Missing Felines

Walking through Guzzano the other day I found two notices displayed of the type which always causes me some grief:

As someone today wrote to me: “… it seems that rather a lot of cats have gone missing from our area. I wonder why this is.” This comment may or may not be especially true of our villages: cats (and other pets) unfortunately go missing in all areas of the world.

The lost feline situation in Guzzano, however, made me feel rather anxious as I had not spotted a friends’ cat there on a previous visit. Fortunately, I was assured by acquaintances, who were looking after it while the owners were away, that Pusskins was fine!

I would add a further cat, or kitten rather, to the missing feline list. It’s the one mentioned at the end of my post at: https://longoio.wordpress.com/2013/10/22/water-bombs/

Regrettably, while we were away for a couple of days, the following week, the little mite vanished. I got up some notices and they were posted on trees and lamp posts around the area, but to-date there has been no response.

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It should be emphasised that all notices, except parish and electoral ones, put up in public places in Italy have to carry a stamp duty, even if they are photocopies of the original. In the case of LOST notices, however, unofficial exception is made if they are not placed on the commune’s village noticeboard. Despite this, one of the notices I put up on the electricity mast in Longoio’s car park kept on being ripped down by person(s) unknown.

Cats, as most people who have ever “owned” them know, have very varied and complex behavioural patterns. Our own cats range in their behaviour from being very gregarious to being very aloof but they all recognize our house as being the central place in their lives. If one of them (God forbid!) ever went missing then it would have to be something very serious indeed to have made them disappear e.g. a dangerous dog or human. There have been even cases of people being accused of trapping cats for food. I think this is a rural (as distinct from urban) myth but clearly there may have been instances of roast leg of cat being served up in starving households when World War II raged in this part of the world. In particular, the citizens of Vicenza, to this day, are lumbered with a reputation for eating cat. Indeed, the other name for them is “Magnagati” (“cat-eaters” in the local dialect)!

To return to the case of our little mite’s disappearance I have come to two possible reasons as to why it vanished.

One: the kitten actually belonged to someone and had become disoriented because it had lost its way home through directional scent having been wiped away by the heavy rains that were sweeping Longoio that night. Either the owner found it or the kitten had found its way to the owner’s house.

Two: the kitten may have been owner-less and, because of its very gregarious nature, become adopted by another person. This could also be true since, although it got on very well with us, our other cats didn’t like the kitten very much and may have made it feel unwelcome. (But, given time, could they have eventually accepted it, I wonder?)

The problem is that whoever has the kitten now can’t be a local person since we haven’t seen it around Longoio anymore, and surely someone would have told us that it was their kitten. So the mystery remains. We don’t know whether it is dead or alive or where it is, if alive.

On the web there are various sites that offer advice on finding one’s missing cat. Guidance given can be boiled down to the following main tips:

  • Remain calm and act fast
  • Don’t just rely in “Lost” notices: actively look for your cat. In particular:
  • Call your cat
  • Stop and listen regularly
  • If possible leave your cat’s litter box in front of your house
  • Leave bits of your favourite cat’s food out
  • Retrace steps: when and where  did you last see your cat

In many respects there is something worse than having one’s favourite feline expire before one’s eyes, and that is not knowing whether they are still alive if they disappear. On the positive side, however, one of the cat’s nine lives in Longoio would hardly be lost by being run over by traffic (since there isn’t any…).

Perhaps, anyway, GPS technology will soon make the phenomenon of missing cats and the grief they bring a thing of the past.

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2 thoughts on “Missing Felines

  1. ‘Our speech and our gestures
    Are injected with the lethargy
    That bears the mark
    Of grief.
    We focus, with liquid eyes
    On the places where
    You used to sit and sleep and stretch
    Your lithe and perfect body.
    The chairs and the beds are very quiet
    And the carpet is cold.
    All the rooms are silent.
    The house is permeated
    With the hissing, hollow sounds
    Of sorrow and missing..
    We cried rivers.
    We didn’t think we would.

    Poem by Toula Antonakos

    For our rescued cat in Italy – Pietro died 15.5 2012

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