Question of the day (21st April).

Youโ€™re allowed to erase one item from your schedule for the next week. What is it and what do you replace it with?

My answer:

Barbecues – there’s some sort of weird, informal tradition in Poland that people are doing barbecues in the first days of May – as they are like bank holidays here and the weather is usually getting warmer, or I guess that’s the reason. – Barbecuing can be cool, but as for my family it usually means socialising, and eating loads of meat and little of anything else, I usually hate them. I’d replace them with… let’s think… learning Welsh maybe? or blogging? or something nice like that. Definitely something nice.

You? ๐Ÿ™‚

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They finally got it.

Hhrrru? ๐Ÿ˜ป

Misha here. Guess what? My sluggish peeps are starting to think. After 3 years of me living with them. How do I know that? Because they’ve JUST started to come to terms with the fact that I understand more than tey think I do. What a truly shocking discovery, isn’t it?!

One evening I was doing my own business and suddenly heard Mila calling me. I could hear her well and was actually quite close to her but chose to ignore her until I’ll find out that it’s worth my effort to come to her. So she went to Mum’s room and asked Mum if I was there. Mum told her where I was and Mila was calling me all the time so I knew it was something big. And Mum also called me mish mish mish so I didn’t know where to go, but finally followed Mila as she was going downstairs and it looked like she wanted to show me something and I grew more and more interested. And Mum was like: “Wow, he understands that you call him, and where you want him to go!”. Like, wow, really, do I? Wasn’t that quite obvious? No one else in this house is called “mish mish mish”, and if she was going downstairs, obviously she wanted me to follow her and not go in the opposite direction, right? It’s disgracing that they think I am such a total blockhead! And then at the end of the stairs I could feel what was the reason for Mila calling me, I felt a very nice smell from the kitchen, it was yummy yummy fish. I love eating fish. And Dad was having some for supper and was keen to share with me. It was so so yummy. As I ate, I could hear Mila coming back to Mum’s and saying: “He probably understands even more than just that, far more than we realise”. What a spectacular discovery! My peeps are learning new things! Yay for the human race! ๐Ÿ˜ป No I am not sarcastic at all, I don’t even know how to be sarcastic, I am just a poor kitty who doesn’t even know what they want from me and the only word I understand inhuman language is “Miiiiishaaaaaaaa!!!”. I am 3 years old but have no wits and need to be treated like a 3-month-old baby, because I am just so helpless and feeble-minded, wonder how they’d even managed to toilet train me hahahaha.

But OK, let’s be serious. Of course I understand more than they think I do. I maybe don’t get all of their stupid things because I’m not into that and don’t care, but if something is about me, you can be sure I understand. I tell you that though only because you don’t live under the same roof as me, because – as many other cats probably do too – I find that pretending to be silly and ignoring what’s going on around can really pay off at times and it actually shows how clever you are because making a choice whether you want to hide something or let others know about it also requires some thinking and decision making skills, if not anything else. And they can’t blame me because they do just the same! Even today, I came to Mila’s room, and she picked me up (even though she certainly knows I hate it, but OK, sometimes you have to compromise), and then put me to sleep, but I got up again and stood on her knees and looked very emphatically at the drawer where she keeps my treats, and wagged my tail in its direction so that she could know what I mean. And I know that she got it, but didn’t do anything, just stroking me as if she didn’t notice anything, while I was starving! It’s the same with all of them, so they can’t blame me.

Do you, other pets out there, also prefer not to disclose how much you actually understand? And you peeps out there? Be honest! Honesty is so rare in this world.

Mishpurrs.

Misha ๐Ÿ’™ ๐Ÿ’š ๐Ÿ’œ

I want out.

Hhrrru? ๐Ÿ˜ป

It’s me Misha. I’m in a very agitated and adventurous mood recently. Because I can feel spring in the air. My peeps were so silly and thought that I don’t think about it anymore, but I do, I can feel the sun when I sit on the windowsill, I can hear seagulls calling me and laughing at me that I can’t be out as they can (I never liked seagulls, they’re so stupid and shouty). And Jocky is outside, he can play and do whatever he wants but I can’t. It’s not fair, is it? But no one understands me. I would like to be out and have some nice adventures, catch something and show them stupid peeps how clever I am, or go somewhere that I’ve never been yet.

