A few weeks ago, on the day that we had a 180-page translation due, a contract signing that we organized between two powerful European and Russian oil companies and a trip to Serbia to arrange, we stumbled upon a tiny kitten on our way to the contract ceremony.
She was about half as big as my running shoe. So we took her home and put her in the bathroom until after the ceremony was over and we could figure out what to do with her.
Gyorgyi and I promised each other that if we found another animal we would take it in and find it a home, being that on two separate occasions in the last few months we drove past dogs that were clearly homeless even though we tried to convince ourselves otherwise. And despite the oppressive amount of work that we had to do, a promise was a promise.
I gave her some water and some milk and a little dog food. That’s all we had. Oh and a piece of bread that she gnawed on for a little while before curling up in a bath towel and sleeping.
I’ve only ever had dogs so I didn’t really know what to do with her. I gave her a bath in the sink, which she didn’t like but tolerated. And afterward, I gave her some of Barnsie’s food. I thought that there would be no way she would be able to eat it, since the kernels were about half the size of her little head. But she did! Well she ate a few kernels, which is probably the human equivalent of eating about 20 pieces of bread. She followed me around the apartment like a lamb, played with a stick, pooped inside Barnabas’ crate on his favorite pillow and got fully into his water bowl (that GOD he was at Grandma’s for the day). Gloria was just really cute.
Hungary isn’t the best place to be a stray animal, unfortunately. Yes there are several shelters staffed by amazing people who work tirelessly to help lost, injured, abused or homeless animals. But there just aren’t enough people helping or enough space to help all the animals. I have been regularly reminded of my American naivety in thinking that we’ll just pick up a stray dog or cat and take it to the shelter. It just doesn’t happen here. Fortunately, we later found out that the new neighbor was raising a few stray kittens, so we let Gloria go next door and be with a few kitten friends. I’m allergic to cats so it worked out for the best, but I couldn’t help feel that little stir of wanting to keep her. Even Gyorgyi who previously claimed to HATE cats kind of fell for Gloria. Actually Gloria was a boy, but that’s okay. She was our little spark of joy in a very tough week.