Wednesday, 4 March 2015

I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY MY HUMANS LEAVE—But I Love The People Who Come To Look After Me

Ciao RaGatti! Come state? It has been a while since I have been feeling like writing. My life this past while has been interesting to say the least... You would think that as a cat got older that life would become a cycle of comfortable familiar events... sunny days spent wandering through the grass, long lazy walks through a familiar neighbourhood... hosting the same friendly visitors... avoiding the same curious dogs... chattering at the birds who dare to play outside your window... but no... At 14 years of age, my life has definitely taken a turn. 

Stringozzi — Avoid this life-changing pasta at all cost!

I wrote in a past post about how my humans lost control of their senses after eating stringozzi, a strange, string-like pasta, in a village in far off Italy called Casperia. From that moment on, most of their attention was focussed on finding a way to visit that country as often and for as long as they could. Their fixation, became an obsession, and that obsession resulted in my humans deciding to move from our home of fourteen years and transplant themselves in Italy, bringing me too. Yes, I blame it on the stringozzi.

During those times when my humans went away from our house in Vancouver to visit Casperia, there were always people looking after me. These people would sleep over in our house or be already living in our basement suite, so I was never really alone. I missed my humans, but I knew they were coming back. I was in my house of fourteen years, and though I missed my humans and our routine together, there was no major disruption in my life. I was never alone for long. I was always okay.

Relaxing at home sweet home

But since we have moved here to Casperia, life is topsy turvy. Before we moved to Italy, the longest journey I ever had to endure was the ten minute car ride to visit Dr. Spooner, my veterinarian at Yaletown Pet Hospital. The journey from Vancouver to Casperia is a blur now, but since then, I have been taken on long journeys on busses and trains. I have visited Orvieto, and who knows where else my humans are going to take me. 

On the train to Orte enroute to Orvieto
My first view of Orvieto's Cathedral

To tell you the truth, I actually like travelling with them on these short jaunts. A cat can get used to many different things and travelling seems to be one of them.

I couldn't believe how many times in a day they rang bells in Orvieto... It made the birds fly... I loved it...

But then one day one of my humans disappeared... and it wasn't just for a couple of sleeps... it was for a very long time... I tried to think back if there were any warning signs... but all I could remember were happy nights by the fire, listening to my humans talk and sing and laugh as they cooked and ate... 

...or quiet times on the couch together after dinner while my humans sipped wine and watched Cuochi e Fiamme and Chef Per Un Giorno on television. 

No... There were no warning signs... But my other human didn't seem worried or particularly upset. He spent a lot of time talking to me, patting me, brushing me, giving me catnip from time to time and coming outside with me as I explored the stoney streets outside our house as I looked for grass and waited for my other human... 

Richard! Where are you? I thought that everything would be okay... that my other human would be back soon... That's when I noticed the telltale signs... My remaining human was packing a bag, and buying unusually large amounts of my favourite tinned cat food. What was going on? Was he going too? Didn't my human realize that I can't open a tin by myself?

And then one cold morning as I lay curled against my favourite  radiator in the upstairs room my remaining human came up to see me... He knelt down and patted my head and put his face close to mine... I knew this was goodbye... but for how long?

He gave me one last long pat and a scratch on my chin and he was gone... 

It was like I was in some sort of bad dream... What was going to happen to me? Was my other human coming home today? I jumped off the chair and went downstairs to look at my bowl... There was tuna in my small bowl and dry kibble in a larger bowl. My martini glass was full of water... I had food and water enough for the day... maybe two days if I was careful. I nibbled at the tuna and had a sip of water, then headed back upstairs to my chair by the radiator and hunkered down and tried to sleep...

I fell asleep and began to dream... I was back in my old home in Vancouver, out in the garden, hiding behind the tall green plants, watching people and their dogs walk by...  

