Forget everything I've ever told you.
Ok, maybe not everything, but definitely my kitty cat's name.
Mao Mao has a new moniker! After a short chat via Skype with my sister and some googling, kitty baby's name is....Mu Shu.
Recognize the name? It's the dragon from Mulan, and also the name of a popular pork dish in Chi.na, haha.
I think the name fits this time. For some reason, with this pet no name seemed to mesh well! He's been called Mi Mi, Oliver, Xiao Bai, Xiao Hu, and then Mao Mao. Now, it's Mu Shu and it's gonna stick.
Today I went on a search for some toys for Mu Shu. The pet industry is still developing in Ch.ina, so pet supplies and care are not easy to find commodities. I've been able to get kitty litter in the grocery store, but the poor little dude was in need of some toys since he is left alone most of the day!
He hasn't hurt anything, but I have been coming home to shoes on the other side of the room and underwear from my dirty laundry strown across the floor. Little dude needs something to entertain himself with besides my things.
I went back to the market where he came from and went store to store seeing what they had and asking prices. Some people's pricing was outrageous because I am a foreigner. I went back to the lady I bought my cat carrier from and she gave me a fair deal on some small toys - little furry mice, a small rubber ball, a fish-shaped scratching toy, and a stick with a furry thing on the end. I made sure to chat with her so that she would remember be, then told her that I would be doing my cat business with her. In an economy where ou bargain for every little thing - it pays to make friends. I now have a cat lady friend. haha.
I'm adding her to my list of friends - the pearl lady, jade lady, hair people, foot massager, nail people, fruit stand people, bread man, and now....cat lady.
I also have a...cat bed man! Remember the dog bed exporter to Target guy who I met at Michael's wedding? I called him today and told him I had a cat and asked him if I could buy some of his products. (it's good guanxi to keep business within friend circles). He told me he's in a nearby town on business and next week when he gets back I can go to the factory and pick out whatever I want for free! Weeee I hope that happens, I hope the dog bed man pulls through, haha.
Anyways, beside the pet market is a dog groomer/boarder/shop and I peaked in to see what it was like. It was very nice, very expensive, and very clean compared to the market. I bought some Whiskies snacks and didn't notice that on the package it says for cats 6 months and older, haha. I guess Mu Shu is waiting til February to eat those treats.
I met the people and got the prices for boarding - in case I go back to America this winter (or next Summer).
If I go away for a few days, I'll just have friends watch him, people are excited about having a cat in the friend circle. But if I leave for an extended time, I would feel better boarding him just for convenience. It is 50rmb a day for a small cat (about 9 dollars). Totally doable. I'm glad to know I have a boarder, now I just need to find a vet. Because I definitely have scratches, and he definitely has not had shots (yikes).
I am currently asking around about vets because I have 2 friends with horror stories at vets in town - both resulting in death from routine visits. So, finding a vet is a serious thing for me - it's going to be hard to trust someone when the time comes to take his manhood (in 4 months).
I spent the rest of the afternoon doing laundry because the weather was insanely gorgeous today. This is the best time of the year in Hangzhou. Now I am waiting for my tutoring kid who is 30 minutes late! Her mom is out of town, and she told me that this week her dad would bring her and we would still have class. But it looks like that is not happening and I stayed home this afternoon for no reason. Father's of the world, step up! Things should not fall apart when mom leaves town - and I want my 30 bucks for tutoring!
Oh well. If they don't show up soon, I'm off to the gym after finishing some paper work for work. Then to foot massage with a friend's mom who is in town. (mom, come back! Come meet Mu Shu!)
Wanna see a Chine.se pet market? Sure ya do...
View from the street entrance, stores on the left and cages of dogs on the right...
I was afraid to take pics because I thought people might get mad at me (it isn't the cleanest place and they know that foreigners treat dogs differently, so I was nervous they would take offense to me taking pics). So these are all stealthily taken...more doggies in cages piled up...
I want to say that while the place smells bad and is not the picture of cleanliness (where in China is??), I do not think that they mistreat the dogs. There is just a difference in cultural ideas of space (we Westerners love personal space as people, and for our animals. You would probably be upset at the big dogs in little cages). Space and cleanliness aside, I think these people really do care for the animals and I never saw anyone treat an animal badly.
If you are wondering about animal prices - some cats were up to 500USD and dogs ranged from 250USD to 1000USD based on breed. I paid 30 bucks for my cat - the cheapest one on the block.
I went into this store and found a lady (the only worker present) sleeping with a dog in her lap. The other dog on the right is hooked up to an IV. (see it?) Dogs outside were all barking and she was just sleeping away.
Biking home, I had to snap a pic because they sky was blue today!!! So rare and amazing.
And I came home to this...a baby Mu Shu kitty sitting on my couch waiting for me in my dorm room...
Yay for pets. And name changes. And fair bargainers. And business friends. And blue sky.
walk slow. xoxo.