Well, will she miss us?
This is the new thing that Elizabetta and I do most every evening. Even though she has bowls of water in several places she likes to drink from the little puddles that are leftover from plant watering. So now, I just set the hose at the top of the drive and let it run down like a gentle stream for a few minutes while she has a refreshing drink and cools her paws.
She claims that it reminds her of her time as a traveler when she had to forage for water and food. In the spring of 2007 when the woman who lived here before us left, Elizabetta was taken to ‘finishing school’ in Chianti. Maybe 40 or 50 miles as the crow flies away. She stayed for a while but left after a few months. She took off for here. Because in September, 2007 when we showed up so did she. Somehow she traveled all that way.
I can still remember our first meeting. We first arrived at the farm in the evening. The very next morning, Siena (our beloved dog who moved here with us) and I opened the kitchen door and there was Elizabetta. Just chattering away. “Hey, how you doin’. I’m the cat who lives here. I’ll just come in and show you everything. I like to sit…Oh my.. there is a dog… in my house!” At this point, Siena, with the wonderful restraint and manners that she had, turned and looked at me and said “Now, without complaint, I have totally uprooted my life and moved from Washington DC. I tolerated those simpering little dogs on the Queen Mary II. I endured being stuffed in a very small space in a van for a 4 day drive through France. But NO ONE, I mean NO ONE said anything about moving to Italy to live with a CAT! I am going to BARK now!”
What to do? I emailed the owners and the woman who lived here, asking about and describing this black cat. No one knew anything about a black cat. I asked our neighbors. No, don’t know nothin’ ‘bout a cat. After a while Elizabetta just gave up and went off somewhere. That was the fall of 2007. In the March of 2009, one of the owners was here doing some work in the yard and Elizabetta came strolling up. They fell into each other’s arms. Both of them in tears. Neither one ever expected to see each other again. That was when we learned her name and that she and her brother Max came as kittens to the farm from the property in Sorrento where our landlord occasionally did some work. The same property that he and I believe my grandmother lived on. He showed me where Max was buried. After a few days when he left; Elizabetta wandered off again. He had asked me to be nice to her. (I always had been, but now that I knew who she was, I would continue) It was not until January, 2010 that she turned up again. We happened to be taking care of Chino (cat of our friends George and Jules) so I had cat food. I put some out for Elizabetta. And she has stayed ever since.
We have not told her that we are moving and that her folks are still not coming back. She would just worry me to no end. ” Is that dog leaving? When? Today? Is it going to be today?” It would just be non-stop.
While I don’t want her to be upset, it will be okay if she misses us, but not so much that she takes off after us. She remains blissfully unaware of the changes that are coming. And Nerone is sworn to secrecy. I wonder if I can wait until September 15 before I tell her….