Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Year Five of The Whale

Кит is going to be 5 years old this spring. Whoa! Here's a picture of him as a 3-month old kitten vs now- what do you think?

I haven't given him a whole post on this blog since he turned one. Most of that post is still true, except that his favorite food is now tied between cantaloupe and corn on the cob. He'll go ballistic if you don't give him a little piece to eat. He also will only drink from a dripping bathtub faucet. If there's no drip, he stands on the rim of the tub and meows obnoxiously. Good thing he's so cute!

In case you don't know much Russian, Кит rhymes with "sweet" and means whale. It holds up in Ukrainian, too- Кіт means cat. In English, people just think we came up with some weird cat name. ;) And he's turned out to be more of a кіт than a кит. I dreamed of an enormously fat cat, but nope. He's like my husband, able to eat anything and never gain weight.

I absolutely cannot imagine life without him nowadays. No cat food crumbs on the floor, no little grey hairs over all the chairs... impossible. He's been around for so long! One Saturday in 2012, D went off to Kharkiv's Central Market to buy vegetables. He was almost there- walking up the steps of the metro exit- when he saw a tiny grey kitten peering out from a basket. We'd passed a hundred meowing kittens in the months before this, and each time I begged D to stop. D had been so good at ignoring them, but this particular kitten melted his heart. He came home with Кит sitting on his shoulder.

Baby Кит.

Cats are a popular choice in countries like Ukraine. When most people are confined to apartments, it's hard to fit in a boisterous dog. Many of our friends there have cats for this reason. Well-fed cats patrol the outside of every big apartment block. Stray cats, like the Kharkiv Cat Mafia, patrol the streets.

Кит the kitten had a sweet habit of trying to sleep at the foot of the bed every night. We had a little one-room apartment at the end of a metro line, with a couch/bed that barely fit one person. Two humans plus a kitten was pretty tight. Now he's got his own подушка, pillow.

He actually has a second, newer подушка too, but you know how it is with cats. Why sleep in something a human paid for when instead there's...

....a box!

... a bag!

... or the same bag still on the floor a few days later!

One thing I really like about Кит is that he's patient. Very. He's also pretty good at doing the cat version of an eye roll.

He's not terribly fond of travel. I wish he were more like this cool travelling cat, but nope. When we took Кит to the vet this fall, the poor guy was super nervous (note the extreme shedding.)

And it's a silly human thing, but I do like to think that he misses Kharkiv.

If you ask him, though, he'll simply give you this look.

Speaking of Ukraine, did you know that Кит got his own international passport in Ukraine? Here's the story.

So, yeah... 5 years! Happy (kind of, soonish) Birthday, Кит!


  1. Ugh! He's so cute! Russia has turned me into a cat lover. I used to hate them. One of my students says he has a 20 lb cat for me! I wish I could have cats in my apartment!

    ...also I think Eastern Europeans are made to not gain weight. Anton is really skinny too and eats a lot.

    1. We've been bitten by the same bug, Jasilyn. I was always 100% for dogs until Ukraine. That's a little surprising they forbid cats in your apartment... did they say why?

      And lucky Anton! :)

    2. I'm technically staying in someones apartment because she lives in the USA so I'm just respecting their decision. They probably just don't want hair everywhere.

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you, Liz, I agree! :) Do you have a cat too?

    2. I don't! Honestly, I never liked cats until a few years ago when I had the privilege of getting to know my friends cats, who were extremely charming. :) Now I can tolerate them just fine.