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?

An extended absence, an explanation?

This title is misleading, as I don’t really have an explanation. I do have some confusing, unclear thoughts to share though, if you’re down for some of that!

I’m something of a perfectionist. Throughout the years I’ve learned to tame that aspect of my personality a bit but it definitely lurks in the corner of my thoughts a lot and occasionally steers me in my decision-making. What that means for this blog is that I feel this desire to publish only the best posts I can produce – the most polished, if you will, with pictures, a clear theme, and perhaps an informative aspect too. I really enjoy creating these posts and like to look back on what I’ve published since I started this little blog in February … But, on the other hand, a job, social commitments, and – let’s face it – life in general don’t necessarily make for lovely photographs or light and yet informative writing. (There are only so many pictures of coffee or rainy skies or the five Excel sheets currently open on my computer that I could reasonably pass off as ‘content’!) When I don’t have pictures, or when I don’t have a specific theme, I feel in a way that I don’t have anything ‘worthy’ of publishing.

I vacillate between wanting to keep my posts more formal and wanting to share more general thoughts or observations, or humorous anecdotes. My perfectionistic tendencies make it hard for me to imagine a blog in which both sorts of posts are possible. Which is stupid!

I do want to write more often, but what I would be writing is still a bit fuzzy in my head. I guess with blogging you have to figure out how personal you want to be, and how polished too. While I’m working on figuring out that balance, I’ve joined the crew over on DutchReview, where I’ve so far published two posts. I’m really enjoying that so far!

I know there are a few readers out there who remain anonymous to me but who return fairly frequently, and this post is mostly for you guys. Not really an explanation for my absence, I guess, but maybe a form of apology. Basically, I appreciate that you keep coming back and I’m sorry for my inconsistency in posting.

On a less confusing note, my oldest and wonderful friend Catherine came to stay with Pieter and I for a week and so I’ll be writing about that soon. Highlights will include Zwarte Piet on a hydraulic sea-scooter of sorts, typical Dutch treats, and a magnificently hilarious vintage fur coat. Cat’s already blogged a bit about her time with us, so if you’re interested check that out here!

Thanks for reading!