As a very big animal lover, I love to surround myself with animals. Unfortunately, I am married to a man who does like animals but would rather not have them in the house. Maybe just as well, otherwise it would certainly be a complete zoo here. Although we have enough space for it, there is much more to it, especially money, because caring for animals can be quite expensive. Especially when they are/become ill.
We currently have 3 cats and 1 dog, all of them are rescues. The oldest is Gypsy, our spotted cat. We took her out of a cat shelter after the previous cat suffered cardiac arrest during her sterilization on the operating table and could not be saved. We were so sad, she was only 9 months old. That is why we decided to immediately look for another one. Gypsy was about 6 months old when we took her out of the shelter in 2012. Fortunately, the sterilization went well. She is very calm and on her own. Occasionally she will lie down with you and let you pet her. She determines those moments herself. When you pick her up on your own, she almost always jumps off. She is often outside anyway, except in wintertime, because apparently she does not like cold :).
A year later, a girl next door came to the door with a kitten and asked if it was ours because she didn’t know where it came from. I kept the little kitten with me for fear she wouldn’t survive otherwise. We called her Cheetah. Cheetah is our little princess, or so she thinks. She is very affectionate and likes to lie with you, but only as long as it suits her. When you stroke her in the wrong place, she lashes out. She has a huge character! She knows exactly what she wants and doesn’t want and gives loud and clear comments when something is not to her liking. Cheetah thinks she’s in charge of the house and even occasionally attacks Gypsy when she walks by. But with other cats outside, she is a wimp. Then she comes running home very fast, haha.
Then we have black and white tomcat Max. A few years ago he suddenly sat on our terrace and stayed there. After a few days, I started feeding him. Bine was very angry about this, but I could not let the poor thing starve to death, right? Bine decided that Max is not allowed in the house, but he keeps trying. He really is a sweet cat, but unfortunately, he also thinks he is in charge here and attacks Cheetah and Gypsy when they are not paying attention. They cannot stand each other. Months later it turned out that Max actually was the neighbors cat. For some reason, Max decided he rather wanted to be with us. In retrospect, I think it was probably meant to be because Max turned out to have bladder stones. I noticed he was unable to urinate. His urethra was clogged and I had to take him to the vet twice to have his bladder emptied. Had I not done that, he would have died a slow and painful death. If he had stayed with the neighbors, that is probably exactly what would have happened. That’s why I think he sensed something and went looking for someone who might take better care of him ….? In any case, he has to have (expensive) diet food for the rest of his life, because without that food he will suffer again. Fortunately, it has been fine since then.
Finally our dog Ivy. I’ve always had dogs but after we had to put the last one, Laika, down in 2013, Bine didn’t want any more dogs. Because our daughter Lexi became ill and had problems with her knee, we decided to get another dog so she could take it for walks, because the doctor had said she needed to walk. Of course, as always, it came down to me taking care of Ivy and Lexi rarely or never walking with her ;). While searching for a dog on the internet I came across Ivy’s picture and I was immediately sold. Ivy lived on the streets of Belgrade, Serbia, where she had been taken to a vet by a local animal activist who runs a foundation on her own. The little thing was heavily pregnant and would not survive a delivery. She was immediately sterilized, but because there was no shelter for her, there was no other option than to put her back on the street. This was also reported in the advertisement on the internet, so I immediately decided that we would take her in. The foundation lady went to feed the dogs who stayed on the street every day and looked up Ivy, arranged papers for her, and brought her to Slovenia, all for free! This young lady is called Andrijana and she is doing a fantastic job in Belgrade. Her whole life is all about saving animals and she does this with her own money and donations. If you want to support her with a (monthly) contribution, please contact me. Every euro is welcome!
So Ivy arrived just before Christmas 2017. She was estimated to be about 2-3 years old at the time and she’s a real sweetheart. It was, however, immediately clear that she was a »street dog« because she preferred to be outside constantly. After a while, we let her go and she now walks free during the day. However, we have bought a GPS transmitter for her so that we can never lose her. In general, she stays around the house or in the village, but a few times a day she makes a longer tour, often with her two canine friends from the village, who also walk free. Ivy has a huge hunting instinct and that can be annoying. She hunts cats (luckily she tolerates ours) and all other wild animals that roam here. She flawlessly picks up every trail of game from tens of meters away and then a red flag flies over her eyes. She runs off like a rocket and a few seconds later a deer comes running out of the forest, with Ivy on her heels. Fortunately, our Ivy has very short legs and she cannot keep up with the deer, otherwise, we would have deer steak on the menu regularly ;).