Mum is constantly saying that I need to be patient and that soon there will be net on the terrace and then I can be there and sunbathe how much I want, even all days. But I don’t want the net. I don’t want to just “sunbathe”. I want to climb up out on the roof, or go to the garden, and when they’ll put the net in there I won’t be able to do that. And there are no nice things to observe. No birds are flying there, no nice views. It’s boring. I’m not a fricken old guy who will just sit in the sun, I’m an up and doing kinda guy. Well OK, I do like the sun, and my sleep, and lazing around, but winter’s for it, not spring. They are so ignorant and think that everyone is just like them.

I thiNK I am a frustrated Misha today.

Oh but I have a good news for you today too. A few days ago I’ve got a lovely present from my Daddy. I really like my human Daddy, when he comes near me, I always throw myself to the floor and want him to stroke me. He strokes me so strongly, not so delicately like Mum or Mila or Zofijka. He strokes me all over my spine and it’s so pleasant that I don’t know what to do, it’s so pleasant that it’s unpleasant, or maybe the other way around, I don’t know, my mind goes crazy, but nicely crazy, as when I feel the catnip, it’s the same kinda feeling. But Daddy likes me only a bit, so that’s why I like him even more. I don’t like it when someone is too nice for me and likes me too much and wants something from me all the time. I’d rather someone be a bit unpleasant to me than too nice. And Daddy often likes to pretend that he doesn’t see me, and when he does see me, it’s only when I want him to stroke me, or when I am behaving badly, like jumping on the table for example or constantly begging him for food or when my poop is too smelly or something. So he almost constantly nags at me, but I don’t care, he’s just like this, if he wouldn’t be grumpy he wouldn’t be alive. But sometimes, Daddy also makes me very nice presents. Usually because Mum wants him to. Like he made the scratchboard for me, and a couple other things.

But this present that I’ve got from him now, I got from him because he wanted it, not Mummy. It’s a beautiful cartboard box. It has sort of dimples in it, because it’s an apple box. But now it’s a Misha box. I love lying in there, it makes me so happy. I love to rub myself at those dimples, I really like this box. I always go there when I feel sad that I can’t go out and I feel so nice there. It’s my favourite place of the year I think. It stinks that Daddy’s away now, he’s been away for almost the whole week, so most of the time I’m the only man in the household, as Olek is at work too. I’m glad that I got this nice present from Daddy.

Question of the day.

How big is your house?

My answer:

Bigger than we need, as my Mum often likes to notice, but we all seem to like it this way, and my Mum prefers big houses. We have a very big living room, which is actually divided in two parts, one is like a lounge, with the TV, sofas and stuff, and the other is more like a dining room but we use it only for some extremely festive and stately occasions like when there are many people coming for dinner or some holidays like Christmas or Easter meals or big family events, normally we rather don’t eat there. From the living room you can also go to the terrace. We have a kitchen, a fairly small one, well it’s big but it’s also divided in two parts and one isn’t actually the kitchen any longer but a dining room where we eat all the meals. It’s open, so it feels like almost the same space with the kitchen. We have two tables there, but usually eat at only one, now as I think of it it seems quite weird to have two dining rooms and two tables, wait, three, one in that other dining room in the living room, and eat in only one place, at only one table. ๐Ÿ˜€

We have a very small but very neat-looking loo there downstairs, like it’s a normal loo but almost everything there is wooden and someone said that our loo is probably the best looking one in the whole county. ๐Ÿ˜€ That may be true. We have a big big cellar, which we use as a pantry, laundry room, a separate cell for Misha, where he is thrown in if he’s too whiny, and Mum does ironing there and sometimes just sits there on her own and God knows what she does, probably just rests, she certainly must need it. There is also a shower and you can get from there to the garage and to the furnace or go out.

Mum and Dad’s room is on the landing and it’s also fairly big, Mum has also a separate part of this room used as a sort of cloak room or dressing room or I don’t know how to call it properly. And they also have the door to the terrace in their room.

And on the floor there is a bathroom, with a less representative loo as guests usually don’t bother climbing there and are not encouraged to in most cases, ๐Ÿ˜€ mostly because right beside the loo there is my room with loads of scary stuff in there which is not for everyone’s squeamish nervous systems. ๐Ÿ˜€ The bathroom is medium I guess and my room as well, though having lived before in a tiny room in the attic it feels rather big to me compared to that and even with all my scary and not scary stuff I don’t use up all the space in here so Misha shares the room with me. Here’s a great evidence how quickly people’s views can change, even three years ago I would flinch at even the mere thought of sharing my own, private room with someone, and now I’m sharing my room with Misha. Next to mine is Olek’s room which is very big with a very big or should I say long bed. Mine is actually a double bed so not the smallest either, but Olek’s bed is really really long, as he is very tall himself. And he also can go out to the terrace from his room. And on the far left is Zofijka’s room, which is big but apparently not the easiest to design so it feels rather packed. Zofijka has actually two rooms, one big, and one small, which is a sort of hole in the wall, you can go in there (on all fours because the ceiling is very low) and it’s a nice hiding place and ZOfijka plays there and sometimes makes her homework. There’s no window but otherwise I think it could be also a nice place to sleep in.

