Trigger Warning: Cats

There’s this building I stayed in when Ederlezi Rising was being filmed. It’s got a backyard, with a restaurant kitchen on the other side. A feral cat colony lives there.

Every other day or so I would sit with the cats and feed them tuna or sardines. When the woman handling catering on set heard about what I was doing, she would save any leftover fish and send it home with me for them.

The night before I left, the big tom hopped up in my lap and started purring. It was beautiful.

So now sometimes when I’m in Belgrade I go through the building, into the backyard, and feed the cats. Especially if I have leftovers for them. I grew up being told it’s a shame to waste. I still believe that. You might have seen one of the kittens on my instagram feed.

It’s been a rough three days. Partially because of events I’m only hearing about third or fourth hand, and partially because I’m in some kind of extended, still bloodless PMS. It feels insane to be begging my body to hurry up and menstruate.

Tears started rolling out of my eyes when the owner of the language school I attend told me that the laws regarding language visas had just changed. They came faster the more he talked, and when he started doing math I couldn’t contain myself anymore, apologized, and left.

I went to Sveti Petka and sobbed. Churches are one of the safer places to have emotions. Someone said Petak is named for Petka, like Vendredi in French is named for Venus, like Friday in English is named for Freya. Female gods. Protectresses of women. Someone said Petka’s church has been a site women go to when they need help since before Christianity.

I need to bleed. I need to be able to feel safe. Unlike the last church I cried in, there were no tourists pointing me out to their children. It was warm, and somber, and beautiful.

Then I went to feed the cats. The older cats got up when I pulled the tuna tins out of my bag. The kittens didn’t, because they’re dead. These moments are the downside of caring.

Someone said Mercury is in retrograde. Someone said not to make any decisions until Sunday, when it passes. Someone else has said retrograde Mercury interferes with communication.

Maybe posting this is a mistake. There is still no blood.

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Also published on Medium.

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