Every year at this time we take our two “official” cats, Napoleone and Carlotta to get their annual vaccine jabs at the vet in Fornoli. I say “official” because there are three other cats that we accept as being around. Two of these remain from the original five wild kittens we found in a nearby woodpile back in 2005 and a third took us over when the neighbouring owner unexpectedly died in September 2012.
To return to the “official” cats: we found Napoleone after completing a somewhat hair-raising horse-ride from Pian di Ruscello near Ponte a Diana, Bagni di Lucca. It was hair-raising because any fall from the horse didn’t just mean a fall to the ground; it meant a descent into some bottomless gorge below us. Such are the perils of mountain pony-trekking. Anyway, thanks to our leader, we came out unscathed and, recovering at base camp, I noticed a tiny paw coming out through the centre of a large mill-stone. I looked behind it and found this:
We returned home and realised we’d fallen in love with the little thing. Next morning I returned to the stables and asked if the kitten “belonged” to anyone. “No” was the reply, “you can take it with you if you like. We get mother cats depositing their kittens with us all the time.” So Napoleone was put into a cat box, strapped securely onto my scooter to become an essential part of our household. That was in August 2006. He’s got a bit bigger now!
Carlotta joined us in August 2012. We’d gone to the beer festival at Borgo a Mozzano. Just inside the entrance we noticed a cat in a cage being offered for adoption by the “piccole cuccie” (little pet baskets) association, whose objective is to rehouse abandoned and unwanted animals. We promised to be responsible pet-owners and signed a form which, among other clauses, stated that the kitten would be given to us on condition that it would be neutered – a most sensible point.
Happily, Napoleon and Carlotta took to each other almost immediately and there’s never been a paw lifted in anger against each other. They continue to eat, play and sleep together most amicably.
Our Fornoli vet, Claudio Stefanini, must be well-known to several English pet owners in the area. Quite recently, he carried out an operation on a cat that had been run over and was rescued by a couple who live in nearby Guzzano. Claudio told me that he was particularly happy with the result of the operation, which had been a touch-and-go task since the poor animal was not really expected to pull through. Seeing the little beast the other week I was amazed at its quick recovery. Would humans were the same!
Claudio’s practise is opposite the Post Office at Viale Papa Giovanni XXIII, 21, 55026 Fornoli, Bagni di Lucca Tel 0583 87476
His weekday opening hours are 10:00 – 12:00, 4:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Claudio also writes a very interesting blog (in Italian) at http://ilmojitoperfetto.com/
I think his partner must have fallen in love with Carlotta too!
As usual, our cats went to the vet for their injection inside a cat-box securely strapped to my scooter’s back seat and remained completely at ease . Start them riding young, I say.