail! Almost as real and sweet as original ones.

Now you can find me in a bathtub with this improvised toy or hiding it in some secret places all over the apartment (I have many secret places where I hide my toys from Mom). And there is no happier kitty in the whole world, when I imagine myself a conqueror of the geckos’ king, leaving me his long squishy tail as a sign of my superiority as a hunter.

The road so far

As I am having a break from traveling now, I guess it’s time to revise the road I’ve walked so far and to draw my personal travel map.

I was born in Siam Reap, Cambodia and spent my first year in the South-East Asia. My first trip was to the capital of Cambodia – Phnom Penh to see the doctor when I was 1 month old. Then I had to repeat this trip when I was two months.

The next trip I took was my first tour to Thailand. I had to go there illegally, because I was too small and too sick to have had a vet passport at that time. I’ve been to and back several times due to my health issues.

There was a very hard day when I finally got a vet passport in Thailand and was crossing the border officially for the first time. But I have told you about this already in the second part of the “The land of sun, the land of rain, the land of the red dust”.

The next step was leaving Asia for good. We had to stay for almost two weeks in Pattaya again to make more documents for me. And then there was my first airport where we were surviving a four hours flight delay and my first flight. Almost 8 hours from Bangkok to Novosibirsk.

Mom says that I’ve tolerated this event better than her. Siberia met us with cold spring weather. Then when the summer came, we moved to Moldova where we spent several months till coming back here to generous lands of Novosibirsk.

All for now, but not for long.

Siberian chronicles

As you already know, I am in Siberia now, Novosibirsk to be exact. I thought it is a temporary home for me as we were going to move to a warmer place this summer, but it seems that life has another plan for Mom and me, so we are rooting here, I guess.
Novosibirsk is a big and beautiful city, I have the best ever vet doctor here, Mom spends a lot of time with me and everything is fine. Except one thing: the weather. The weather is unpredictable here and not at all as warm as I am used to.
At first, when we got here last spring, I was not happy that I can’t go out for a walk. But spring was very short last year and the warm weather came rather quickly. That time we have stayed here only for a couple of months. When we came back here last autumn, I thought that the cold weather will go away soon as before. But I was badly mistaken…it was getting colder and colder. And then it became so cold that I couldn’t go out even for a couple of minutes in my Mom’s arms.
Now that it is summer here, Mom has to compensate me time outside for the whole winter period, so I take her for a walk 3 to 4 times a day.

I’m learning to love this place and always looking up for new adventures!

The Moldavian Summer

I’ve told you a bit about Cambodia and Thailand already, but today I’d like to tell you about the summer I’ve spent in Moldova last year.
Mom said she enjoyed various fruits and berries that are in abundance there and the steady warm weather.
What I enjoyed were long walks in the forest area near the place we were staying. And the weather too, because it did not prevent me from taking Mom out three times a day: early in the morning to meet the sunrise in the yard, in the midday to enjoy our forest walk and in the evening to check if everything’s ok on my territory.
What we both did not enjoy, however, was the amount of abandoned pets and humans attitude to them. This is a normal thing there. There are those who try to take care of them, to cure, sterilize and find homes, of course, but most of locals treat cats and dogs like cattle. And most people thought my Mom’s crazy walking a cat on a leash and considering me a family. She was hearing almost every day that she has to let me run free and live on the street as I should. And better yet, she needs get a baby right now. It will help to forget about such nonsense!
No matter how much I enjoyed the weather and the forest walks, it is a problem to find a good doctor there…and I need one pretty often. If you are in Chisinau, don’t check your luck and find Mr. Yuri, who is a vet at the zoo- he’s a real professional. The other doctor we addressed for help didn’t care about me at all, gave me medicine I didn’t need and caused an intestine bleeding…
Remember to choose your doctors really carefully, if you want to be able to take care of your humans long enough!

Good luck – bad luck

Some people believe that black cats are bad luck. Black furry are pictured as dark magic attributes or showed in horror movies to scare the hell out of little girls. Many people grow up with a superstition to them or a fear of them.

