You obviously know my whole story of how I adopted Mocha, my 5 kilo rabbit whom I’ve had for almost 5 years now. (If not, you can read that story here. But I need to share this story about my vet because it’s just so odd.
The best part of Israel (or the worst) is that it is such a small country that everybody knows everybody. I even saw this on the first day that I made Aliyah and I had to go to the Ministry of Interior to get the correct documents to be a citizen. For some reason, there are only two languages spoken at the Bet Shemesh Ministry: Hebrew and Russian. Being American, I only knew English. I’d like to say I did speak a bit of Hebrew, but I think I’m giving myself too much credit. There was only one lady who spoke Russian and English and she helped me through the terrifying process of filling in paperwork that you have no idea what it means. I don’t think I would’ve been able to become a citizen, open a bank account, and sign up for healthcare without her. She was amazing. Unless she also like, secretly added herself to my bank account and has been slowly siphoning money from me bit by bit. In that case, screw her!
Anyway, after that fun paperwork thing, I left the Ministry with a little more hope in my heart. And who did I see, also leaving, waiting at the bus stop? That lady. I lived in Bet Shemesh for the next four months and I saw her everywhere. In the supermarket. Just around. It was mind-bending.
So, that leads us to my vet. He is an Israeli with a foggy past. I think I’m thinking of a different vet, but he practiced a lot in Italy and speaks fondly of it. Whether or not this man has been to Italy doesn’t really matter, though; I’ve only had positive interactions with him, as he qualifies as an exotic animal vet and was able to save the life of my two bunnies.
But then, something linked my vet to the local crazy in my neighborhood. Now, the Israeli neighborhood I live in doesn’t have a lot of local crazies, like it does in Nachlaot. We just have one. It is this lady who yells everything she thinks, walks around with a granny cart (here is a picture in case you don’t know what that looks like) and tells people her thoughts. For example, my friend was lucky enough to be her neighbor. One day, Friday afternoon, this lady convinced my friend to come in for just a second because she needed help with her cats. But then it ended up with a forty-minute tirade about the Israeli police being after her, and how they have hidden cameras in her apartment and watch her undress.
My friend, being a nice girl, stood and listened to this poor woman and tried to reassure her that she herself had not seen any suspicious police activity in their building and she actually had to go because she was late for a dinner.
But, the lady continued, there was a vet that was out to get her. She had gotten into a relationship with a veterinarian, who had helped her cats (obviously she had many many cats) for free. Then, he broke up with her and demanded she pay for the cat costs! He was an evil man and wanted her money.
At dinner (I was hosting) my friend told me about this weird incident and it seemed obvious to me that this woman was paranoid and experiencing delusions. The fact that she wasn’t violent and living in a nice neighborhood gave me the hope that she had some sort of family, and maybe even a stipend in order to afford the apartment she lived in, which was good. I teach at an organization to assist people with mental illnesses, and a lot of this seemed to line up with another student of mine, diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, who was convinced his neighbor was poisoning his water.
So, I assured my friend this lady seems harmless. We moved on with our lives.
But then, I started seeing the graffiti. My vet has an unusual name (Almagor), so it’s not like Josh Cohen and I happened to see graffiti that could have been about anyone. No. Some stranger was going around the neighborhoods, writing on bus stops, storefronts and street signs about my vet, using his first name. These messages also complained about Russians and ‘stinkin Izraelian’ people.
I started taking pictures of these messages because they are both so bizarre and also were about my vet. Was the lady perhaps telling the truth? Did my vet have a relationship with her? Does he know his name is being disparaged over the neighborhood?
Here are a few of these bizarre pictures for your enjoyment.
I haven’t had a chance yet to ask the vet about this. But maybe one day, I’ll get an answer. I have a lot of questions for him.