The Kitten

Last November, Tilly was found in the ghastly basement of my block of flats with a badly healed broken front paw and some other sorts of illnesses and parasites. He became part of my love’s stray cat saving project. All the other kittens got adopted rather soon but Tilly was already a big 7 months cat by then. And people prefer small blue-eyed fur balls. 

So Tilly got his little heart broken when the last fur ball got adopted. (Luckily, Sonja & siblings have found great families)

Lucky as this kitten is, my love moved in with him to my seventh floor flat with the great long balcony. He grew even bigger, while spending the Xmas holidays observing guests and rearranging the aerial roots of Franz-the-Houseplant, turned into an X-Mas-tree.

Because we keep taking stray cats to the vet and then get them adopted, people in my building believe we’re drowning them in the Dambovitza river across the road – but that’s another story. Spring came and Tilly became a beautiful adult feline, almost jumping through the balcony railing every time a bird passes at this flight level without proper ATC clearance. 

Summer came and we took him along with us on our diving project. He even got a passport for this voyage. His belongings filled half of the back seat of our car, as he likes to be driven around in proper conditions. 

Tilly turned out to be twice the size of local cats, which came to pay their respects at the window every day. 

He watched over his saviour for two weeks, when this one got bitten and badly infected from saving yet another stray cat. As a modest sacrifice to the mighty gods, for this recovery, Tilly decapitated his favourite Teddy in just one afternoon.

Then he got on the ferry with us, all the way back, for a home visit. Freshly arrived at my parents’ place, we humans all got a bad food poisoning – even the dogs got poisoned somehow. While we were running around last night, taking turns for the loo, Tilly considered it was the perfect moment for a roof dive! 
So here I am, at one am, staring out of the attic window into an open rain gutter, where kitten sits puzzled, realizing there’s no way back. The best of all men passes by, moaning, ‘Call the ambulance – or the firefighters – or both!’
Kitten sat in the gutter, musing, while I threw a blanket on the roof and spent half an hour trying to get him to climb on it. The favourite toy, the cooing, the adrenaline, something must have worked – so Tilly got back through the window with a majestic jump, without the intervention of a small crane vehicle – or further drama. 

After a brief fight with the official matron house cat of my folks, which is on a diet and crept into our budoir at 6am in the attempt to steal some food, now a wiser cat, he looks back at the spot where he almost spent the night. 

As I’m writing this, Tilly started copiously throwing up on the floor next to me. I just hope it’s not food poisoning.

***Special thanks to YourVetsBucharest for their care and Georgina Wechsler for her wonderful support!
***Please, get your pets neutered! More than half of those stray kittens and doggies will have very short and miserable lives and will most likely end up as roadkill. You can make a change. Read more here, if you care.

On taming wild beasts

When I was small, people would ask: ‘What do you want to be, when you grow up?’

There were always several answers in may head, so I’d need a moment to answer.
‘Storm!’ or ‘a millionaire’, I’d say sometimes.

Often I thought I’d like to be a tamer of wild beasts. To understand the languages of many and be able to handle their different ways. I’d be able to talk to owls and falcons, lizards and foxes, tigers and buffaloes…

Time passed by – and I became something else.
I do not want to tame beasts any more, I’d rather prefer to be like one.

A tiger, largely solitary, strong, unimpressed by ants or humans and their small struggle.
Minding his own business. Equally at ease on the ground, as in water.
Sharing food and territory amicably, whenever the case.
Just being.

‘You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.’ Mary Oliver, Wild Geese