One of such scared in her childhood girls lived in our building. When she arrived to the land of the red sand, she was afraid of black cats so much that couldn’t even come close to them. But she was fortunate enough to have my biological father Boris living next door to her and me, living one floor up. And she watched my Mom and me walking outside every day and we bumped into each other pretty often. So basically she had no chance, but to fall in love with black cats. And that she did soon.

After several months we were frequent visitors at her place during our walks, I greeted her every time if we met outside and was even happy to see her at my place. She was the only one who I’d finally started purring to. And I shocked my Mom, when our neighbor picked me in her arms one time and I didn’t try to kill her or run away. Since that no one survived even trying to touch me.

In many Asian countries, black cats are considered to bring good luck. The best option is a totally black cat with no spots of other colours. It is known as protector from evil spirits and a family guardian. And if a black cat is crossing your path it is only to show you that your way is clear and nothing bad is expecting you around the corner.

I am not sure if I brought our neighbor good luck, but I brought her good emotions for sure. As for my Mom, she says I am not only her individual boy, I am her personal good luck too. But you know what? I am trying to share my luck with others too, when Mom’s not looking.

The brother I have never met

If you remember, I told you that the man, who saved me, saved one more kitten – my brother and he adopted him then. When I got very sick for the first time, Mom decided to go and check on my brother – she thought that maybe a cat-mom left us for some reason, that we had some sickness from the beginning.

When the neighbor opened the door, she saw almost same picture as one could see in our apartment: a dedicated parent with a bottle of milk in his hands and a box-home for a baby, and every inch of the small space subjugated for the needs of a furry baby. My savior said “Shshshsh”, because my brother was asleep. Mom didn’t have a chance to see him. But he was ok, he was fine, not sick at all. And she came back to me, more determined than ever to help me grow stronger.

We were fighting and fighting for my life: sometimes she was almost ready to give up, sometimes I…but never two of as at the same time. Somewhere between our trip to Phnom Penh and Thailand, Mom met the neighbor on the way home. He was very sad and his face was dark. Mom was shocked to him that way, because he was always very bright and smiling before.

Mom asked him what happened. It was difficult for them to understand each other, because he didn’t speak English and she spoke neither Korean, nor Khmer. But she managed to understand that my brother, I had no chance to meet yet, died. It was an accident. And his human father was devastated.

Mom invited him in to see me. He came, took me gently in his hands and told me something in his language. Mom says she’ll never forget his face at that moment. It was full of pain. And hope. And one doesn’t need to speak many languages to understand what he told me that day. I believe his wishes helped me to stay strong and cling to life even harder than before.

When we came back from Thailand, during one of our daily walks we met our neighbor again. He was very glad to see us. And we were happy to see him almost as bright as before. In a moment we saw why his spirits came back to him. His wife came to him from Korea. She was tall and beautiful. One of the most beautiful Asian women we have even seen.

Sadly we didn’t see much of them after that. And in a couple of month they left. I don’t know if they moved to another building or went back to their home-country, but I am sending them all of best wishes possible regularly. And I hope they will have many kids, furry or no, – they would make wonderful parents.

The land of smiles and good vet doctors_part 2

To tell you the truth I liked Thailand. Well, I saw little of it due to my sickness and lack of vaccination. Mom was afraid to take me out for my everyday walks, because feline leukemia and HIV are widely spread there. But I made her anyway. In the place where we lived in the north of Pattaya, there were lots of sparrows. So small and right behind my window. They liked to sit on the window bar outside driving me crazy.

Usually, no matter where we are, I wake up together with the sun. The sun comes up and I go to wake my Mom, weather she likes it or not. But here, in Thailand, birds are starting singing even before the sunrise. So I couldn’t sleep since early morning, trying to break away from the room and go hunting. I would wake my Mom and demand to go out, but she would repeat day after day that she won’t go with me for a walk, while there’s still night outside. The dogs usually were running around till the very morning and it was dangerous.

