Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Here Kitty, Kitty!

Weather in Moscow: +3C, overcast, no snow this week.
Reading: I'm still slogging through Richard Russo's Bridge of Sighs. Not saying it's not worthwhile. It's just so slow to boil.

Had one of those Very Small World experiences last week.

Since before we even moved to Moscow, I have been in touch with the recommended Russian vet for expats: Dr. Yuri and his wife, Valeria. She is not a vet, but since she speaks fluent English, she helps manage the appointments and communications with their foreign clients. He claims to not speak English, but he did enough to follow our conversation while they were here. But I'm getting ahead of the story.

I spoke to Valeria extensively prior to our move, working out details for bringing Cat-O to Moscow. I was even considering bringing the guinea pigs at one point, and she was very helpful about the steps I would need to take. We discussed having her meet us at the airport when we arrived with the cat so as to help shepherd us through Customs. But she decided that I probably would not have any problems, so she armed me with her cell phone numbers and instructions to call her immediately (and then hand my phone to the pesky Customs agent) if the need arose. It did not.

I have referred people to her and her husband over the past year, but we have not spoken since. Until Sunday, we had never met.

About a week ago, it occurred to me that if cats need annual vaccines, it was probably time to schedule Cat-O's. Yes, he's exclusively an indoor cat, but on the chance that I might need to take him out of Russia someday, I thought it would be in my best interest not to allow any gaps in his "coverage." I hate calling people, doctors especially, on their mobiles because inevitably they are in the middle of working. I prefer to send a text message and then arrange a convenient time to actually talk. So I sent Valeria a text message asking if we could arrange an appointment for the cat.

Friday, while I was walking home from school with the children, she called. Yes, house calls are routine and no problem at all. Did I want them to come Saturday or Sunday or Monday?

Anytime was fine by me, so she asked, "What is your address."

I told her. There was a pause. She said, "I'm sorry. Can you tell me your address again?"

Drat, I thought. The street noise, combined with my mangling of the Russian . . . the street name is long (Sadovaya Samotechnaya), and I forget that I always put the stress on the wrong syllable. I say the street and building number again.

She starts to laugh. "That's MY address," she says. "I've lived in that building my entire life."

Turns out, we are neighbors. Not knowing what she or anyone else in her family looks like, I can understand how we might have missed one another. But I cannot believe I have never seen them walking their dogs. Moscow is eerily small.

Below is the little shit (the cat, not the vet) when we first got him. He went by "Oscar" then.

Here he is today, exhausted after a day of driving us insane.


TRex said...

Moscow isindeed small, never know when you'll trip over someone.

valentina said...

How amazing!

And who could resist that spotted belly!?

He certainly is secure!

Valentina della Notte and Orlando Furioso also sleep belly up and seem utterly at peace. I think we both have happy cats. Spoiled too!
Of course yours has those lovely girls to chase!

We are all very lucky!

xo v

MoscowMom said...

Hi! Nice to find your blog! I had stumbled upon it once before, then couldn't find it when I had time to read. Don't you love stories like that? The longer you live here, the more it happens...

I'll add you to my blogroll! Look forward to reading more about your life here :-)

MoscowMom said...

Could you email me at aginmoscow@gmail.com? I wanted to write something else about what you wrote that I can't publish online :-)

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