Expat with a Cat!

As I looked over at the sleeping kitten curled up on our couch, I realize it is easier to be an expat with a pet. Well, I think it is easier to be anyone with a pet. But, expat life has a new set of stressors, and sometimes no one who understands. That is where a pet becomes your ultimate companion.

In reality, I learned this a long time ago. Our second trip to Serbia I found my long time love Tomo, meowing in the stairwell. We became inseperable. And After I had been back in the U.S. for a couple of years. He came as soon as he heard my voice.

Here is the story Tomo, my first cat in Serbia.

(Yes, I can do my laundry whilst sitting on the loo!)

 We got a new kitten.
Tomo  a.k.a. Tomo da voz ( or Thomas the train)
He is a little spitfire tomkitten from the street.
I was was running the stairs in our apt building for the second time. And after a little while I heard a meowing coming from the first level. I thought a little kitten had gotten trapped inside so I went to investigate. There he was coming toward the steps crying, and when I bent down he came straight to me.

Then I saw a neighbor lady. The little kitten jumped straight from my arms to the arms of my neighbor. With a little hacking up of the Serbian language, I got that the cat was a stray and they just allowed him into feed him a bit and let him back out.  I wasn’t sure I understood correctly, so when she offered me the cat I declined. I misunderstand a lot. I went on running the stairs. A little while later at the bottom of the steps I saw her letting him out, I asked again in my limited Serbian,  “he is not yours?” She said no and offered him to me again. I said, maybe I will take him up to play. Needless to say, the Muz and I were instantly hooked.

The day before I had gone on the great Christmas tree hunt. I went on an adventurous hike to the nearest  Chinese store and bought a little “Charlie Brown” tree for 200 dinars, or less than $4. I brought it home and decorated it as a toy for our future kitten. Tomo loves playing with the lower branches.

Tomo had 4 lovely years with our family. He disapeared this fall while out playing in the fields. But he had a great village life and lived it to the fullest. He would not have been happy to remain an indoor cat. Once he discovered the village life and the great outdoors he was hooked. If he had remained a street cat, I am sure he would not have lived that long. R.I.P. Tomo.  You will always have special place in my heart.

Welcome to our new little companion. Lenka kitty

Munchkin Monday~ new words

Progress is being made, Munchkin is getting smarter and learning new words. Nema, meaning empty or I don’t have any is her new favorite. Pet is the number 5 in Serbian. She says that too, but not only for counting.  I am not sure she knows what it means, but she will!

Ironically, pet is the name for our well-loved animals in English. and she certainly loves all the animals she comes in contact with!

She knows all our animals names, and even calls for the neighbors dog, Nina! Yep, another animal lover no doubt! Even our grouchier cat has warmed up to her. And she sorta knows to be careful with him.

He was hit my a car twice before he moved to the village.  I think the injuries sustained leave him with a lot of aches and pains that make playing with a one and a half year old child a bit uncomfortable.

One of her favorite things to do in the village is visit the chickens and pigs. Her newest word is jaja. It means egg. She loves to collect them from the chickens.

I can tell a door has opened in her brain and her verbal skills are moving very quickly. now. She repeats words and understands so much in Serbian and English, I will have to start spelling things soon.

Potty training went nowhere before, I am not even going to try before out US holiday. I will work on that when we return in Jan. I don’t think it will take her long then. She understands so much more now than just 2 months ago… in a few months she will be even more aware! Knowing when to go potty will be that much easier, I think.?

Twenty-one Months and counting!……. What a sweet little blessing.