Also there was no place to walk. The house was surrounded by road and there were cars driving around regularly, and huge tourist buses used to park almost every night right outside of out cozy place. So Mom had to be very careful taking me outside. She was looking for dogs, cars, people and me not to eat any trash from the ground as I like to do (I can’t stop myself, even if I try hard! Everything outside looks so interesting and alive, so I attack tiny stones and dirt pieces and take it rapidly in my mouth as if it is a gecko trying run away).

I was constantly trying to open not only our door, but the windows as well, and one time I managed to do it! Mom opened it to get some fresh air and closed it not tight enough after that, leaving a couple of millimeters for me to stick my claw in and open it wider. I was fast. I jumped up and was going to jump down from the second floor to where the birds were chirping. But Mom was also fast. She jumped from the bed, where she laid reading and caught my back legs. She moved like an American football player.  I guess I am a football superstar not without a reason.

Mom would gladly keep me inside all the time. But, you know, I can be very convincing when I need something. And I NEED my daily walks! I NEED hunting and checking out my territory (which grows wider and wider with every walk, by the way) Two times a day minimum. Even it is Siberian winter outside. But this is another story. And I will tell it another day.

The land of smiles and good vet doctors_part 1

When I discovered Thailand for the first time I was dying. Again. I can clearly understand that you are tired of reading about me trying to die. Imagine how tired of it I was.

The winter in Cambodia was coming to an end when I managed to catch a cold. Mom heard that I was wheezing at night and took me to Phnom Penh again. That time another doctor met as. She was very young. Mom told her that I seem to have bronchitis. The doctor listened to me, heard nothing and said I was fine. Mom made her make an X-ray and then she saw my bronchitis! To cut the long story short, the treatment this doctor proscribed me didn’t work. I started vomiting from the antibiotics, she insisted on continuing it, Mom changed it the next day, but anyway, the dose the doctor said to give me was too small and the disease was progressing. When Mom was calling her for advice, she said, that if I am eating and playing – everything’s fine. But when I became worse, the young doctor said that anyway, she has nothing else to offer, I am getting all the necessary treatment anyway.

Mom found one more vet doctor in Siberia by her relative’s recommendation and wrote to her, explaining the situation. And Natalia responded. She is my fairy godmother, I believe. She was online for us day and night, telling Mom what to check and what human medicine can help me. But it was difficult to tell how bad my situation was without blood analyses and another x-ray. Then Mom noticed that my breathing pattern changed, Natalia said it may be a pulmonary edema. So Mom gathered her wits, bought hormone shots to help me breathe and took me to Thailand, Pattaya, where she knew a nice doctor.

I was too small at that time – not even 3 months yet and I had no vet passport, of course. So she had to ask some Cambodian friends to hide me in the bag and carry me across the border. We are very thankful to you, guys! And I said “thank you” to Russian tourists that were our companions in our multiple trips afterwards already, but I have a special thank you to that first group.

I am a very lucky kid. And I got lucky that time as well. The breathing problems grew stronger on the way and I needed to get a shot. But Mom was so nervous with the whole situation, that her hands were shaking and she was afraid she could not do it. She asked the driver to stop for a minute and ask if there was someone who could help us. One lady happened to have an experience in giving her cat regular shots, so she helped us. Thank you and I hope your cat is fine and will never get sick again!

Finally, when we came to Pattaya and doctors made an X-Ray, they confirmed that my fairy-doctor was right and said I had a 50% chance to survive. But when they saw the drug scheme I was treated accordingly, they gave me several chances extra and I used them properly.

The time of analyses, doctors and never-ending treatments came. Mom became a nurse-robot. Our Thai doctor consulted her during daytime and Natalia during the night.

And by the combined effort of those people I survived. As my fairy godmother said, they’ve pulled me from the other side by the end of my tail. I guess, that is one more reason to love my crocked little tail so much. Be it straight, so many people could not hold on it simultaneously.