an introduction to my cat, because she is important

So, just started our third week at UVMP, and things are still going quite well. Our lectures have officially been moved online, which isn't the worst thing in the world (extra 30 minutes of sleep in the mornings!) but it was sad that some of our practicals had to be put online too. But! More on all that later, because I want to write about my cat. Because she's a literal angel, and I love her, and she makes me happy :)

Her name is Princess Honey Bumble Bee Beatrice, but we call her Bee. I wanted to name her Bee since I first saw her because her eyes looked like bees, and I have always loved bees! haha. I've had her for almost two years now, and she is 8 years old.

When I was living in Canada, I was feeling really down and lonely, largely in part to not being able to spend time around any animals. This was so difficult for me, and something I tried to adjust to but just didn't manage to (clearly, as I then made a huge career change to allow myself to literally work with animals to ensure it never happens again) as I've always had pets and been very close with animals. I was doing some research on the subject and found out there was a charity in my city that would let people foster cats. So at first I thought this was a fantastic idea: I could have cats around, look after them, but not have to commit to having a pet in a country I knew I would probably have to leave and wasn't sure about my future in. So I applied after thinking about it a bit and I was so excited when they said they had a cat for me to foster. I remember they told me that I'd probably have her as a long term foster, as she was an older black cat. I asked why, and they said that "no one wants old black cats" :( Apparently they are bad luck (FALSE)). Anyway, I was MORE than happy to have her (love black cats and always have seemed to have one around...) so late one night I went to pick her up.

The charity was great, and if you live in the lower mainland and like cats they are an awesome one to support (called VOKRA, always need volunteers and donations in many different capacities!) and they stocked you up with everything you needed: cat beds, crates, litterbox, food, etc so you didn't have to pay a thing. They told me that I had to be careful: "she is an aggressive and shy feral cat who will try to escape, she'll hiss at you and bite people." I was a little shook, but ok, fine. "She has a UTI" Ok, fine. "We don't now anything about her or her medical history." Fine fine fine. Signed a few papers and then they handed me the crate and helped me load her into the car. I couldn't see her until I got home because it was so dark and she was so dark!

Anyways, this is turning into such a dramatic long story. To cut it short, everything they said about her was wrong: to the point that I thought for a second they had given me the wrong cat. When we got home, I opened the cage and she literally walked out, looked at me, and sat on my lap. And purred. And I was just like.... oh Crap. I'm going to keep her.

It sounds so cheesy but she honestly saved my life and I don't regret for a second adopting her. I was so nervous because I'd convinced myself I couldn't have a cat, because I could barely look after myself at the time and was just in a bad place mentally. But she changed so much for me, and gave me something to care about other than my own problems and she gave me so much love and joy, and I know she's just a little cat but for a while there it felt like she was literally my only little friend and protector. A true guardian angel, and a wonderful gift from the world to me when I really needed one. She is so full of personality, and is the chattiest most happy little cat I've ever met. I love her SO much.

She is a weird little girl who has some issues that we never quite figured out but they don't seem to bother her and they add to her charm... Like. She has fixed dilated pupils. They never constrict. Her eyes always look MASSIVE. She also does this weird thing sometimes where she literally drags her back legs behind her, and she always walks funny. I took her to the vet a few times, even when I was still fostering her because I absolutely thought there was something wrong. But they didn't find anything physically wrong with her. One suggested lingering neurological issues, but she seemed happy and healthy in every other way so I was just told to keep an eye on it. I was concerned maybe she wouldn't be able to see very well, or was in pain because of these things, but that doesn't seem to be the case at all, as she can catch a toy flying through the air while doing a backflip, races around the apartment when she's excited, jumps up to high ledges (even when I put out steps for her...) and always seems happy and healthy. So as long as she's not in pain or bothered, it does always make us laugh a little!

When I decided to move to Slovakia I did a lot of research as to how I could bring her along, which actually was not as difficult as I thought it would be. I was concerned because the journey is a long one, but there was no way I could leave her behind; I am far too attached to her and she doesn't like many other people. We're each other's family, and I would never survive vet school without my little Bee <3 So even though the journey was 5x harder because of COVID19, we got all our paperwork together, and I got her a very nice travel case, and she sat below the seat in front of me on 3 flights, through 4 airports, on several drives until we got to our new home. Luckily Canada and the EU have an agreement, so she did not have to quarantine or anything like that. She was so good and couldn't have been better behaved, more calm about it all; and she settled in so fast here in Kosice. I do not know what I did to deserve her. I think she knew how stressed I was about travelling with her and wanted to make it as easy as possible for me! Or maybe that's just me projecting.

So that's a little bit about the Lady Beeswax, who is my constant companion now that school is moving more and more online (she's happy about it), is sitting on my lap purring right now and being the little bundle of joy that she is. A precious and wonderful baby.

Animals are the most beautiful blessings <3

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