So yeah, our house is certainly big, but I’ve also seen bigger ones, so I guess it’s not very very big overall.

How about yours? ๐Ÿ™‚

Question of the day (23rd March).

Hey people! ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh God that was such a weird week for me really. Don’t know if I’ll be writing anything about it, it’s very complicated and I’m terribly ambivalent about the whole thing, but if I will, not now I guess, need to think about it. The definitely positive thing is that I got to finally finish my Welsh course for good, and now I’m doing very advanced stuff, or so it feels for me, my brain is all steaming and burning.

So let’s get to our overdue questions of the day.

Are you named after anyone? If you had to choose, who would you be named after in your family?

My answer:

My original (birth) name was after my Mum’s friend, and my aunt –
Mum’s sister, they both had the same name – though if you know me a bit better you know that I changed it, and my middle name Anna is after my Mum, and I’m very happy about it, although that wasn’t very creative because in our area most people have their middles after their parents first names, Zofijka’s middle name is also Anna, I’m curious what would they come up with otherwise. I certainly wouldn’t like Anna to be my first name, it’s so typical and universal and although it’s absolutely beautiful, I just wouldn’t like to be one of millions of ANnas in the world, plus I think that the sort of default nickname in Poland – ANia –
takes away lots of charm from very elegant and sophisticated sounding Anna and makes it shallow, I definitely wouldn’t like to be an Ania, and being an Anna in Poland I would inevitably be called Ania by almost everyone pretty much automatically. If my first name was Anna, I would like to be called just that, Anna, but that would be quite unusual here, where people like to nickname most names, especially if I was a kid, I doubt anyone would call me by my full name. ๐Ÿ˜€ But I’m digressing horribly hahaha. So yeah, I’m named after my Mum, and I’m OK with it. But if I had to choose another person from my family to be named after, I would go with my grandma – Helena. – I just love this name, and I’d like to be named after her. And I could keep my middle name happily. I could be also Anna Helena, but, as I said, as long as they’d call me Anna, or maybe even (a bit fancifully) with my both names, that would be cool, albeit a little snobbish I guess to always go by Anna Helena. ๐Ÿ˜€ Not quite normal here.

OK, so how about you? ๐Ÿ™‚

Question of the day (15th March).

Hi guys. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s another pet question for you:

Do you think pets can count as children?

My answer:

It only depends on how you feel towards a pet. I must say that before I met Misha, none of our pets felt like this to me, and they were just pets, although for me Misha is definitely my child, or little brother, and I treat him as such. Not because I would like to have children and he’s some sort of a substitute but because I simply feel this way only to him and it comes very naturally to me to think about him as my child since he’s with us. Funny thing that my Mum feels the same about Misha, though not as strongly as me I guess, she often jokes that she wouldn’t think she’d have a little child again, refering to Misha, and she’s actually his primary carer so he treats her like his Mummy in lots of ways.

What do you think and how do you feel about your pet(s)? ๐Ÿ™‚

Question of the day (11th March).

Did you have any pets growing up?

My answer:

Loads! I was growing up in the countryside so there were always lots of pets and animals overall. As I wrote in the last post, we’ve always had fishes. We lived on the same backyard as my grandparents and aunts with their families, and we always had a dog on the backyard. The first one that I remember was called Ugryลบ (Bite) and he was a rotweiler. Despite his name I remember him being quite nice though he had his own boundaries and demanded respect from everyone. At the same time that we had Ugryลบ, for a short while there were also my uncle’s two dogs, my uncle and his family lived in a town and they didn’t have a place for them so the dogs lived with us. I don’t remember much about them as I was very small when they lived with us, I know that they were called Mona and Lisa and were both very scary and big and wild and horribly noisy, and had to be separated from Ugryลบ and at a distance from people, only my grandma brought them food and no one had contact with them, I wondered why anyone would like such scary dogs. There was an incident when my brother was around them both and Lisa bit him very badly and he has a scar from it. But as I said they were only for a short while with us. Ugryลบ lived for long years but already when I was born he was an old dog so I also don’t remember much of him.

