The kitten incident
When we moved to Paris last month, we were sure of a few things: We’d find some good baguettes and delightfully flaky croissants, the cheese would be stinky and creamy, and we wouldn’t encounter any stray animals that might need rescuing.
Yeah … no.
There are boulangeries literally on every block, and most every one has at least one or two items that are sublime. Typically, however, most of the goods are mediocre, especially the most common: baguettes and croissants. I think it’s because those items are considered staples and do the bakers don’t try to make them special. If you want extraordinary, try the apple tart.
And really, if you’re slathering the baguette with butter and jam, or eating it with the cheese (which truly is extraordinary) and a good Bordeaux, then mediocre is acceptable. But I wasn’t about to settle, so we searched and searched and walked and walked and have found two bakeries, The French Bastards and Boulangerie Leonie, that are truly exceptional.
Expectations are easily shattered, in other words.
We were expecting to see zero stray animals in Paris. It’s a big, dense city and seemed to be the type of place where the citizenry just wouldn’t accept that sort of neglect. We have not seen a stray dog. Most of the pet dogs are not even rescued strays, though we have met a few imported strays, like ours.
But a couple weeks ago we were on our morning run with the dogs. It was chilly and wet and dark. As we jogged down a dirt path in one of the parks, Molly stopped suddenly, nearly ripping my leash-holding arm out of the socket. I looked to see what the matter was and I heard a hoarse little mew. There on the side of the trail sat a tiny kitten. He was shivering, his eyes were all gunked up, and all alone.
Wendy, of course, picked him up and took him home then went to work, leaving me, two big dogs, and a tiny kitten all alone in a 300 square foot apartment. Chaos ensued.
Well, not right off the bat. The kitten actually found himself a little in the shelf where I keep my clothes and immediately conked out. So for an hour or so it was quiet and calm and I was able to work. Then the kitten woke up, ready for action—and a surrogate mama. He tried Lada, first, but Lada was, predictably, scared furless by that little creature. Then the kitty crawled up my leg and then ascended my sweater and perched on my shoulder. But I’m no mama cat.
And so, finally, he found Molly. Jackpot. Molly, you may remember, is the Greek dog we rescued. The one who frightens 50% of Parisians and awes the rest. People either skirt way around her, or mutter “beau chien, beau chien,” (beautiful dog, beautiful dog). The kitten curled up next to Molly, then started kneading her with his little paws ‘n’ claws, then lay on top of her. The pictures tell the story.
Later that day Wendy took the kitten to the vet and they offered to hold onto him and find him a new home. Apparently they haven’t found that new home yet. I just came back to the States for work. I have a feeling I may return to a three-animal household.
This cheered me up today! Good for you for rescuing.
What a lovely story. I had a Molly who cuddled with kittens, and a Tabitha. Both were pit-mixes of course (and Tabitha was brindle like your Molly).
And I agree Parisian baguettes suck. And Germany, oddly, does better croissant.