Nov 5, 2012

Cat lady adventures.

My friend Cammie moved back to Hangzhou this year for a study-abroad program and with her return, my cat obsession has found a friend. 

Cammie's ownership of a cat in HZ a few years ago inspired me to get my Mushu kitty. She's had a rough turn of events in moving back to Chinatown and there seems to be only one logical option for helping her be happy - get a cat! 

She's on the hunt for the perfect cat and we have brokered a deal. She will keep the cat for this year and then, if everything goes well, it will become mine (and Mushu's) cat in the summer. The rule is that there can only be one pet per passport on international flights, but if my family comes here and flies home with me, then I can take both cats home to America. (this is just the rough plan, if Mushu doesn't get along with the cat or I can't handle two, then I will be responsible for finding it a good home, which is easy here.) 

Anyways, our hunt for a cat for Cammie led us to an animal shelter about 45 minutes outside of town. Animals are not viewed the same in Chin.ese culture as in American culture (pets don't become part of the faimly, there is no idea of 'animal rights', etc) so we were surprised to find that there was a place for stray animals that had a website and seemed clean. 

Turns out the shelter is right behind my boyfriend's house (spoiler alert!) so on Sunday we took his e-bike up into the mountain on the mud path, past families of geese, a pig, and brick homes, to the animal shelter. 

The directions only said to, "find the blue door," so when we approached this blue gate with sounds of barking dogs behind it, we were skeptical about what was on the other side. 

We were happy to find that what was on the other side was a large lot with clean facilities for the cats. (We never saw the dog area, only heard it...) We were greeted by the volunteers who were surprised to see two foreigners (especially an African and a redhead) and I explained that I was there to look at the cats for a friend who is interested in adopting. The volunteer, Mo Mo, took me into a huge caged area with about 40 cats inside and I spent awhile checking them out, taking pics, and asking her questions.

Unfortunately, most of the cats are unadoptable (by my standards) because of sickness or fear of people. Most of them would shake or run when I appoached them gently. Out of all of them, I chose two to report back to Cammie as being possible cat babies for us.

Mo Mo (the volunteer) and the sweetest kitty, Mi Mi. (one of the options).

Kitty Paradise.

The other option, King (Xiao Wang). He was so friendly and healthy looking and approached me right away. I loved his large face - I thought he was so handsome.

Safety in numbers from the big, bad world.

Cross-eyed kitty.

Unfortunately, I don't think Cammie will get a cat from there because the process for adoption is ridiculous. They have to approve your housing situation and then you go to the vet together. It takes 1-2 weeks. And the shelter is not downtown. I think they are trying to make sure they don't get eaten. Ha.

I plan to go back with Cammie, though, since it's so close to Yoni's house and it was interesting to see a Chin.ese shelter. The people were very kind and the animals were so well taken care of. It made me more optimistic about the plight of animals in Ch.ina. The people there do a great job and they are mostly volunteers! (another thing not often heard of in Ch.ina!) It was a great experience all around.

I'm thankful for my Mushu. This adventure of looking for a cat for Cammie has made me realize how lucky I am that my random cat from behind the supermarket has turned out to be so healthy and happy and awesome.

And spoiled.

Was that enough pictures of cats in one post? hahaaha.

walk slow. xoxo. 


There's many many people-centered events lately. 

Happy Birthday, Natasha! The hottest Ukranian I know and a friend who has become like a sister over the past 3 years. She is one of the most genuine, good-hearted people I have ever met and celebrating her 25th year was a blast! 

Goodbye, Dan, as you return to America after 4 years of ministry life in :( You will be truly, deeply missed in HZ...

Happy United States visa preparations, Michael! (ps. Don't go.)

And goodbye to my favorite lawyer, Naza, who put "real life" on pause to come teach in for a year. She is one of the smartest, most witty people I have met in and I will miss the slice of America she brought to my life through her words, idioms, and mannerisms...

Good times. Good people. 

walk slow. xoxo.

Nov 3, 2012

Nov 1, 2012


After two weeks of panic attacks, insomnia, and dizzy spells, I've decided that - yes, I am indeed stressed out. I can't do all that my job and school require at the same time. At least there is light at the end of the tunnel - December 15th I will be free of one section of my university course and wil lose 10 students. 

As much as I love my students and university partners, I am ready to feel like a normal, non-manic person again. 

Luckily, Halloween arrived at just the right time and I decided to let loose and enjoy the American holiday to its fullest. My friends and I celebrated last weekend and on the holiday itself, and it was a jolly time for all. 

The first party was my friend's group function to share holiday culture with Ch.inese people. It was nice, low-key, and a good time...

I went as, "Professor Kitty" can sign up for my course in Feline-ism next semester.

With a lack of many options for costume purchases in this great land, people had to get creative. And the Ninja Turtles were a fan favorite of the night...

Then, on Halloween itself, I went as, "soemone you can count on," and started at a friend's house party and moved onto the student bar later in the evening. It was nice to chill and remember that though I am a professor, I am also a student.

me, my Chinese tutor, and one of my bff's

It was a truly international affair, as all parties here seem to be, with every corner of the world represented. In our costumes however, we all looked the same - silly.

My co-worker and I chilled with some C.hinese friends after I left the house party and I spent the rest of the night explaining my "punny costume" to people whose first language isn't English. Turns out, being "someone you can count on," and wearing a dress with numbers all over it doesn't translate. Ha.

And another Halloween has passed. Yay for the excuse to let loose.

On another note, isn't it strange and concerning that as an absentee ballot requester, I recieved more than several political ads in the mail recently?? To my DORM ROOM in CH.INA. Talk about a waste of energy and resources. Email me instead, people!

More life updates coming soon (including a big one). But I'm hitting the hay. Got a training run in the morning and another day of traveling and observations.

December 15th....please hurry!!!

walk slow. xoxo.