After that we had quite a long break, until my grandma once came back from work with a very small dog. My grandma sells eggs to people so she visits lots of houses and someone just asked her whether she wouldn’t take their dog because they have to move and don’t know what to do with him. I remember we really struggled to name him, until finally grandma came up with Bobik. Bobik was very small, mixed-breed and very energetic and friendly, though a bit mischievous at times. When we lived there, my Mum always seemed to have some strange sort of luck that she found dogs on the streets, and a couple of them stayed with us. One of them was Figa (Fig). She was a big, but very calm and clever dog, though she had a very strong voice and if the situation needed it she would bark really loudly. But other than that she was really calm. She was very authoritative and Bobik always seemed to listen to her. I liked her a lot, because she was so clever. But also she had another quality that I loved in her and that was very useful to me. She liked eating wasps and hornets. When we saw it one summer, we were scared, but she always managed to do it so quickly that they wouldn’t do her any harm and seemed to like it really much. Figa also loved chocolate ice cream.

I don’t know when exactly it was but I guess sometime when we had both Bobik and Figa, my Mum got one of her strange impulses and decided that she would like to have a Caucasian sheep dog. She had a friend who had a breedery or something like that, and she got us such a dog. We called her Masha. I really disliked her. She had very stinky food, and was very noisy, and while overall a very cheerful and hearty and fairly clever dog, she had an awful habit of jumping on people which I hated dearly, and she was just annoying for me. I don’t remember her too well, I don’t even remember what happened to her, I guess we sold her to someone but I’m not perfectly sure. I was at school most of the time then probably and just didn’t think about her much.

We had both Figa and Bobik for a really long time, until they died, and they were both really faithful and likeable dogs.

I guess already when Zofijka was born, again, during a walk, my Mum spotted another stray dog and brought him home. My aunt named him Polar, as in polar fleece, because his fur was so soft. It turned out that Polar was a Polish Tatra sheep dog. He is still there living with my family. He is my most favourite dog of all we’ve had. He can have a fiery temper and always wants to be in charge of things, but he’s also very playful and just good, if you can say so about a dog. He can be very affectionate and I always feel very safe with him. He is a really good guardian and knows who is his people and who is not and is extremely and fiercely protective of his people, he is really scary when you mess up with him. Though he usually doesn’t bark a lot without a need, I remember when I couldn’t sleep, sometimes I felt anxious, or just lonely, and it was so quiet all around at night, and then sometimes out of the blue Polar barked a little, so I knew I wasn’t the only one who wasn’t sleeping hahaha. I regret that Polar can’t have children, or that we couldn’t take him here with us, I’d like to have a dog like him here, all of us would.

At the time we already had Polar, my cousin said he’d like to have his own dog, and he and his mum went to a shelter and he got himself one and called him Rico. I suppose Rico is very traumatised, or something must be a bit wrong with his brain, because he can act very foolishly and unpredictably. he’s small and has very rough fur, a complete opposite to Polar. And he likes to make lots of fuss of himself.

For a short while, at the time we’ve already had Rico and Polar, my Mum got herself a dog of one of her favourite breeds – a Munich schnauzer. We had a real trouble naming him and there were lots of suggestions, though she finally called him Bono, after Bono from U2, she loves this band. Bono wasn’t long with us and I almost don’t remember him. Mum had to sell him because our family weren’t happy with him, you know when there are so many people living together, it’s hard to make everyone happy.

We also had tons of cats on the backyard, most were unnamed, though for years we had a female cat whom I named Misia, who greatly contributed to increasing our local feline population. Most of them all were of course wild and not really up to making friends with humans. There was one sweet little kitten I deeply loved as a little child, he was very cute and small and lovable and gentle, completely not like other cats out there. I named him Parpill, in reference to my imaginary creatures. Me and my brother were carrying him in a stroller around the backyard and playing that he was our baby. ๐Ÿ˜€ Until when I was at school, one of our local drunkards ran him over, driving under the influence. I was hating him silently for years hahaha, no seriously I really hated him. Another cat that I tried to make friends with I called Pimpuล› (there is a popular old Polish children’s book with a cat named Pimpuล› in it, and I also had a teddy bear named Pimpuล›). Pimpuล› was really wild though and a little malicious, or so seemed to me back then.

