Guest Post by Barbara, August 2015 – We were about to leave Silver Lake which is close to the Rumanian border in Serbia to continue our bike tour. But out of a sudden this story happened to us…

It is a warm evening and I am running along the Danube promenade nearby the town Veliko Gradiste. Suddenly, a tiny animal crosses my way: A small cat! I stop and try to get her attention: “Mietz, Mietz, Mietz…” She meows miserably, is awfully tousled and way too skinny. While I pet her, she starts purring. Only a few weeks old, she seems to be abandoned and very lost. I keep on walking, but she follows me. Eventually, I decide to carry this tiny little living being to our apartment. We have to pass a few dogs, many noisy cars as well as the party mile before we reach it. In order to calm the kitten as well as myself, I promise her that I will take care of her being aware of what a severe decision I have made.
Finally arrived, Matthias first reaction: “Ohhhhhh!!!” The cat is hiding behind the couch as she is awfully frightened. Matthias suggests to better take her back outside… I was hoping for support! Anyway, now she is here.
I lure her out with some bread, she almost devours it. And then in the light of our room the entire misery appears: Her fur is unkempt and verminous. So, she needs a spring-clean which she absolutely hates. Full of fear she is meowing heartbreakingly. Wet as she is, it becomes obvious that she is completely emaciated, barely any fat, only skin and bones. To be honest I do not think that she would have survived much longer. Wrapped into a towel, I put her on our balcony. I cannot sleep for a long time, so I do some online research what kittens need. Especially warmth, because they cannot regulate it on their own. I go outside, thankfully she climbs onto my lap, enjoying the cuddles and purrs and purrs… In this moment I am sure to have done the right thing.

Litte Mietz in Serbia

On the next day I talk to our landlords who are surprisingly relaxed about the cat in their apartment. But they warn me that it will be difficult to find someone who is willing to take her, because there are so many abandoned dogs and cats in Serbia. It will not be the last time I am hearing this sentence: “You are crazy!” However, I am not put off by that. With the help of Milos from the tourist information I call a vet.

He gives her some vitamines and treats her fur. I cook chicken, buy cat food and get some gravel from a nearby construction site for a cat toilet, which she uses quickly. She stays with us for a week, starts to play exuberantly and grows well. Matthias and I have taken her to our hearts, and we would love to keep her, but unfortunately this is not possible. Contrary to all predictions we are lucky: Lidijas cousin Milan lives on a small farm and wants to take her. With mixed feeling we say goodbye, although I am sure she will have a good life there. And maybe we visit her next year…


Little #kittycat caught playing. #cat #cute #katze #mietz A video posted by Matthias Derhake (@matthias_traveltelling) on