Lovely Awkward: A Year of Wine, Romance and Life Among the French

Lovely Awkward: A Year of Wine, Romance and Life Among the French

Friday 4 February 2011

Pets and whirlwind romances

I have another confession to make, but this one is about something that I didn't do when I ran away to France to live with the Professor: I didn't bring my cats.

I have two lovely little cats -- a brother and sister named Indy (Indiana Jones) and Monkey -- and they've been staying with my parents for the last year and a half. (I was an anthropology major ... thus the names.)

This makes me a terrible person. It does. But could I really show up at the Professor's house with all my luggage, my lack of French vocabulary and two little cats? When I came here, I'd never taken a plane by myself and that was already enough of a challenge. And once I'd arrived, the Prof. immediately whisked me away for a weekend in a hotel in Bordeaux. Could I have done this with two cats in tow? No!

I was already afraid of being too much of a burden myself!

I wrote about leaving the cats in one of my columns in the star and I got a few letters back from people who said they'd had to do the same. Poor parents. Poor us. Poor little kitties... is all I can say.

I'm not even sure if I'm a cat person, but I like the ones I've got. My two sisters picked them out for me years ago and called me twice a day from the Ottawa Humane Society (while I was at work) until I broke down and got them. One is gigantic and the other is tiny, which for me is still hilarious. When I lived in Montreal, I regularly went to visit the window of a shoe store on St. Laurent Street that had a giant shoe on display and on top of that giant shoe, a teeny tiny one that looked the same. To me, for some unexplained reason, this was pee-your-pants funny. It just was.

So... now that I'm staying in France and now that the Professor has gotten used to me, we're going to have to move on to the next part of our relationship. The big cat and the little cat are going to have to move in.

We'll be taking them back with us in August.

For now, I'm just wishing them good behaviour, good health, and maybe a few French lessons.

ps. Over Christmas I told a friend that we'd been spending all of our time eating, sleeping and enjoying the holidays. She said, "Aw, that's so cute. You're living like kitties!" I guess that means the cats' adjustment might not be that bad.

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