Life is full of surprises and just when you make the horrible mistake of thinking that everything will be perfectly calm for now, wham bam something happens and catches you completely off-guard. I came home from work yesterday feeling worse for wears, nauseous, with an upset stomach, and desperate for my bed. My mailbox had a few notifications of packages left for me with the neighbours, so I began my rounds.
One of the notes was from the Berlin Animal Shelter, saying that the inspector had dropped by for a spot visit to check up on Cherry and Lolita. She was sorry to have missed me and I was instructed to call back immediately for an appointment. Oh. I didn’t even know there were going to be random checks after the adoption, but somehow it doesn’t surprise me. Animal Shelters here in Germany take adoptions seriously, and they need to make sure that the animal is being properly taken care of and the owners are providing the proper care.
The inspection was re-scheduled for today, and all I could think of was my aunt, a retired social worker now, who used to escort orphans to their new adoptive parents, and had to check up on them as well. The checklist consisted on:
- The adequacy of the apartment size,
- amount and access to fresh air,
- amount of natural light
- number of hours they are left alone during the day
- the number of toilets (one toilet per cat plus one) they have access to,
- type of food,
- awareness of health issues,
- emotional stability,
- socialisation skills
- individual relationship to the owner / mother
- individual relationship to the other cats
- relationship / reaction to other creatures
- reaction to strangers
- distance to the vet
- amount spent on veterinary fees
- amount spent on food
- time spent on grooming
- aggression level
- play time
- type and amount of toys
- number of scratching posts
- are there enough rooms for each cat to retreat to on their own
- access to any dangerous materials
… geez, you would think I was applying to private boarding school!
Cherry passed with flying colours and was praised for being sociable and well adjusted in such a short time. Lolita was very shy and hid most of the time, but it was understandable, considering everything she went through. Nobody expects her to be a changed cat in seven weeks. Champagne, on the other hand, did a fabulous advertising campaign for all of them, and was super cute and friendly to the inspector, rubbing up here, pawing there, and even managed to appear playful with Cherry.
Cherry watched tChampagne’s showmanship (showcatship?) with utter disdain in the beginning, but then decided to follow suit, perching on the sofa back rest behind the inspector and quietly listening in on the conversation. She even allowed herself to be petted by a complete stranger, which is rare. Lolita didn’t even bother. She made a brief appearance, squeaked, but decided that it was a huge mistake.
We earned plus points when I pointed out that I
- have the pheromone diffuser on 24/7
- have the radio on relaxing New Age music with nature sounds for most of the day,
- and take tons of photos of them.
So unless I have really screwed up somehow on an aspect I am unaware of, I think we passed and can continue to live together!