Adoptable Cutie: Voytek (and Friends)


I was (somewhat) recently contacted by a student at the University of Warsaw. Her thesis was exactly what, if nay, relations there are between “Poles” and “Americans” (which I am guessing is a polite way of saying “hipster”/”newcomer”) here. This weekend Ewa (an incredibly nice and thoughtful woman) asked me some follow-up questions. Answer them this morning I did. At length and exhaustive detail.  Thus I had Polish history/culture on the brain when I swung by North Brooklyn Cat’s adoption event this afternoon. As serendipity would have it, one of my fellow Greenpointers/cat ladies, Eva, was naming a new batch of kittens just pulled from a kill shelter. She was assigning them Polish names. I recommended “Voytek”. She had no idea who this fellow was, so I gave her the good news.

voytek3badassoftheweek The image at left (as gleaned from Badass Of The Week) says it all: a bear toting an artillery shell. You see, Voytek (an anglicized translation of Wojtek, which means “he who enjoys war” or “smiling warrior” had a very interesting life.

Very, VERY simply put, during World War II Polish troops, despite Nazi occupation, continued to fight. thatsprivateVoytektoyouOne such company did under the British. And it was in Iran that they made Voytek’s acquaintance. A child bore a bag with a sickly bear cub. They traded food rations in exchange for this furry fella. What followed was truly epic. “Voytek” not only became their “mascot” but when told they could not take a bear with them to fight at Monte Cassino, they made Voytek a private. Problem solved!

For this, he rewarded his “people” by carrying artillery shells. Hence why he is immortalized carrying one. Would, should, the Voytek “The Adoptable Cutie”  be trusted to such task? No. But I suspect if given the chance and human kindness Voytek will protect your home against all manner and variety of post-Communist infiltrators be they:

  • Dustbunnies
  • Bizzy balls
  • Catnip (it is this, not religion, that is the opiate of the kittens)

To see how Voytek and his many equally awesome furry friends in need of forever homes are faring click here.


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