Sunday, 30 October 2016



Ciao RaGatti! I wanted to write and post this as soon as possible to let you all know that I and my humans are okay. If you have been following the news at all in the last couple of days you will know that there have been a number of earthquakes in central Italy where we live. There were two large shocks a couple of days ago. The second was stronger... I hear that there was a lot of damage in towns further away from us though luckily no damage here... 
But today... This morning at 7:41 we awoke to the house―to the entire town where we live―rocking. It felt a lot like the entire house we live in was going for a ride on one of those rattly blue Cotral buses my humans take me on when we go to the train station to head to Orvieto... but it was strangely less noisy.

My humans jumped out of bed and walked nervously around the house. We have a visitor from Canada named Fern visiting us. My humans and I went up to her room to see how she was. I walked over to the window and looked outside. It was a beautiful sunny morning outside. 

Nothing looked any different than before. After a few moments, my humans and Fern went downstairs for their coffee and to fill my food bowls. It seemed like everything was okay. That our day would continue like all those others... Breakfast, a brushing, a walk outside on Via Latini and a nap on the chesterfield while my humans watched Italian TV. But this was not to be. 

This morning's earthquake was a lot stronger than the others I have felt since moving here from Vancouver... a lot stronger... And it wasn't long before there was knock on the door and my humans were packing me in my carry case and we were all heading out the door and down the stairs to to the piazzale just outside Casperia's main gates.

Cicciopalla follows Fern down to the piazzale

As we came out of the Porta Romana I noticed my friend Cicciopalla―Casperia's parking lot cat―walking among the crowd. His tail was down... not a good sign. I tried to get his attention but I don't think he saw me.

We continued down to the olive tree near the Conad Supermarket entrance. I recognized my friends Maria and AnneMarie right away. They greeted me with a cheery smile but I could tell they were worried.

Soon more friends arrived. Helen and Ritchie with Dennis in his carrying case.

Everyone gathered around the benches near the olive tree. It was warm and sunny outside and my carrying case was set on a stone wall in the sunshine... 

...where I would be far enough away from the many dogs which accompanied their humans down to the square. 

Truth to tell, many of the dogs I saw looked just as nervous and preoccupied as their humans.

It seemed like my humans had expected that our time down in the piazzale would be shorter than it was turning out to be. The hours dragged on. 

More friends arrived. I hadn't seen Stefano and his son Federico for quite a while. It was nice to get a pat and a scratch from Stefano.

At one point there everyone gathered close to listen to a tall dark haired man talk to the crowd. It was the mayor I think. After that some people went off in different directions... to eat I think. My humans and I waited for some more. 

After a few hours in my carrying case I was ready for something to drink and eat. How I wished I could stretch my legs and tail?

"You okay in there Smokey?" one of my humans asked. I looked up at him with my best game face but I could see he was worried. "Let's go Smokes," he said, and lifted my gabbia up over a fence. The zipper to my carrying case purred open and I was invited out onto the bright concrete patio where a bowl of food and a glass of water was waiting for me.

"Ciao, Smokey!" It was Stefano's son, Federico smiling down on me. "Miao, Fede!" The water was nice and cool on my tongue after all the time in the gabbia.

I decided to take a stroll around the patio. The concrete, despite being in the sun, was cool. 

I could see in the distance the same mountain I can see from the windows of our house―Soratte. My humans are always talking about that mountain and the view. The view of the valley was indeed beautiful, but I was more interested in what I could see of Casperia. I lay down on my back and rolled around on the concrete, observing the town where we live from different angles. 

It felt great to roll around on the concrete―to be out in the sun. I got up and walked around exploring this new environment. One of my humans always shadowing me.

It was obvious that my humans were concerned that I might stray outside this safe zone so to put their minds at ease I went and lay down for a nap beside the wall. I actually fell asleep.

When I woke up there was one of my humans looking down at me. "Time to go, Smokey," he said. Time to go? Were we going home?

Apparently not. I was bundled back into my carrying case and taken to a waiting car. We were all being taken for a ride to a house in the country... for a lunch at Giles and Fiona's house. Giles and Fiona are friends from England. They live part time in a beautiful house in the country outside Casperia. When the zipper of my gabbia purred open this time I found myself in a beautiful green world. I was surrounded by trees and grass. I haven't seen this much green since I moved to Italy from Vancouver. It was wonderful.

While my humans and their friends enjoyed a fine pasta lunch I explored the beautiful green of the grounds around Giles and Fiona's house. I was in heaven. I haven't eaten that much grass since I don't know when. My bowl and a new glass of water was laid out for me in the shade. After feeding for a bit I settled down in a warm leather jacket that one of my humans laid on the edge of Fiona and Giles' terrazza for me. 

I was in heaven.

I know that this was a hard day for my humans, but thanks to the kindness of Fiona and Giles, not only were my humans comforted and fed, I had one of the best days of my life here in Italy.

There is a wonderful soft green world outside Casperia's grey stone walls... And I have a feeling that, even if there are no more tremors strong enough to require us leaving the town again, I will have many more chances to enjoy Casperia's green countryside again.

In the meantime Ragatti, stay safe. Be well... statemi bene! And thank you Giles and Fiona from the bottom of my heart. I will never forget your kindness and hospitality. Grazie infinite. The blessings of this grateful cat are being showered upon you.


1 comment:

  1. So glad you had an interesting adventure Smokester, and you're welcome back anytime!