Thursday, 3 December 2015

And Now That The Winter Cold Is Here - Here's to the Cats of Sabina and Roma!

My pal Dennis honing his computer skills
Ciao Ragatti! I am still waiting for my friend Dennis to hone his computer skills... He is new to all this so it will take some time, but stay tuned. I am sure that he will have a very interesting post as he, being young and more adventurous, explores a much larger territory than I do.

In the meantime, let's talk about the change of the seasons. The last time I wrote I was basically prostrate from the summer hot weather here in Casperia. Sabina's summer heat can be hard on a long haired Vancouver-born tabby, but thankfully I got through that... with some help from my friends...

Me getting some Sabine summer comfort from my good friend Maria

Now, however, my older bones are feeling the winter cold. It is different living in an Italian stone house. It takes longer and, according to my humans, costs more, to heat. I find my paws are colder when I walk on the floor. Thankfully, my humans build a fire almost every other day.

Sometimes they cook sausage and other meat on it and share it with me. I love this wonderful combination of heat and good food. Often, when I am feeling the cold I sit myself down in front of the caminothat's fireplace in Italian, I am toldand look over at my humans. They usually understand and get a fire going.

Me on my chair beside the camino supervising my humans making the fire

There are two ways they cook over the fire... Sometimes they put the sausage and meat directly beside the fire when it is burning strong, but most often, they move the fire in its metal grate and spread hot coals all across the bottom of one side of the camino and place the rack on top of the glowing heat. 

I love it when they do this because the glowing coals throw off a lot of heat. I sit as close to the fire as I can, trying not to get in the way of the cooking, watching the sausages sizzling in the heat, listening to the hiss of the fat as it drips on the glowing coals. Sometimes the mix of smells and anticipation get the better of me. I get up and do a little dance, calling to my humans, letting them know I am having a hard time waiting. 

When I am nibbling on the pieces of just cooled smoky sausage or grilled pork, my humans talk about how the meat is so delicious here in Casperia... that Armando and Alessandra, down at the Macelleria outside the town walls, have the best sausages for miles around, and I believe them. I certainly thank them. I feel pretty lucky...

I know that here in Sabina and in Rome that there are a lot of cats who live without a proper home and have no companion humans to be with them all the time. My pal Dennis was one of those cats. I am so glad he has found wonderful humans who look after him. 

Recently we had a number of different visitors from Canada and the United States. Everywhere they went, the cats of the Sabina came out to greet them.

Like this very friendly cat who came to greet and escort our friends through the ruins of the castle at Catino,

And this friendly tuxedo cat who came out to say hi, and I think mooch, at Trattoria Del Compare at the very top of Roccantica.

There were cats waiting to greet our friends in Rocchette

and these two cats waiting in the sun in historic Montebuono.

Of course, there were lots of wonderful cats to greet them here in Casperia. I have heard that some people jokingly refer to our village as Catsperia because of all the cats here. I am okay with that.

One of my humans getting a good morning kiss from my friend Marzia

Cicciopalla, perhaps the most well known cat in Casperia. His name means "chubbyball"!
Two of our visitors, after spending three nights here in Casperia spent a number of nights after in Rome before heading off to Florence. In Rome one of my humans took them to the Cat Sanctuary at Torre Argentina

I wrote about this wonderful facility and the history of the cats of Rome in one of my earlier posts. There are about 150 cats living in this sanctuary which is a set of temple ruins that go back over 2300 years. Volunteers feed, clean and look after these cats seven days a week.

This time, instead of observing the feline residents of the sanctuary from street level, they actually went down inside the sanctuary to visit the volunteer centre and gift shop.

This magnificent long haired great and white cat led the way.

Machiavelli - He is Mr. November in Torre Argentina's 2016 Calendar

Down inside the visitor centre, there were dozens and dozens of cats being looked after and played with by dozens of human volunteers and visiting admirers. If you visit Rome, this place is well worth a visit. Here are a number of photos that were taken during our friends' visit.

Many of the kitties were very happy to see the visitors and wanted to play. Some were shyer and less outgoing.

The important thing is that these once abandoned cats now have a safe home, shelter and good food, veterinary care, and people who love and look after them.  

As you can imagine, maintaining this sanctuary costs a lot of money. There are lots of ways you can help the cats of Torre Argentina and their supporters. These include donations, adopting cats from the sanctuary, and if you live outside Italy you can even adopt a cat long distance.

Another great shot of Machiavelli - Mr. November in Torre Argentina's 2016 Calendar

There is a wonderful Cat Shop inside the sanctuary where you can buy all sorts of wonderful t-shirts, aprons, calendars and other souvenirs. Long distance purchase of some of this merchandise is available online

If you are interested in learning more about the Cat Sanctuary of Torre Argentina, or are interested in supporting the work of the volunteers there, here is a link. I can guarantee you that the warm feeling you get from helping out my furry friends will help keep the winter's chill away.

Well, I best get talking to Dennis and see what he wants to do with his guest post. Thanks for taking the time to read this. Miao for now! A presto!

1 comment:

  1. thank you, dear James, for kind words (and sponsor) about the shelter.
    You and all the friends are always welcome!