I want to introduce you to a good friend of mine - my bestie if I may.  His name is Basil and he is our cat.  Now Basil isn’t just your ordinary house cat. Not at all. Basil is Vietnamese and is actually from Vietnam and he is an important member of our family.

Basil was born sometime in the summer of 2004 somewhere on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City.  However he does have an unofficial birthday, August 22, which marks the day he joined our family. This was the day we discovered that the local grocery store was stocking cat litter and we wasted no time to search for a new kitten.  Unsure how to go about it we asked some local motorbike taxi drivers that resulted in me drawing a picture of a cat on a piece of paper.  Sure enough this method of breaking the language barrier worked and we were well on our way to the most interesting street I had ever been on.  There were cages upon cages of cats, kittens, dogs, puppies, birds and so on.  We stopped at a few shops but no kittens.  Finally we found a cage with a mom cat and some kittens.  I asked the lady running the shop if I could see them.  The first one she pulled out was pretty cute but unfortunately a girl cat.  Not that I don’t like girl cats - I just didn’t want to deal with her possibly escaping and getting friendly with the local tom cats.  So I asked to see another one(Basil).  She passed him to me and it was love at first sight.  I showed him to Steve and he agreed, pretty cute.  We asked how much and she said 100,000 dong (roughly $6.00 USD at that time) and we agreed that was pretty reasonable.  You've got yourself a deal lady.  Consider him Sold!  I attempted to hand him back to the lady so she could put him something for the bike ride home but apparently Basil had other plans.  He jumped from the ladies hands and took off around the shop.  It was confirmed he was going to be the perfect cat for us.

Finally after a bit of a chase she caught and him put him into a bag.  Not a plastic bag but a rattan bag and sealed it with a chopstick.  I thought this was an odd way to receive my new furry friend but also knew that it was the safest way to transport him back to our apartment {which was on the back of a motorbike on the crazy streets of Saigon}.  Instantly Basil started crying and he cried the entire way home.  It was heartbreaking!!! Not to mention the amount of questionable looks that were shot in our direction.

We finally made it home and I immediately got on the computer to start searching for names.  The name was agreed on pretty quick and there we were the new proud parents of Basil, or more often referred to as Monk (short for Monkey) but sometimes called Donkey, puss, pusser, puss-in-boots, dog, dogger, bas, or buddy-bas.

Basil will be seven this August, 2011 and he hasn’t really changed, besides the country he lives in.  He is social but on his own terms.  He will probably scratch you if you try to give him too much attention. He is terrified of children.  He doesn’t like other cats. He likes to hang out with Steve and I at all times, my guess is that he thinks he is human. He drinks water from the tap and off the wall after the shower. He has his own side of the bed. He loves cat grass and is very protective of it.  He tells us when to clean the litter. He is affectionate.  He is the best cat in the world.

Want more Basil?  Click here for your fill.


  1. Basil is such a GREAT name for a kitty cat!!

    i was hoping to visit everyone on the linky Friday but my internet was being poopy, so sorry for the delay to come bask in the furbaby cuteness!!

  2. This is a great story, I'm glad you linked it today! I love hearing fur kid stories!! Yay, Basil!

  3. Loved Bahh-zul's story! I like that you always capture him laying half-side up.

  4. Oh my goodness, I LOVE the story. I have to ask, though -was it a hassle to get him back to North America??


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