Please note some photos in this post may be upsetting! Please bear this in mind while reading this post.
Meet Eggo and Leggo, affectionately known as The Waffles!
They were named after an American breakfast food and the marketing campaign it was famous for: Eggo frozen waffles. You see the likeness, right?
They are sweet, funny, and adaptable Kotor Kitties*, from Montenegro. We are extraordinarily lucky that a series of mishaps and misadventures brought them to our family in Seattle this summer!
They immediately charmed our grumpy resident cats, Bugsy Malone, and Killer Ted, then slowly worked their way into the heart of my husband, Mike, who stubbornly resisted as long as possible.
We have only a vague idea of their early lives. Kotor Kitties volunteers Caren and Kenric found Leggo a few blocks from Stari Grad (Old Town) Kotor, with a badly damaged eye. They were on the way to the vet with a gnarly Tom Cat in a carrier, so they popped the little kitten in with him for the remainder of the walk. Fortunately Grey Boy was charmed by her!
Kotor Kitties’ partner vet, Dr. Relja Cetkovic, determined the eye needed to be removed. We assume it was destroyed by the herpes virus that runs rampant in kittens in the area. She was spayed at the same time her eye was removed and given an “ear tip” to prove she was a truly a sterilized “Kotor Kitty.”
Little Eggo turned up outside Caren and Kenric’s apartment in Stari Grad around the same time. She too was spayed and given a tiny ear tip. The two settled in for recovery together, like long lost sisters. But before long panleukopenia struck them.
With loving care from Caren and Kenric, both kittens survived the often-fatal disease.
As Caren and Kenric prepared to leave Montenegro, their hearts were breaking at the thought of leaving the kittens they loved so dearly. Fortunately, an American expat stepped forward to adopt the pair. Instead of returning to lives outdoors, they went to what was supposed to be the love and safety of a “forever home.”
Forever lasted less than two months: instead of permanence, one morning the kittens were discovered back in Stari Grad. They were immediately recognized and taken into care by Danijela, a local shopkeeper and Kotor’s chief cat caretaker, who feeds and cares for all the kitties there.
It seems the American expat abandoned Montenegro and the Waffles, without notice.
Again the search was on for an adopter: at this point the girls had been “inside kitties” too long to be placed outside.
Eggo I Leggo i dalje se nadaju toplom domu -da li ima neko ko bi im ponudio zauvjek dom, zajedno ili odvojeno ♡ Mace su sterilisane I vakcinisane. Kontakt inbox Kotor Kitties
Eggo and Leggo are still hoping for a loving home – is there anyone who would like to offer them a forever home, together or separately ♡ Kitties are neutered AND vaccinated. Contact inbox Kotor kitties
I adored these munchkins and had followed their story from Caren’s first photos. If they didn’t find a home in Montenegro, I was determined to bring them back to Seattle on my next trip, to either find a home or join our family. I gave my husband fair notice, which he didn’t take seriously… until we arrived together at SeaTac airport a few months later. SURPRISE! The Waffles are here!
I enjoyed their madcap antics sharing my bedroom in a flat in Montenegro: Eggo learned to work the doorknob; both played hockey with walnuts all night, and always managed to hide a few nuts from me when I searched to remove them; Leggo loved to flip their water dish over–just for the fun of it.
But nothing truly bonded us like our 4-day trip from Montenegro through Belgrade and Paris to Seattle. Everything airline-related went wrong on that trip, but the Waffles remained unfazed. They were the best travel companions anyone could ask for!
Once home, I made a few half-hearted attempts to find friends to adopt the girls. Each day my husband Mike would ask anxiously if anyone had adopted them. Some days with anger, some with hope, others with resignation. Gradually the questions slowed.
Their mischievous antics continued: grapes, tomatoes, lemons and garlic all made good substitutes for walnuts in their hockey games; hard boiled eggs didn’t work, but after the fun of playing with eggshells and egg whites was over, they enjoyed devouring every tiny bit of the yolks; the ceramic water fountain was too heavy to turn all the way over, but it made a fun thunking sound as Leggo tried and tried to tip it!
In September Mike made his first trip to Montenegro, to see for himself the country and people I love and the animals I devote so much time to helping. I even convinced him to look at houses with me! At one point, seeing he didn’t share my enthusiasm for moving to Montenegro, I pointed out that if I had a home in Montenegro, the Waffles could live there instead of Seattle. After a short silence Mike spoke up: “They’re not going anywhere. They live in Seattle now.”
Yes, indeed they do!
* Kotor Kitties is the first High Quality, High Volume Spay-Neuter (HQHVSN) and Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program in Montenegro. Our all-volunteer program is dedicated to preventing suffering, decreasing the population of unwanted cats, and improving the health of Montenegro’s cats in the most humane and cost-effective way possible: through targeted spaying and neutering.
We’ve spayed or neutered more than 7,400 Montenegrin cats now, each of them representing generations of suffering that has been prevented and lives saved.
To learn more about our program, please follow us on Facebook or Instagram, and visit our website: https://www.kotorkitties.org.