Blaci has Boundaries

By: Lilianna Dunlop

Back home I have two precious black fur balls named Boo and Bear. The hardest thing about leaving the country has been leaving behind my ‘children’. When I arrived at the chateau, I met the castle cat, Blaci, almost immediately. I saw the little bowl of milk and knew instantaneously where I would spend the majority of my time at the Chateau.

But Blaci is not bilingual. Every time I call out for Blaci in English he runs away from me. I once asked Blaci if I could pet him in English, and he bit me! But when I call out “Bonjour Blaci!” he comes running towards me. In fact, he will jump on me to lay in my arms.

Blaci has taught me about respecting culture. I studied French for 5 years—enough to know how to ask questions and use my manners. Because of Blaci, I learned to greet others in their native language. It is important to show that you are seeking an understanding of the culture you’re immersing yourself in. Even though most French people know a little English, it is beyond important to meet them halfway. And for Blaci, it is imperative.