Thanks to social media, new and ridiculous words have entered the colloquial language. Phrases such as WhatsApp it to me, or did you Slack it to him? and my pet peeves, have you facebooked today yet? orI unfriended her. It doesn’t just happen in English, this linguistic abomination is pretty widespread in German as well, and any other language that uses mobile phones, online messengers, and is basically internet dependent.
As a writer, I am a language snob, but as a translator, I transform into a language purist who does not believe in diluting or corrupting. Spanglish or Denglish are unacceptable in my house, and as is Taglish, although I am aware that globalisation and the prevalent use of the internet in our daily lives prevent me from keeping this up much longer. In any case, one such crazy word that has emerged amongst pet owners in recent years, thanks to Facebook and Instagram, is adoptiversary, or as you will find it on Instagram, #adoptiversary #gotchaday. Mind you, the same hashtags are used for announcing or celebrating adoption of children as well.
In any case, it has been one year to date since I adopted Cherry from the Tierschutzverein Berlin (Berlin Animal Shelter). Gone is the terrified and depressive cat that I brought home, and in her place I have an affectionate little shadow who is generous with her attention, runs a tight ship around the house, making sure that the schedule is followed at all times, and a creature who knows where everyone is and what they are doing, two-legged and four-legged alike. If anyone gets up in the middle of the night to visit the facilities, rest assured that Cherry will appear out of nowhere and sit outside the door until you are done, and in some cases, even escort you back to bed.
The biggest revelation is that Cherry is a dairy junky. She adores milk, will fight anyone for yoghurt, and will lick on a piece of cheese if offered. She does not steal from the table (except butter, if left unattended), and cold cuts or any other food don’t interest her, unless it is cat food, of course. So now I have lactose and sugar-free yoghurt in the fridge as a special treat for the girl, who recently turned 11 years old. Crinkly plastic packaging send her running across the room or draw her from the deepest slumber, because it all sounds like the bag of kitty treats that she loves so much.
She and the two other cats had a huge following on Instagram (10K++) before I closed down the account, and Cherry, with her cute little dragon-like eyes, attracted quite a few fans. She is not as sociable as Champagne when it comes to strangers, and it has been a long and bumpy road in the affection department, getter her used to hugs and being carried around. But she has established herself as a faithful and steady companion, and claimed her niches.
No regrets whatsoever.
2018 was a year of life-changing decisions and events, some good, some bad, some terribly wrong, but adopting Cherry was definitely one of the best decisions I made (Champagne disagrees, however). I still have to remind her from time to time that she is no longer in the shelter and hence does not need to face the wall if she wants her peace and quiet, but otherwise, she has opened up and learned to be mindful (yes, mindful) of others.