Stories from Afar & Up Close

The country in which things make sense

Now that we moved to The Netherlands, we plan on doing as the Dutchies do, and let our cats roam around outside. Since we have already spotted several ‘Missing: Cute Cat’ posters, we will not let them go out just like that: they will have to wear a collar. One with a small thingy attached with our name and phone number in it, so that should they get really lost and eventually very hungry, the nice person who fills their bellies can check who they belong to (and send us a cheque for the food). But these collars don't come with a cat-saving device only. They also come with a little bell attached. A little bell that tinkles every time the cat jumps, runs, or even licks its back feet to enthousiastically. It drives us insane, and it drives the cats insane, so Walid figured he’d remove the little bells.

Not so quick, dear man! That little bell is there for a reason! Dutch people really, really like cats, and cats really, really like catching birds… and a drastic decline in the bird population led to the idea of bells on cats.

Oh, true, Walid sighed. In this country EVERYTHING happens for a reason.