Friday, 26 December 2014

Mamma Mia! - 9,000 Kilometres from Home to Rome!

Homemade Stringozzi for dinner in Vancouver

I blame it on the stringozzi. I knew my humans were crazy about Italy... More often than not, when they cooked back in our house in East End Vancouver they would cook Italian. As they got ready, they would open a bottle of wine, light some candles, and put on Italian music... Depending on what they were cooking they would play Paolo Conte, Mina, Biaggio Antonacci, Mango, or Tiziano Ferro. I didn't really care what music they played... What I did like was when they cooked pork sausages and shared them with me at the table.

My humans have been travelling to Italy off and on since 1999, the year before I was born... I was nine years old when they left me in the care of a family member and went to Italy together for the second time. It was at this time that they discovered Casperia, the Lazio hill town where we now live, and stringozzi... the hand-made pasta typical of the region.

No sooner had my humans returned from this first trip to Casperia then they were planning their next visit. My humans seemed fixated on this place...   

By the way, that is my window just under the square 12 panelled window near the tree. From here I see much of the Sabina

Each time my humans' visits to Italy increased in length and in frequency. They would come home to Vancouver and tell me stories about the people they had met and the many cats that they had made friends with... 

I don't want to blame the cats along with the stringozzi, but perhaps they are another reason why my humans love this place... 

Cicciopalla... They say he is Casperia's Number 1 Cat!
The cats... and the amazing sunsets...

Whatever their reason or reasons, I am here now... Nine thousand kilometres away from home... here in Casperia, just an hour or so away from Rome, in the Province of Rieti.

I feel a little more settled here now... My humans have found a brand of wet cat food I like. One of their friends, Maria, has found them some dry food that I love... and I have new friends here. I am finally meeting the people my humans used to talk to me about... and they are lovely... They give me pats and chin scratches... they talk and play with me... and some bring me ham and other food and treats like catnip. I was surprised to find that most Italian cats have never experienced this wonder. I feel very lucky.  

Slowly, I am getting used to the stone and the terra cotta tiles, the roaring wind and thunderstorms... and the bells... Do you know that they ring church bells at seven in the morning, at noon and at six o'clock at night? At first I was startled... but now I find them a comfort. 

I have found a number of favourite places here in the apartment... the big chair by the larger fireplace downstairs...

...and the chair by the wall heater in the library... and I love getting up on the windowsill in the morning and watch the pigeons and other birds flutter outside on the terracotta tiles. 

When I chatter at the birds my humans give me a pat on the head and say "Good Smokey." The other time I like to sit in this window is in the afternoon when the sun warms my fur and the sky turns gold and red as it sets.

I think I will stop writing now... it is late and my humans are going to bed... I will write more in a while... In the meantime, if you see a cat, give it a pat... If you see a hungry cat... feed it... If you see a homeless cat... be as kind and as generous as you can... 

Dennis Dakin, a few days before finding his forever home

We cats remember... and we have our ways of passing on rewards... So until then... Miao for now.

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