Odomez. Céline and Frédéric took in a Ukrainian family… and 12 cats

The love story between Céline and the cats has long been broken. Allergic since childhood, he could only assemble them into figurines at first. “I did desensitization at 12, but it didn’t work.”

It wasn’t until ten years later, when he took in a sick kitten found on the street, that he finally realized that cats could carry hair without itchiness. Real click. Active in rescuing Podenko, these Spanish dogs were used for hunting, and the couple he and Frédéric started breeding cats.

“It was not easy to accept at first, Frederick admits. But little by little I fell into the game.” Lord Enoch’s cattery currently has about twenty cats, all of which are kept at Selin and Frederik’s house.

cat love

It is this passion for breeding cats, especially the Scottish and Highland Shield, that the young woman meets with the story of Olga and her family. “The most beautiful cats of my breed are found in Russia and Ukraine”, Celine explains. In Facebook groups, he regularly exchanges with other growers.

At the beginning of the year, when the threat of a Russian attack looms over the country, Olga, the managing director of an American firm in Kiev, confides her worries to her French friend. “Like many others, I advised him to leave early.”, Celine recalls. But it’s not easy when you have to count 12 cats in your luggage!

As soon as the first bombs fell in the East, Olga and her family went to Romania. “It took about 30 hours for them to leave the country.” After spending a few days in a tourist cabin, they quickly realize that they are no longer welcome. The Ukrainians then head to Italy, but the situation is blocked at the border.

3000 km of road

Desperate, Olga contacts her friend Selin, who promises to help her in case of a problem. “I remember it like it was yesterdayFrederick says. We were in the car and Selin told me: We have to meet Olga! They were there two days later.”

The couple hosts five family members (Olga, her son, mother, brother and sister-in-law) accompanied by their girlfriend and daughter… and 12 cats! At the beginning of April, the whole family comes to Odomez, hoping to return home as soon as possible. A place to rest after a tiring journey, especially for Nina, Olga’s 75-year-old mother.

In their generosity, Frédéric and Céline can count on the support of many traders in the region, such as the Bruille-Saint-Amand butcher, the artisan from Hergnies or the Saint-Amand photographer. “There are times when you see what people are capable of.Celine notes. At worst and at best.”

Sharing cultures

Then begins several weeks of community life. Two completely different lifestyles coexisting in an enriching way. “We met during a school trip to Belarussmiles Frederick. It brought back memories for us.”

While Olga lives in the evening and part of the night, working remotely in connection with the United States, grandmother puts herself in the kitchen. “They gave us a taste of what we’re trying to replicate. But it doesn’t taste the same…”

Ukrainians, who have little fear of immorality, adapt well to common life, even if they keep their country constantly at the back of their minds. “We have not watched the newsCeline adds. But even in some music videos, you can see images of Kiev, in such cases their appearance spoke volumes.

Fries, beer and good music

On the other hand, the family discovers French wines as well as potatoes and cheese from the North. Olga’s 28-year-old son Vlad especially appreciated the atmosphere of our region. “We took him to Les Turbulentes in Vieux Condé to see the band from Hergnies les Fûts d’Oson or Tante Adèle.List of Frederick. He was in his element.”

So he considered plans to go to the United States to study French for six hours a week. Olga’s friend and her 14-year-old daughter have not adapted well to the climate. Some time after their arrival, they decided to return to Kiev, to join their father and brothers in the front line.

Article to be found in your edition on newsstands from Friday, December 9.

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