Marceline

The two cat brothers got a little sister! She’s a black girl kitty with big round eyes, her expression absolutely unreadable. We at once decided that she needs a vampire name, so she became Marceline, or Marcie, after the character from Adventure Time cartoon.

Marceline is disabled: Her hind legs are bend in wrong way. It’s a birth defect; her supervisor says it can be improved by surgery, it will be performed only after she grows up. She still can walk, and run, and even climb up on the bed, helping herself with the claws of the front legs. Of course she does not understand that she is different in some way. We, after the first shock, also got used to her strange looks. After all, she is otherwise a pretty little kitten, with a small white spot on her chest and funny fluffy ears.

Interesting, that the “brothers” did feel something different about her — maybe it’s because her movements are so unusual when she walks. Robin, who is the braver one, was just curious and became friendly soon, approaching her and inviting to play. But Flint was really frightened. He was hiding from the newcomer for two days, watching her very cautiously from the hiding place. When he took courage to come closer, he was growling all the time. But in the end all three became a family. Now they often sleep all together and wash each other’s faces.

Marceline though is more attached to people than other cats. She trusted me at once, following me everywhere and asking to take her on my lap. She’s a sweet little thing.

Here is Marcie with Flint:

…and here is Marcie with Robin:

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Kittens’ names and other things

The name for the younger kitten was decided at once: Robin. Because they make a team of a big one and a small one, like Batman and Robin (of course it was a thought of my child who loves comic books). But we could not call the elder one Batman — it’s a name for a black cat only! So first I tried to call the big boy Vincent or Vince, for his beauty. But it did not suit him somehow. After more thinking we decided that, being one-eyed, he needs a pirate name. And obviously he became Flint (or Captain Flint) — the first association that occurred to me. So now we have a pirate and a robber at home (because Robin also reminds of Robin Hood). It’s very true! These kids can be terrible, especially when it comes to food.

After they lived with us for about two weeks, little Robin became ill. He was hiding in a cat carrier bag all day and sleeping. I had to wake him up for meals, he ate a little and returned to the bag. I was worried and told my child about it. “But aren’t kittens supposed to sleep a lot?”, she said. Well, yes, but not all day long and never going out to play! I tried to contact the kittens’ supervisor, but she didn’t answer, so I decided to take him to a vet next morning.

At night I took Robin to my bed, to watch him better. He crawled under the blanket for warmth. His breath seemed faster than usual, and his heartbeat too. In the morning we went to a nearest clinic that is within walking distance. All the doctors are young girls, very nice and professional, I like them. They measured his temperature, and it was very high. They said it was a virus and have him several injections.  I asked: What to do with another kitten — should I isolate him? “No, he is most likely already infected if was not vaccinated before. So it’s no good to isolate him, just watch him closely”. And what about the adult cat? “Don’t worry, adults are usually immune to it”. They told me come next day — five days in total, if everything goes right.

After the injections Robin became more active. He ate well and did not even hide at once, walking around a little. Flint was happy. He missed his younger “brother” and began playing with him. But since his games were mostly fighting, Robin got tired soon and went to sleep. Meanwhile, their supervisor called me back. I described her the whole thing and asked if Flint had been vaccinated. She said yes, which eased my worry a little.

Robin’s treatment went well. In three days his temperature became normal, and by the fifth day he was almost the same cheerful boy. There were only small ulcers that appeared in his mouth, making eating uncomfortable. The vets taught me how to treat his mouth with medicine — that was easy.  And soon we could enjoy the sight of the two cat boys running and fighting, as usual.

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Suzie and kittens

From the first site it seems that our elder cat hates the little ones, especially when they are new at home. She shouts and growls at them, and hits them with her paw each time they approach. Very soon she disciplines them so strictly that they don’t even try to play with her, let alone bite her tail.