And then again, when Zofijka was already born, so I was maybe 11-12 or something like that, my grandma came back from work with a cat. Her client said they need to give him away because her daughter, his actual owner, was pregnant. So, to Dad’s absolute dismay, Mum took him home. He didn’t have a name, he was just the cat, until when Zofijka was big enough, she started calling him Kiki. She was showing him her adoration in really strange ways – like dancing around the kitchen holding him by the neck. – Surprisingly, despite all the suffocating love from Zofijka, care and food from Mum, Kiki’s favourite person was Dad. At night, he would always lay on his legs, and follow him everywhere around the house. Kiki, like Misha, was rather withdrawn, though didn’t have the adventurous side to his nature like Misha, he was always afraid of the outdoors and never willing to come out. He was also a bit more affectionate and loyal than Misha, in a way that for Kiki it was more obvious. I liked Kiki, though wasn’t too attached to him and don’t remember him too well because I was mostly at the boarding school I think. I’ve always felt a bit guilty thinking of Kiki. When Kiki was with us and I was home for the Christmas break, I remember that when it was finishing, I really didn’t want to go back to school and was very determined not to go. Not like I wanted it any other time, but with each time I just grew more and more sick of it. I looked up lots of ideas on the Internet how to get ill on purpose so that I wouldn’t have to go, and I made a very precise plan what to do. I waited in my room until everyone will go to bed, Kiki was in my room, and then when finally everyone seemed to be asleep, I sneaked out on the terrace barefoot just in my pj’s. There was a lot of snow and I was walking around in it and wallowing in it for quite a long while until I got all freezing, and then got back home, closing the terrace door behind me, and did the rest of my plan. Mum woke me up early next day as we had to travel to the school, I wasn’t feeling sick at all, other than of anxiety. And the first thing Mum told me was that something utterly unbelievable happened. She went to the kitchen, and saw the cat on the terrace, glued to the glass and waiting for someone to rescue him. Of course the loyal Kiki had to follow me, though I didn’t have a clue about it, and closed him there. I felt awful about that but didn’t say anything, so it stayed as an odd anecdote in our family and Mum always told it to people. I only revealed the secret on my 18th birthday party, when I was out of school and Kiki wasn’t with us any longer, and that was quite a shock to everyone. My Mum got rid of Kiki very spontaneously. She is quite pedantic, and although Kiki was really clean as I remember him, Mum claimed she had way too much cleaning with him. But she wanted to get rid of him in a nice looking way, so decided to be generous and give him to my aunt who has MS so that she’d have company during the day when her family are out at work. Kiki had a good life there as far as I know, and was thoroughly spoiled by my aunt and uncle, got to eat lots of sausage and had become really fat. But then my cousin, who was mainly taking care of him, became pregnant, and they had to give him away. My Mum found him a new home in Warsaw, so he had to travel a fair bit of the country, though I don’t know anything about him now, he’s probably very old if still alive. I wish we kept him for longer, so maybe I would form some real relationship with him and be able to compensate for closing him on the terrace, but then we most probably wouldn’t have Misha, which would be even more sad.

And, as a little girl, maybe 8- or 9-year-old, I was reading articles about different pets and how to care for them in children’s magazines. I generally wasn’t the type of child who would be crazily into animals and always dreaming about a pet but suddenly I got some sort of obsession with pets, and for like a month or so I was constantly tormenting Mum, begging her to buy me a hamster or a guinnea pig. At that time I was really trying to fit in and be like other kids and even had a sort of friend in the neighbourhood, and one day in summer our mums and us were going shopping. And my friend’s mum heard how much I would like to have a hamster or a guinnea pig and was the only person who showed me compassion and understood how badly I wanted a pet and said that their friend’s daughter has a hamster and they have to give it away for some reason so she’ll ask that woman if she could bring it to me. I could see that my Mum was very unsatisfied and annoyed with it and tried to explain to my friend’s mum that it’s not really the best idea, but her point of view was just like mine: “Oh but if she wants a hamster, why not? It’s not a problematic animal”. I guess her friend desperately wanted to get rid of her hamster, and she really wanted to help her. ๐Ÿ˜€ I was over the moon. So, very soon, just the next day, my friend and the other girl – the hamster’s owner – came to me and I got my hamster with the cage. I called him Bingo, and thought it was a boy, though apparently it was a girl. It was a very weird hamster and acted as if he/she was wild, not at all like the hamsters I read about, and not very playful or likeable. Once he even bit me. So my feelings for him were slowly dissipating, and my Mum really disliked him. When I went back to school after the summer holidays, Olek offered to take care of him and become his temporary owner, but when I came back home, Bingo was long dead. I don’t really remember how it happened. But Olek was taking care of him and then made a very neat grave for him in grandma’s garden. I was actually relieved that there was no Bingo, he was really weird.

And one year I tried having snails as pets, and kept them in a tin filled with salad. That was very short-lasting though.

How about you? ๐Ÿ™‚