A ‘Forever Cat’ Finally Found!

Nick Wolochatiuk - Dances With Words
A ‘Forever Cat’ Finally Found!
A WOMAN’S BEST FRIEND TOO – Matza was cute, a good snuggler and loved travelling across Eastern Europe in our VW Westfalia camper. (Photo : Nick Wolochatiuk)

We were hooked on getting a cat. One evening we saw two kittens rough-and-tumble playing in a Vienna pet store window. We didn’t want to separate them, so we held off our purchase until one was sold. The next day we returned: both had already been sold, together.

Then, on our last day in Vienna, we came across another pet store window kitten. We bought it and headed for Eastern Europe.

As we travelled through Hungary, excited children would crowd around our little one, They’d cry out, “Moy-tcha! Moy-tcha!” (From research years later, I’ve learned that properly, it’s ‘macska’. ‘Cica’ is also a children’s word for kitten or cat used by children. We corrupted it to ‘Matza’.

Our van became the only home Matza knew for the next four countries (Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslavia, and Italy). Because of that, she took on dog traits, except for hanging her head out the window.

She would walk with us, without a leash. If the door of our van was open, she’d leap in as if she were a dog, wordlessly saying “Hey! Let’s go for another ride.” She would usually take position on top of the dash. (Shades of Nala, the travelling cat of Dean Nicholson. Check out his travels on his YouTube website, 1bike1world.) –

In a recent comic strip I saw three animals in a moving car. The dogs had their heads out the open window. The cat was cowering on the floor:

“Bark! Bark! Whoopee!” shouts the first dog. From the other, “Riding in a car is just great!” However, the cat screams, “We’re all going to die!”

It’s only rare cats, such as Matza and Nala, that behave as if they were dogs.

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