We accomplished exactly two things this weekend. Drinking wine and introducing a little chaos into our lives.

On Saturday we met some friends for the Wien Wein Wandertag. This is an annual event sponsored by the city to promote the local wines. Trails are marked so that people can hike through the vineyards which surround the city. The vintners open temporary bars along the way so that you can try the wines. If you aren’t up to downing several glasses of wine in one afternoon, spritzers and water are available, too!

It wasn’t the greatest weather for hiking, but we had a good time, winding up in a heuriger for cold cuts, pickles, and a bit more wine.

The next day, we adopted a kitten. That was a very Austrian experience, too.

I had emailed the shelter asking if there were kitten available for adoption. I mentioned that I had an older cat, but that he isn’t aggressive at all. I received an enthusiastic reply inviting me to come see the “baby cats” and pick one out.

When we got there, the story had changed. Oh, we only give the baby cats out in pairs, never alone. Oh, and it’s a very bad idea to bring home a kitten when you have an older cat in the house. The old cat might beat up on the kitten. Oh, and most of our kittens are sick anyway. WTF? Do you people give away cats or hoard them?

So, we went back and forth for a bit. I quoted the email and told them who had sent it, and we generally made a nuisance of ourselves until the volunteers consented to take us to see the vet in charge. She took some convincing too, but she had ONE kitty in the back that she had brought from her personal shelter in another city, and was willing to let us see him.

Well, this apparently healthy kitten decided right away he was going home with us. Between that, and the fact that we are obviously cat people, a deal was struck. We paid 50 Euros cash for a vaccination (which I suspect was mostly a contribution to her shelter) and home we went, with trouble in a box. She did want our address and phone number, and we had to promise to bring him back if it doesn’t work out. I fully expect to get a call in a day or two asking how the “baby cat” is doing.

A side note: this is probably the only shelter in the world that has a really nice thrift/antique shop in the basement and an outdoor cafe. Both are fundraisers for the shelter, which has been in operation since 1848. Austrians really, really like animals.

Fat old cat gave baby cat one horrified sniff, and immediately ran off to hide under the sofa. So much for the big one beating up on the little one. He’s been sulking in a back bedroom ever since!

Meanwhile, the as-yet-unnamed kitten has been busy alternately stuffing his face, climbing all over me, and taking apart my desk. Which should provide plenty of entertainment for fat old cat—once he stops being such a big baby about it!

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