Planting White Crocuses: Commemoration of the Death Strip

Past weekend two families – including mine – and some friends went planting white crocus bulbs in commemoration of a deathly fence, the Death Strip or “Todesstreifen”, built by the German army 100 years ago at the Dutch-Belgian border.

The fence was built to prevent people from crossing the border and was electrified to kill escapees.

More information about ‘Fortifications of the inner German border’:

Video about the commemoration:


Twix: story of a foundling cat

A week ago my husband and I went walking in ‘De Panne’ by the sea (Belgium). During our walk a young cat joined us and walked along… all the way back to the car. Every time the cat didn’t see us anymore, he started mewing plaintively.

We called a friend for advice: should or shouldn’t we take the cat with us to try to find the owner or to take him in if necessary? He was affectionate so it was clear he had (or used to have) a home.

Eventually we decided to take the cat with us, since he was also meager and covered in fleas.

It was rather funny to have a cat running loose in the car. Though it didn”t last very long before he snuggled into my neck in the passenger seat.

At home we fetched our cat basket – we have another cat running around the house – to get him save out of the car and into our house.

We let the two cats meet in our hallway – the foundling still in the basket – while we prepared the guest room with a litter box, food, drink and a cat bed.

Once everything was in order, we let our foundling free so we could observe how our own cat, Mr. Tingles, and the newcomer would react to each other.

The youngster first drank a lot – he didn’t eat until the next morning – and then wanted to play with Mr. Tingles. Mr. Tingles, a ragdoll, on the other hand was not in the mood for being active, but they got along.

Early the next morning we called our vet to check whether the foundling was chipped or not. Luckily I could come along straight away.

The cat wasn’t chipped and the vet estimated he was about eight months old. She gave us some tips on how to find the owner and something against the fleas and worms.

Back home I contacted the local authorities and animal shelters, as well as some organisations specializes in lost animals. In addition I posted a message and a few pictures on Facebook.

The next day, social media had done its job and the owner contacted me to tell me the youngster, named Twix, temporarily stayed with her mother and had escaped through the dog hatch.

She sent me some pictures to support her claim, since the foundling is an uncastrated Birman, and we didn’t want someone wrongfully claiming the cat (for breeding or otherwise).

The owner was very happy we found Twix and had taken care of him. We were very glad to have been of help and to have had a playful young cat in our house.

Right now we’re thinking about adopting a second cat 🙂