A cat named Knedlik

When living in a small apartment pets are rarely an option - unless they’re small and not too furry. My brother and I managed to persuade our parents to get us turtles. The euphoria of having a pet was gone pretty soon. In the end one died and the other (our humble contribution to biodiversity loss) was released into a pond.

So, why am I talking about pets? Well, as it happens one member of YEE office is of a furry persuasion. I still remember when I had my EVS interview. One of the questions was whether I would mind to share the office with a cat. I said that I don’t mind at all, but then it’s not like I knew what it’s like living with a cat. A turtle is not a cat.

Knedlik is not in the office all the time though. He usually goes about his business in the area of Toulcův dvůr when it’s warmer and only shows up when he wants to eat and drink. When it’s too cold outside he stays in the office overnight and during the day, chilling on one of the office chairs, minding his business. On such occasions the first one who comes to work has the pleasure of cleaning his toilet.

I usually have my quality time with him in the morning. I arrive at the office and there he is sitting in front of the kitchen door with a “where the hell have you been, I’m hungry!?!” look on his face. I open the kitchen door and struggle to get in. Why? Because he’s walking in front and around my feet, constantly rubbing his head against my pants, marking his territory. Does that mean I’m wearing his pants? He probably doesn’t mind, they don’t fit him anyway.

I give him food and change his water. After he finishes breakfast he decides to have a cuddling session, sticking his head into your face or chest. Sometimes he even tops it with a nap on your lap. All this while you’re sitting behind your computer. The latter could easily be a textbook example of multitasking - you’re trying to pat the cat with one hand and type on the keyboard with the other.

Besides the usual toilet and food procedure, having a cat colleague can also be a very exciting experience. I remember coming to work when we had the YEE Physical Board Meeting in Prague (be advised, cheesy Hollywood material ahead!). We still don’t know how it happened, but Knedlik decided to spice up the beginning of our meeting. Rather than waiting for us in front of the office he ended up being on the roof above the office. Judging from his meowing he did not enjoy it at all.

Guess who had the honors of climbing the ladder and taking the cat off the roof? Yup, you got it. He was not so keen on leaving the roof with me and held on the tiles with all his claws while I tried to pick him up. In the end it all worked out. As we approached the ground, he got more and more nervous. He jumped out of my grip and went about his business, fast.

Where are the photos from this epic rescue you might ask? Well, the worry for the cat overshadowed the idea of making this occasion eternal with an irrelevant picture. In the age where everything is (over)recorded and (over)shared, I found it rather refreshing that no one was taking a picture or even thinking about it. But then, I just wrote a blog about it…

Let’s close this one in a proper way, with a thank you. So, thank you Knedlik! Perhaps that’s closest to being a fireman I will ever get?

Written by: Aljaž Malek