Saturday, January 27, 2007

Bus Station Cats

Whenever you are in a bus station or train station in Russia you are bound to see at least one cat. These are feral cats which are allowed to live in the buildings and are used for pest control. They are usually fed by the workers in the building and often you see them with new litters of kittens.

The first two photos are of a really sweet cat that we met in one of the Nizhny Novgorod regional bus stations. She was good natured but dirty. As she shyly worked her way up from the floor, to the bench next to Karen and gradually onto Karen's lap, Karen didn't have the heart to reject the request for attention. What's a little mud on your clothes when someone needs love?

The next photos were taken in the Train.Bus station in the town of Zavolzha. We had arrived at the station by bus in the late morning, and we were waiting for a friend to meet us when we saw these nice but shy cats.
This pretty kitty was resident rodent control at the city House of Culture where we hosted some First Nations American Cultural Concerts. She was happy to get attention from anyone who would take the time.


It has been months since we have posted anything on this page. We were in the United States from September through November, and we have been busy with work and other projects since then. We do have a few new photos to share with our readers.

This first cat is neither Russian nor homeless. The photo was taken in Lowell, MA in October of 2006. We were out for a walk when we spotted this cat and took it's picture. We enjoyed the photo and thought that we would include it here

These next two phots are of a family of cats that live in a church run drug rehabilitation center near Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. We were visiting the rehab center and while we were being given a tour we spotted these cats eating their dinner in the Banya (a Russian sauna)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Village Cats

Whenever you visit a Russian Village you are bound to see many cats. Some will be homeless and feral, others will have nice home and be reasonably well fed. Here are photos of cats in Vacha, a small town about 100 kilometers from Nizhny Novgorod. These photos were taken in 2005.

This is Karen and her friend. The cat belongs to the pastor of the small church in Vacha. Karen is sitting in their kitchen.

Here is the home of the pastor. A large room at the back serves as the church.

We had a group cookout one evening. This guy was one of the uninvited guests.

Here he is, drinking for the bucket of water which we used to brew tea.

One morning, we got up early, took a walk through the village and Karen snapped this photo.

The cat below actually lived in a tiny village in the middle of nowhere. The whole village consisted of 6 cabins.

Tallin, Estonia

We have taken two trips to Tallin Estonia this year. Both trips where taken in order to renew our visas for Russia. On one of the trips we came across this street musician. As he played his accordian we gave him some money and then snapped this photo. This cat obviously is not homeless but we thought that our readers would enjoy the picture. We were suprised to see no homeless cats in Tallin.

Nizhny Novgorod Street Cats

There is a shelter for homeless dogs and cats in Nizhny Novgorod. We don't know much about it. The people from the shelter often have a few animals on display on Bolshaya Provkrovka, which is a tourist walking street in the center of town. They collect money and we stop to see the cats and dogs and to donate a few rubles. Unfortunately, the cats and dogs are often very thirsty as the people don't have proper bowls of water for them, even in the summer.

Here is Mike petting one of the kittens. The girl wasn't nearly as friendly as the kitten, despite the donation.

Here is their typical display of homeless animals. They also have a German shepherd (a dog, not a shepherd from Germany ;-) ), who walks down the street holding the handle of a small plastic bucket in his mouth as he seeks donations.

Below is a really friendly and pretty cat we met on a walk one day. She seemed well fed.

The next two photos are of another cat. She probably lives in the building she is standing in front of, but she may be homeless.

We met this cat the same day. She was very hungry and looked like a street cat.

The next three photos are not actually in Nizhny Novgorod. They are from a trip that Mike took to attend a conference in a small tourist town called Loo, in southwest Russia in the coast of the Black Sea. This cat lived in an open air restaurant. She was very freindly and very hungry. Mike shared his meal with her every time he went to eat. There was another cat there who was very skinny, sick and probably infested with mites.

This last picture is of a feral cat which lives in a ravine which we cross when we walk to our freind Olga's apartment. We tried to feed this cat but it was too wild. The cat is dificult to see in the photo, but it is black and in the center of the photo, hidden in the weeds.

Bus Station Kitten

The Bus Station, Suzdal Russia

In July we isited the historic small town of Suzdal, which is about 1000 years old. We took a train from Nizhny Novgorod to Vladimir and the a bus from Vladimir to Suzdal. At the bus station in Suzdal we found this little kitten. She was extremley hungry and thirsty. We were able to give it some food (Karen usually carries a bag with her), and some water which she drank from the bottle cap.

We considered rescuing this kitten but as we were 200 miles from home and staying with friends it just would not have worked out.

When we went back to the bus station in the evening she was nowhere in sight.

Here is a photo of an abandoned dog which lived at the bus station.

Church Cats

In August we attended a wedding at an Orthdox Church in Nizhny Novgorod. Orthodox Churches usually have several resident cats. This one was no exception. here are a few photos.

This old guy was sitting on the steps of the church. No matter who entered or how many people were around, he wouldn't move

The yellow and white was another cat that lived at the church. He was younger and more outgoing.

Here are a couple of photos of the church and wedding.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Homeless dogs

There are probably as many homeless dogs in Nizhny Novgorod as there are cats. Cats are favored by Russian grandmothers and you will often see bowls of cooked cereal, fish heads food scraps and whatever, left out for cats to eat.

Homeless dogs don't get as much sympathy. They tend to run in packs and are a public nuisance. I saw one pack which would have attacked a small child if the parents hadn't been watching. It is a sad fact also that homeless dogs often hunt, kill and eat homeless cats here.

Despite this we are sympathetic to their plight. Here a a few photos of some dogs we regularly see close to our apartment.

Recently, when we were walking home, we had a small bag of dogfood with us. We came across another dog which runs in this same dog pack. She was really thin and looked as if she were starving. We opened the bag a dogfood and poured it out for her. She walked up to it, sniffed it, turned her nose in the air and walked away! Hopefully some other deserving dog got the meal instead.

On a Walk in the City

Well, here is a new post finally. We went for a walk today, took along the camera and here are a few cats we met.

This guy is difficult to see. He was on a hillside and sitting on a manhole cover. He was very worried as we photographed him. We couldn't get him to come close.

This one must be related to the last one. They look similar and were within 50 yards of each other. This one saw us and came running. He was friendly and hungry.

Both cats seemed clean and may not actually be homeless, but they were certainly underfed.

We came across these two in the bottom photo as we were closer to home. They are probably feral. One would come close for food. The other one did not trust us at all, and would come out from under the car.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

In the beginning...

Hello and welcome to our homeless cats blog. We live in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia where we serve as missionaries. We love Russia and are concerned for the poor and homeless people of Russia and around the world. We are also interested in the homeless and mistreated animals we see. We have begun this web blog to showcase some of their stories.

This is Vyera (which is Russian for Faith) relaxing on top of our slippers. She was our first adopted Russian cat. We found her in August 1994 when we first moved to Dzerzhinsk, Russia. We were walking home from church one Sunday and as we walked through the tall grass Mike kicked this tiny little kitten like a soccer ball. We felt horrible when we realized what he had done and we picked the little thing up to make sure that she was OK. All the neighborhood kids who were watching us said, "It doesn't have a home," so we adopted her. Vyera has lived with us for 12 years now. Her primary person in our family was our daughter Erin, but when Erin married her husband Paul, Vyera became completely ours as Paul has severe animal allergies. Vyera moved from Dzerzhinsk, Russia to Massachusetts along with her people in 1996, when we returned to America. In 2004 Vyera moved back to her motherland with Karen and Mike. She now resides with us in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.