Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Vet

I can't believe we've had Balthazar for 6 weeks now! We finally got around to taking him to the vet today.

Another teacher brought her cat over from the US, and used to the school secretary to take her to the vet. The secretary has a dog, and the teacher said that she really liked the vet the secretary uses.

So I arranged to meet the secretary at a shopping area near the vet this afternoon (Saturday). She called us a taxi, since we don't live near there (she does). We borrowed a cat carrying case from the teacher (who'd bought it here at a cat show).

Balthazar is an energetic, curious cat, and he meows nearly constantly. I think the meowing comes from boredom--he wants attention! So he hardly meowed at all for the whole experience--it was just so interesting for him.

The vet's place is not even labeled, it'd be impossible to find if you weren't with someone who knew. It's just a few rooms on the first floor in the back of some generic apartment complex.

I think they were doing surgery on an animal in the back room; we had to wait a long time. No one was in the front office, a tiny, cramped room, or the second room, another tiny room, with two chairs and a table. A tiny and incredibly thin kitten rested in a cage in this second room.

We talked a bit to the other people who waited with us. There was a woman who was bringing the kitten she'd recently found. A woman with a pretty 13-year old cat. Two women with a German Shepherd puppy whose leash looked too tight.

Our cat carrier was the fanciest around. Some people had their cats in cloth handbags; one woman came with her cat wrapped in a blanket.

Finally it was our turn. Balthazar was placed on the table and the vet quickly examined him. He has ear mites--she took a swab and examined them under a microscope. Sophia was curious and she let Sophia see. I was too grossed out to look.

She cleaned his ears and gave me instructions on how to clean them and to bring him back in 10 days. (Of course, my Russian's not that good! The secretary did the translating.)

She also gave him some vaccinations and clipped his nails. He did NOT like this and even hissed!

When we come back in ten days, we'll talk about getting him fixed.

She guessed his age at 1 year, which is older than we were guessing. I think he's grown since we got him! He doesn't seem that small!

The cost was 2600 Tenge ($17).

We said good-bye to the secretary and I decided to take the bus home. Balthazar was doing quite fine in his cat carrier. We rode the bus home with no incident, and had a short walk. If the weather had been colder, I would have taken a taxi of course.

As we walked around Mega (the mall), a man nearly ran into Sophia. Smiling, he pointed to the wine box he was carrying. It wasn't carrying wine, but a small kitten who poked its head out and meowed. The man reached to give Sophia something--at first we thought he was handing our cat some food, but he was giving 5 tenge to Sophia. Interesting...

Balthazar had finally had enough as we neared our house and he started meowing. We got inside and let him out.

He seems fine and hopefully we'll get him fixed soon!


  1. Hi, I'm really glad that I have finally found a meaningful description of pet caring service in Astana. Thank You!!! I have two poodles and will arrive in Astana in about a month of time. Out of thousands of worries, our family is particularly concerned about hotelling services for pets in that city. So, if you can share any info on that account, it would be really great. Thank you so much in advance.

  2. I have a few other posts about pet care. Our vet is зоосфера, Zoosfera, located by Orbita 2, not far from Kazakhstan Hockey Arena, but really hard to find if you don't know what you're looking for. I've seen several foreigners at this one; but some foreigners use another (not sure which one).

    I've never found a decent place for hoteling animals, I've just used friends to watch my kitties. I did once find one place that would keep them in a cage, I didn't want that! But I've heard there are places for dogs, but I don't know anything about them.

    My biggest piece of advice/warning - Getting a pet OUT of Kazakhstan is incredibly difficult and getting a pet INTO the EU is additionally difficult. The International Club has advice on that, just know that if you plan on leaving KZ with your pets, you should start planning that ahead of time.

    I'd also advice contacting the International Club for advice on hoteling, they might know more than me! Their web site is