But in fact she does not hate them. Though Suzie never had her own kittens, but she has a lot of experience of accepting newcomers, both small and adult ones. She could be jealous at first, seeing our attention to others, but overcomes it with the time. Most of all, she wants the others respect her personal space. And when kittens behave well and respectful, she, in return, can be loving and caring. She lets them sleep near her and washes their faces and ears like a real good mother. (Or maybe it’s just a pleasure for cats to lick someone’s fur? Who knows…)

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Cat kids

We’ve got used to have many cats at home. But when we were preparing to emigrate, we gave away most of them, except the eldest, Suzie. All this time she was living with a nice girl who does it for money. She gave Suzie love and care, took her to the vet when necessary and sent me her photos. We were thinking to take Suzie to our new place maybe… when we get our own life settled… but it happened so that we returned and took her back. I was wondering if the cat still remembered us, but she recognized us immediately! She clearly was glad to be back in her old home and with us.

After some time passed we decided to take some temporary cats from a local animal protection society. It’s like a shelter, only there is no special premises for it — all animals live at volunteers’ homes. Meanwhile supervisors put their pictures on a web site and try to find owners for them. It can be long… so it feels almost like our own pets but in fact they are not. It’s the best way for us now because we cannot really take new pets, planning to emigrate sooner or later.

So I contacted the society and told them I wanted to offer my help. And the supervisor brought us two kittens — two little grey boys. They are not relatives to each other, but I call them brothers. The elder brother has only one eye… he’s still very pretty, and honestly, I stopped noticing it soon. When not sleeping, they run and fight all the time!

Now our home feels right. I love to watch the cat kids and take care of them. I help little creatures, and they help me.

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Back in Russia

Unexpectedly, we returned to Russia after 8 months in Argentina. We were unable to get residence there, so decided to go back and come again later, when we are better prepared. We consider it not a failure but a first try. The experience of living there was quite good, and it was sad to leave.

There are some good sides about returning to Russia, of course. First of all, I was glad to see my family, friends and my cat again. Second, it was summer (while winter in Argentina). Then, it’s my own apartment vs. a rented one: my staff, my sewing machine, a bath, a big mirror… and no need to pay rent. Well, I could put up with small hardships of everyday life, if I had a legal position of some sort.

But generally the comparison is not in favour of Russia. The nature seems bleak, lacking bright colors — even in the middle of summer the sky is not nearly as bright as in Argentina. No flowers, no blooming trees, no flaming sunsets… And I miss the ocean and palm trees! Don’t know where I’ll emigrate in the end, but there should be palm trees.

The city is not so comfortable for living. Oh, Argentinian buses, I liked them so much! And there are almost no places to eat out. In our living area there were only 3 places, one of which is MacDonalds, the other one a pizzeria — and it closed this month! — and the third one is quite far, though within the walking distance. And that’s all! While in Mar del Plata, which is not such a big city, there are lots of cafes, restaurants, pizzerias and ice-cream places just everywhere. If cook at home, the quality of products also differs dramatically. In Argentina one can buy great meat, and nice fresh fish, and various cheeses… here it’s all not very good. I could not even find olive oil at once — it’s just not available in nearby shops. At least it’s summer, so fruit and vegetable markets are abundant. But it winter things will get worse.

Anyway, we are going to stay here for a year or year and half, taking this time to learn Spanish. Then we’ll do another try…

(This is the last view of winter Argentina from the bus window)

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Argentina

So, well… we are in Argentina now. Trying to emigrate, we considered many countries, like Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary or Serbia, but it was not successful. So we turned to Latin America, and here we are. The other side of Earth, where everything is different – opposite time zone, opposite season, and even the Moon is facing the opposite direction.

It’s already more than six months that we are here. Half a year. Enough time to see how good this country is. I still love Japan, and I will love it forever, but now I love Argentina too. We don’t yet have a residence permit or other documents here, but we hope to get it. I found other Russian immigrants who are now my friends, giving me a lot of advice and support.

So from now on, I’ll write about Argentina sometimes. It is amazing country with great nature and friendly, warm-hearted people. And I live in a city near the ocean! Maybe everything will be fine… I hope so.

(On the picture there is my child at the edge of the waves)

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