Pets in the Netherlands: a mystery

Porgy and I have had quite the bonding week. First there was a pregnancy scare (on her end, not mine!), then the revelation that her stomach was not in fact full of kittens but, rather, poop. Or what the vet called ‘feetses’ (feces). Now poor Porgy is in full-blown heat and has been strategically placing herself near the front door so as to try to escape at a moment’s notice. In addition, she’s taken to producing truly heart-breaking, lamenting meows and expectantly presenting me with her posterior. Another vet appointment is definitely in the cards!

Stolen from my own Instagram

Stolen from my own Instagram

Fun fact about Dutch vets services in general: nothing is open on the weekend, and nothing, NOTHING is open after working hours, so that you have to try to sneak out of work early to bring your howling cat on a fully-loaded tram through the city and to the vet before 6 o’clock rolls around. I’m lucky to have incredibly flexible working hours, but I seriously don’t know how anyone with a strict schedule does it.

While we’re on the topic, here’s another head-scratcher: where do Dutch people get their pets? In Canada you have stores like PetSmart where (controversies aside) you can adopt a furry friend who’s been vaccinated, de-wormed, sterilized … you name it! Here there are no such pet stores, except perhaps for rodents and fish. If you want a cat or a dog, I honestly cannot tell you where you are technically supposed to get one unless you go to the pound – which is conveniently open on weekdays between something like noon and one, and on Saturdays for a generous three hours, and where any relatively healthy and young animal is seemingly adopted within the hour. Obviously that’s a great thing! But in combination with all the people out there warning you not to adopt cats from people on the internet, and the seeming impossibility of even making it to the pound in time to have any sort of choice, you have to wonder: is there a top-secret place out there where wise Dutch folk go when they’re looking to adopt?

Porgy

Some exciting news! And as per my resolution, I’m writing a short entry without pictures or an elaborate plot. Progress!

Anyway. Pieter and I had to say goodbye to our beloved Clyde last week. (His real human, Hilary, is going to revamp a bookstore in Nova Scotia – which is very cool even if it means that Clyde is no longer on our continent!) We were set on getting a cat of our own to love but weren’t having much luck. On Saturday we made the treck out to Wateringen to check out the animal shelter. While it was a good experience, it seemed the only cats labelled as ‘indoor cats’ were the ones who had suffered in life or who were extremely scared and withdrawn. The inner cat-lady in me wanted to save them all, of course, but we did the wise thing and left without a new furry friend. We wanted one we could love for many years to come, after all.

I was feeling a bit hopeless. We were trying advertisements online and looking at other shelters but were having no luck … And then late Sunday night, after an episode of Boer Zoekt Vrouw (Farmer Seeks Wife), as we perused Marktplaats with little expectation, we suddenly found her.

One thirty minute tram ride later, we were in a foreign apartment, meeting our new kitty. She is about one year old and very small, but will gladly devour everything you put in front of her … A girl after my own heart! We wanted to give her a real ‘person name’ but, somehow, Porgy just fit.

We’ve only had her about 36 hours but I think it’s safe to say we’re both madly in love with her already. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve been warned: prepare yourself for an onslaught of cat pictures!