Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Our Trip: K9 Hunts For Wild Animals

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting tired of the trip stories, so this will likely be the last one.

That said, I have tons of really exciting trip stories, but I cannot post them here. Too personal. Sorry guys. What I’m trying to say is, the trip was not as boring as it may seem from my posts. I met a lot of people; I asked a lot of questions; and I sure got a lot of answers.

Anyway, on to K9.

If you asked K9 to name two things on the trip he liked least, he would say “crappy pop music” and “annoying little kids”. Although, I suspect he would be lying about the last one. In reality, K9 got along pretty well with the older kids, and he even seemed to really enjoy taking care of his youngest, 2.5yo, cousin (especially after I mentioned that, after he gets enough practice with her, he can get a job babysitting other people’s small kids).

If you asked K9 to name two things on the trip he liked most, stray cats would probably be somewhere on the list. K9 had never seen a stray cat before, or a housecat running all around the street. Our local housecats tend to stay inside their owners’ houses, or, at most, on their owners’ property. Whereas in Ukraine, the streets are full of cats. K9 was fascinated.

He tried talking to the cats – not in English, not in Russian, but in cat: “Meow, meow”. A few of the cats actually talked back, but most looked at K9 like he had three heads, and scurried into the nearest hole.

On our first trip to the dacha (the one where we lost I12), the kids found a small, grey, adorable kitten. They were so happy! They played with him; they took turns holding him; they kept sneaking food from our table and feeding it to him; they even gave him a name: Murlyka.

Then, we had to go home and leave Murlyka behind.

Ever since then, K9 kept asking everybody when we were going to go back so he could play with Murlyka again. Finally, about a week later, we did indeed have to go back. We get to our inlaws’ property; Murlyka is nowhere in sight, having either run off or perished from indigestion because of all the food the kids had given him.

K9 was devastated, and asked me if he could go look for the cat. I said, “sure”, and started for the road with K9.

All four other kids followed us.

Now, that wasn’t in my plans. I didn’t want to take all of the kids out in the middle of nowhere. That’s just too much responsibility for me. What if something happens? What if all four kids run in different directions, which one do I follow? How am I supposed to hold them by the hand so they don’t get lost, I only have two hands?

I turned back and told K9 that the search party was cancelled.

That didn’t go over well with K9. He got mad.

After much arguing, a search party of five set out. K9, myself, and three kids, age six, five, and three and a half. At least the two-year-old stayed behind.

The kids, to my surprise, turned out to be very compliant and followed directions well. But they were walking too slowly and getting distracted every minute. K9 did not appreciate that.

When the kids stopped by a pond to look for the frogs, he walked off, saying,

“Nobody’s helping me find the cat, so I’m going alone.”

We yelled at him to stop, but he just kept plowing ahead. I had no choice but to grab the kids by their hands and follow.

The kids, again, did a great job walking with me and watching out for cars and periodically hollering at K9 to come back. That only made him go faster. I, on the other hand, could only walk as fast as the youngest kid I had with me… the three-and-a-half-year-old.

K9 turned a corner, than another, and we lost him.

I had just lost my kid in a strange country, in the countryside in the middle of nowhere. There were no people around. I had three little kids with me, so I couldn’t run ahead and look for him.

I was positive Mr. Goldie would kill me when I got back. However, there was nothing else to do. I told the kids that I was taking them back to the dacha, so I could then go off and search for K9 alone.

The kids were totally understanding. I wish mine were that mature.

At the dacha, I dropped the kids off and turned around to go back, saying,

“K9 has gone off looking for a cat, I’m gonna go find him.”

That got even more reaction than I had been afraid it would.

At least, no one was mad at me.

My BIL, bless his heart, went with me to look for K9. We were gone for exactly two minutes. As soon as we hit the road, we saw the prodigal son coming back our way.

Here’s what K9 said:

“No, I haven’t found the cat. In fact, I knew there would be no cat. I just wanted to teach my Mom a lesson, because she didn’t want to go with me.”

While we were all trying to think of a good punishment for K9, his 6yo cousin walked up to him and spanked him on the butt. Judging by K9’s reaction, that was punishment enough.

So we left it at that.

The Goldie has spoken at 12:28 PM

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