I began to appreciate cats rather later in my life, in fact, after I married. Now I’ve joined that band of feline fanatics who have included the likes of Patrick Moore, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Sir Isaac Newton (who, besides discovering the theory of gravity also invented the cat flap for the convenience of his many mousers), Dr. Johnson (whose “remarkable” cat Hodge, has a statue dedicated to him outside the writer’s house in London), Winston Churchill, the prophet Mohammed (may His soul rest in peace) who once cut off a sleeve in order not to disturb his sleeping cat and Albert Schweitzer who, although left-handed, would often write prescriptions with his right hand because his cat Sizi liked to sleep on his left arm and could not be disturbed! I may not have reached that extreme level of cat respect but I regularly have a cat resting on my left arm while at the computer, which forces me to type one-handed.
At the present time there are six cats in our household. Of the original feral kittens rescued from a wood pile back in 2006 three have remained. Named after villages in the “Cinque Terre” they are Manarola, Vernazza and Corniglia. In 2007 they were joined by big Napoleone, donated to us as a little kitten by a local horse riding establishment. In 2012 a charity for the rehousing of abandoned kittens tempted us with Carlotta, a tortoiseshell and we were smitten. Again, in 2012, sadly due to the death of a near occasional neighbour’s wife, we adopted (or rather she adopted us, as cats are apt to do) Nerina.
Cats are, of course essential not just for their inimitable companionship but because of their use in keeping the rampant domestic mouse population down in this part of the world and for scaring off unwanted feline males, especially during “la stagione degli amori”.
I could write reams about my cats but will desist in deference to those who may not have the same sentiments towards these highly intelligent, dexterous and lovable animals. I will just present a few photos of them instead.