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?