I got a very nice email the other day, inquiring after the health and happiness of the cats.
Yes! The good news is that, after much negotiation and turns and twists of fortune, I am happy to announce that the cats and I have been rejoined and we all live here together in Chisinau.
I could not be more ecstastic. The cats, while happy, have had a few complaints, chiefly that my apartment is too small.
True, very true. But this is just where I am beginning my adventures in my new life here in the Republic of Moldova. Next spring I hope to make a very joyous announcement as I finally get to put into practice many of the things I have spent all these years writing about.
More on that to come in due time! But cats do not understand the word patience, do they?
Because we live on the “ground” floor (Ro: parter), I thought perhaps I could find a way to let the cats out of the window. But our window is slightly too high off the ground. The cats could probably jump down but it would be impossible to get back up. What to do?
Thanks to some excellent advice from CRISTINA, she and I went down to the local forest in search of a big piece of wood. We figured that a long branch from a fallen tree would be the perfect “bridge” the cats could use to go from the window down to the ground, and thus, outside and free to roam.
We had no tools with us, not even a penknife. But it was okay, as our intention was to just use fallen wood, gathering our branch from what nature had already provided. After a long trudge through a mush of snow and rotting leaves, we found the perfect branch (Ro: creanga).
It was nearly 3 meters long, which was perfect for our needs. Each of us hefting half of it on our shoulders, we marched out of the forest and then into the city. We crossed over a busy boulevard, the drivers in the cars giving no reaction to seeing two people carry a large log. It’s just business “as usual” here in RM, where odd things happen all the time.
Finally, we shouldered it all the way to the back of the apartment bloc. Hoisting it up to the windowsill, we found that it meshed perfectly. A few moments later, we were inside. It took the cats about 20 seconds to sniff and bob their way down the branch and land on the ground, where they dispersed like seed pods in the wind.
Soon enough, though, they came back. The window-plus-branch system worked perfectly. The cats got to roam around and be wild and explore things and then return home at night, where I could seal them in. The cats loved their expeditions out of here from the confines of a tiny apartment.
And then came The Creanga Stealers.
One morning I let Noodles out of the window, where she happily scurried down to the ground and went off on her business. But a short while later, I heard her scream as she began fighting the local boss cat.
I scurried to the window, to see, as I suspected, that the creanga was gone. Noodles would’ve ran up the creanga instead of fighting. So where was it? Did it fall over or break? Nope. Someone just picked it up and walked off with it.
We looked everywhere, including in the local garbage dump, but alas there was no creanga to be found. It took a lot of work to go and carry that creanga out of the forest and it barely lasted a week before someone pried it off from outside the windowsill and carried it off to be used for their own ends.
What can I say? The cats are unhappy about it, even if the rest of their life is great. You know how cats are. What can you do?
Looks like we’re all going to be in close quarters this winter :)