I was startled awake by a noise... It was the door to the house being opened. My human was back! I jumped off the chair and rushed downstairs, but it was neither of my humans. It was our friends Ritchie and Helen coming to visit me. I wasn't being left alone after all! Ritchie and Helen knelt down and gave me some pats. Ritchie reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a package which he shook to make a sound. I knew that noise! I recognised that tantalising aroma! Ritchie had brought me some Dreamies! Things were looking up! 

Dreamies from Uncle Ritchie

Helen and Ritchie opened up a fresh tin of my food and poured the other bowl full of kibble. They topped up my water, all the while talking to me and patting me... I started to feel more relaxed... 

Then later on Helen and Ritchie went upstairs to the living room and put on the television. Helen and Ritchie sat on the couch and called to me to come up and lay down between them... I cuddled up  with my back against Helen's leg and my hind paws against Ritchie and fell asleep. 

I woke up in the middle of the night and I was alone on the couch... Where were Helen and Ritchie? Were they sleeping in the other room? I went down the stairs and looked in the bedroom but there was no one there. Strange... Why didn't they stay over? And then I remembered... they have their tabby Dennis to look after. 

I jumped up on the bed and lay on the pillow where my human had slept the night before... I could smell his scent on the pillow... I put my head down and before I knew it I had fallen asleep.

Early the next morning I heard the door to our house being opened again. I thought... Now for sure my humans are back... but when I came down it wasn't my humans. It wasn't even Helen and Ritchie... It was our friend Maria whom I had interviewed for this blog a while ago. 

"Hello Smokey!" she greeted me in her cheery voice! "Miao Maria!" I replied, elated. So there was a plan! I had a team of friends visiting me twice, sometimes more times a day, to feed and water me, give me pats and treats, and change my litter box from time to time, and sometimes sit with me on the couch to watch television.  My life fell into a new happy rhythm with visits from Maria in the mornings and visits from Ritchie and Helen in the evenings... This went on for about a week. 

I continued to miss my humans, but I knew they had made arrangements to look after me, not only were Maria, Helen and Ritchie wonderfully kind and attentive humans, all three were very good at opening tins of cat food, bringing me treats, and scratching me in my favourite places...

On sunny days I would sit by the window and look out at the green world beyond the stone town we live in and wonder where my humans were... what they were doing... and when they were coming home.

One night Ritchie and Helen came earlier than usual. They brought with them bags of food and things that humans drink... They unpacked these things and put some away in the fridge and arranged some on the counter... Were they going to stay and make dinner here? Were they moving in? Was Dennis moving in with them? But no. After they put the human food away, they refilled my martini glass with water, refilled my kibble bowl and put out a fresh plate of chicken and tuna, gave me a couple of pats and some Dreamies, and then they left...

What was going on? No TV? What could have possibly happened to change our wonderful new routine?

I went to my bowls and had a nibble, then took a sip of the fresh water they had poured me, then went upstairs to the couch and lay down in my usual spot... but it was not the same without Helen and Ritchie on either side... Suddenly I felt sadness well up inside me. I felt homesick for Vancouver, the green abundant grass, the soft loamy earth in my garden... the freedom I enjoyed there, coming and going from the house through the front window whenever I pleased.

I must have dozed because I woke up in the dark to the sound of the front door opening... What a dark morning! Wait a minute! It was still night. Had Helen and Ritchie returned for a TV visit? Was Maria coming early?

I got up from the couch, had a quick stretch on the rug then hurried down the stairs... And that's when it happened... That's when I saw him! 

Richard was home! He scooped me up in his arms and covered me with kisses. Was I dreaming? No! He was really here. He was back home! All of a sudden I understood. Ritchie and Helen had brought the food and drink for my human. What kind and thoughtful people! 

I don't understand why my humans have to leave me from time to time, but I love the people who come to look after me. Uncle Ritchie, Auntie Helen, Zia Maria, thank you! Grazie di cuore! Now can you tell my other human to come home soon? We miss him. 

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