Category: "Cats"

Кот

September 16th, 2013 — posted by Don

Russian has a word кот which means a male cat, in other words what we in English would call a tomcat. It's an end-stressed word, which means it always has the stress on the first syllable of the grammatical ending, if there is one, and on the last syllable of the word if there is not a grammatical ending:

SgPl
Nomкоткоты
Accкотакотов
Gen
Preкотекотах
Datкотукотам
Insкотомкотами

Here are a few sample sentences:

Под окном дрались два кота. Two tomcats were fighting under the window.
Ты видишь того кота? Я вчера видел, как он прогнал двух немецких овчарок. Do you see that tomcat? Yesterday I saw him chase off two German Shepherds.
Господи, наш кот опять нассал на кухне. Надо его кастрировать.* Good Lord, our cat has pissed in the kitchen again. We should neuter him.
Кот подкрался к мыши и прыгнул на неё. The cat snuck up on the mouse and pounced on him.

The Russians have a phrase that means “very little” which is related to cats, and that is «кот наплакал», literally “the tomcat cried.” For instance,

— Сколько у тебя денег?
— Кот наплакал.
“How much money do you have left?”
“Next to none.”
— Сколько осталось водки?
— Кот наплакал.
“How much vodka is left?”
“Scarcely a drop.”

* Warning: don't use the word нассать in polite company. It's pretty crude.

Кошка, часть 2-ая

September 9th, 2013 — posted by Don

The generic Russian word for cat is кошка. It declines like this.

SgPl
Nomкошкакошки
Accкошкукошек
Genкошки
Preкошкекошках
Datкошкам
Insкошкойкошками

In the US we summon cats with "here, kitty-kitty-kitty." In Russia you summon a cat by saying «кис-кис». In the summer I was at Raifa Monastery and experimented. Sure enough, the cats did *not* respond to the American version, but they immediately responded to the Russian version.

— Ты любишь кошек?
— Люблю.
“Do you like cats?”
“I do.”
Кис-кис! Ах, какая ты ласковая! Хочу привезти тебя домой, но мама просто не разрешает. Here, kitty-kityy! Oh, you are so sweet! I want to take you home, but Mama won't let me.
Нашу кошку всегда мучит соседская собака. The neighbors’ dog is always tormenting our cat.
— Где Даша?
— Она во дворе играет с кошками.
“Where is Dasha?”
“She's in the courtyard playing with the cats”

Last summer one of my students was recovering from a laparoscopic procedure in Kazan's Hospital #18. He was horrified to see a cat wandering through the ward. I mentioned that to my friend Flyura, and she just laughed and said,

В каждой русской больницe есть кошки. Они вообще такие ласковые, что прямо подходят и залазят тебе в сумку. Every Russian hospital has cats, and they are usually so friendly that they'll just come right up and crawl into your purse.

Кошка, часть 1-ая

September 5th, 2008 — posted by Olga

The Russian word for cat is кошка. Many people in Russia own cats and they are especially loved by elderly women. My great grandmother had a loving cat who lived with her for many years. She woke up early in the morning to feed her cat milk «молоко». During the day, her cat liked to sleep by the window and as a child, I would ask my grandmother, «почему кошка любит спать возле окна?» “why does the cat like to sleep by the window”? My great grandmother told me that the cat liked to sleep where it was warm so the window was a good place since the sunshine came through the window.

Many cats in Russia don’t have a home and are homeless «бездомные». My grandmother’s cat used to be a homeless kitten «бездомный котёнок» and she decided to take him in and give him a home.