30. Downtown Vancouver & First Aid Course

Vancouver, Canada, 10.01.2017.

A lot of different things have happened since my last blog entry on Saturday so I guess it’s time to give you an update of what’s going on in the moment.

After having finished writing the last blog entry, I drove to Vancouver downtown to enjoy the rest of the day in the city. As I had booked a place in the CatFé for 1 PM, this was the first place I went to. It was a very interesting experience and aside from the cats, I also met other friendly people who shared my love for these great animals. Most of the cats seemed to be enjoying the humans who tried to get their attention and play with them. However, there were also two cats that were really shy and they seemed to be stressed by all the action around them. I left them alone because I did not want to add to their stress. So I focused on playing with two young boys who could not get enough from chasing all kinds of different things. With their open and friendly character, I think they will soon find a new family that wishes to adopt them.

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CatFé in Vancouver.
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One of the two young boys who liked to play a lot.
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The other one of the two.
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Sleepy cat. She seemed to be a bit stressed by all the people in the café.

Generally, I think the idea of having a Cat Café is really good. It gives people the chance to get into contact with homeless cats looking for a new place to live. That makes it easier for people to decide for or against a certain cat as they can already try to judge from a cat’s behaviour if it will be a good fit for their personal situation at home (kids, other cats,…). However, I think that not every cat should be exposed to this very special environment in the Cat Café. Cats that are really shy and afraid or that simply don’t like other cats too much should not be put into this or a similar place. Judging from what I have seen, I think that most of the cats were fine with beeing in the café when I was there. But as I said earlier, I also think that two of the cats seemed to be stressed and thus I think that they should not be there. Now here comes the paradox: On the one hand, cats that have not had traumatic experiences yet and that are open-minded will easily find a new home, with or without the Cat Café. Granted, they will find a new home quicker with the help of the Cat Café. But they would most probably also find a new home without the Cat Café. Anyway, they don’t mind beeing in the Cat Café so it is a good deal for them AND the human visitors to be there. On the other hand, however, the shy or traumatized cats have problems finding new homes as they often have trouble connecting with other cats or humans. So beeing in the Cat Café may stress them and it may be another unpleasant experience adding to their trauma. Does not have to be like that but it may be the case. I would not doubt that the Cat Café also increases the chances of those cats to find a new home but it may come at the cost of the cat’s mental wellbeeing. However, I think it is still worth doing as the long-term happiness of these cats will be a lot lower if they do not find a new home at all. May sound harsh but I guess enduring a short, shocking period of time is favorable to enduring a long period of time lacking quality treatment of loving owners. Before leaving the Cat Café, I asked one of the girls working there how many cats have not found a new home while beeing in the Café. She said there was only one cat which had no luck but which then got adopted one week after it was returned to the SPCA. So overall, I think that the idea of the Cat Café is generally good and worth of supporting although going to the Café may not be the most pleasant experience for every cat in the short run.

After my visit in the Cat Café, I took a really long walk through Vancouver Downtown. I felt very relaxed and enjoyed having the time to listen to music and look at the core of the city in detail. Here are just some of the impressions of that long walk:

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Statue of Gassy Jack, the founder of Gastown. Gastown later became the city of Vancouver.
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The famous Gastown Steam Clock. Really impressive, especially the interior. The steam sound is not as loud as the one of a steam train. 🙂
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View on Stanley Park from behind the Convention Center.
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Old Sherman tank in front of the British Columbia Regiment. This was the Commander’s tank in WW II, hence the name “BOSS”.

It felt really good to be back in Vancouver although it was not the very favourite place of my roadtrip in 2016. After having strolled through the city for a bit, I felt hungry and got something to eat. While sitting there and chewing on my Veggies, I wondered what I could do for the rest of the day. I finally decided to watch a movie at the cinema and I was lucky that the movie “A Monster Calls” was about to begin shortly when I arrived at the cinema. This movie is absolutely worth watching and it tells the very touching story of a young boy who is trying to cope with his mum’s terminal sickness (cancer). Although I am definitely not the most emotional or sensitive human being, I had to shed some tears at the end of the movie. Interestingly, the movie had the same effect on everyone around me so it wasn’t only me feeling for the poor little boy.

When I left the cinema, it was already dark and I wondered what to do next. I wasn’t hungry so I did not want to go to a restaurant. Unfortunately, I had taken the car to go downtown so drinking alcohol was also out of the question. Thus, I debated with myself to go to a sports bar, watch some sports and get a coke or something. In the end I decided against that and took another walk through the city. Finally, I got a hot mocha at Tim Horton’s (my first visit to Tim Horton’s upon my return to Canada) and just relaxed a bit. At that point I did not feel like staying any longer in downtown so I drove back home. But that was totally okay for me as I still had to do some shopping for Sunday.

On Sunday, I did not do a lot of overly exciting things. I continued to set up and manage my new Facebook- account, I thoroughly looked for new job opportunities in BC (and found 2 interesting positions I will apply for in the next days) and I finally got to run a bit on the beach in front of the apartment. Also, I spent some time cooking so that I could enjoy a good meal in the evening. I really like fresh and healthy food prepared in a Wok…

On Monday and today, I went to a Standard First Aid Course in Surrey, south of Vancouver. I had already scheduled this course when I was still back in Germany and I realized that I would need a First Aid certificate to be able to do the job as a Park Ranger. And now I have this certificate and will be fine if they invite me to an interview. The course itself was very interesting, we had good instructors and the other people taking the course were also very nice and chatty. So we had a good time refreshing our knowledge of First Aid. Good thing I went there…

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One more qualification for the job as a Park Ranger acquired. *Ticks that box and moves on…*

Now, what are the plans for the next days? Tomorrow I will definitely check out the Board Games night in the Comic store I already visited last Friday. Also, I plan on writing at least one more application for a job that I discovered on the Parks Canada website on Sunday. Maybe I will also start looking for a car somewhere in the Vancouver region. This will be a bit difficult though since my German bank has not yet contacted me about transferring my money to the Canadian account. This definitely takes longer than I expected. And without money, there is no way I can buy a car. Not sure what I am going to to on Thursday but I guess that I will attend one or more Aether Revolt Prereleases on Friday and Saturday. That will be a lot of fun again I think. Anyway, I hope that you are all currently enjoying your life as much as I enjoy mine. Make the best of it, you only have one life to live!

Today’s music advice is a bit strange. Even for my taste. When emptying my German apartment, I found a really old CD of an English pop band. Ever heard of East 17? No? Well, I had also already forgotten about them entirely when I found the CD. But when listening to the CD again, I remembered most of the songs and now I want to share my favourite song of their album “Walthamstow” with you. It was released in 1992!!!!

East 17 – Gold

P.S.: That music video is so retro and so boy-band. Those were the days. 🙂

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Author: Ralf

Passionate Canada -Visitor and -Lover. Ex- Army Officer and Retail Manager. Long distance runner, climber, hiker, fan of all kinds of games and animal friend. Loves music but has a weird taste: British Metal, German Gangsta-Rap and most Rock/Punk- music.

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