Inside was a sweet lady with a host of cats and dogs and kittens and puppies. Her largest cat was bigger than her largest dog. Have i mentioned the restriction against large dogs in Beijing? A terrier or beagle is about the biggest dog allowed within the 5th ring of Beijing, which is to say, the majority of Beijing. I'm pretty far out there, and i live at 3rd ring. But it makes sense, there's just no room for a big dog when no one has a backyard.
I shall digress less... so we got some helpful hints from her on how to raise Pi. We also asked how to tell the sex; yeah, i know, but we convinced ourselves you couldn't tell until it was older. But what it really meant is that because we didn't find "anything", and Pi is a she. The lady actually picked up a random kitten and showed us how to tell the sex. By coincidence she chose a female, but I understood when she explained in Chinese what we would find on a male... something about "zher li you liang ge...." (here it would have two...). The rest of the words i would not understand, but were unnecessary.
We spent a good deal of time watching the 1 month old kittens playing. As did their Mother. She was mewing longingly because she wanted to feed them, but was unable to. She sells the kittens for $350-$450 (an unfathomable sum here). Pi was free from an old man on the street, who only wanted her to have a good home.
I bought Pi a cool scratching post and we returned home. Pi spent the first 15 minutes methodically smelling every corner of it. She did not scratch, she did not climb. Possibly just reveling in the bouquet of pet shop smells. I imagine her taking deep, ecstasy inducing lung-fulls of scent, her senses bombarded.
Lastly, Can you find the difference between these two photos?
P.S. More on the pet store visit from Tao's blog here.