When we started to plan this move to Italy we had two cats, both in their mid-teens. One of my concerns was what would we do about our cats when we left. The felines, Woody and Winston, were part of our family, more than just pets to be discarded. We both enjoyed their distinct personalities: Woody was the purring, lap-loving one, Winston the more the stand-offish male.
Being teen agers both had developed health issues: Woody had failing kidneys and problems retaining water, Winston had a thyroid problem. Both were on medications.
In October 2004 Woody took a turn for the worse and her kidneys stopped functioning and we had to make that trip to the veterinarian every pet owner fears. We did know that day was coming in the last few days as Woody quickly lost weight but still had that affectionate personality.
Late this past August Winston was in our front courtyard, as he had always enjoyed, when Valerie heard a rustling in the brush through the open front door and next thing we knew Winston was gone. We made a frantic neighborhood-wide search, but he was gone...coyotes are very active in Corrales . Winston's departure was the hardest of the two for us as we never had the opportunity to say "good-bye". (You can read about Winston's disappearance on Valerie's blog.)
We miss both our cats, there are so many things around our house that remind us of them, especially cold winter nights without a kitty to warm a lap. We look forward to befriending some of the numerous cats in Italy. Each trip to Italy we have seen many of them, some hanging around our rental houses, some looking right at home on the streets of Rome and -some of the best fed ones- eating pasta and shrimp in the alleys of Todi. Cats are a constant and welcome fixture in much of Italy and we look forward to the purr of i gatti.