Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Cat Story of Cooperation

Remember Marron, the dark brown kitten I showed you the other day? Well, Marron has brothers and sisters! You see, Marron's mom was born here almost five years ago. Sally named her Selvatica (Savage) a while back because she was always a bit wild, not friendly like some of the other cats.

Selvatica decided she was going to give birth outdoors somewhere and she brought only Marron back last week to see what we would do. When she saw that we were nice to Marron, she brought her other two kittens to us too. See them in the box?

Well, in the first pic, the cat you see is not Selvatica, that's Luna, Selvatica's mom, grandma to those kittens. Luna is already almost 20 years old and she hasn't given birth in a couple of years. She's nearing the end of her life. She's lost her appetite and spends much of her time baking in the sun. Imagine our surprise when we saw that she had gone into the box while mom was away. When mom leaves, grandma takes over? Luna has always been a very friendly cat, unlike that no-good daughter of hers! ;-)

As mom does come back very often to feed her babies, we were also worried about what Selvatica might do to Luna when she saw her with her children, even if Luna is her mom and all.

Our fears were unfounded. In fact, they seem to get along just fine. It's all in the family!

You can really see how much one of Selvatica's kittens resembles her! Luna (which means Moon) is not being sent away, she is welcome.

It takes a village!

Mom - Up and Down

This is a photo of my mom at Starbucks while she was visiting me in the States a couple of years ago. I think it's a cute photo.

Mom has good days and not-so-good days at the hospital. Yesterday she was very alert. She tried to talk several times and we were able to make out a word here and there. She grabbed our hands several times. She even raised both arms up a few times, the first time in a while she's done that. She even raised her right arm quickly to scratch her head. That was almost startling! What really made my sister and me laugh out loud with surprise and happiness was when we asked our mom near the end of our visit if she was tired and wanted to sleep and she instantly and very quickly started nodding her head up and down in response. A few minutes later we asked her again and she responded the exact same way. That was nice.

We spend our time every day talking with mom, cleaning and refreshing her neck, face and arms with wet wipes and just being with her. Nowadays she seems really happy to see us...most of the time. Today she seemed to be in a bit of a foul mood, not talking, her face in somewhat of a grimace most of the time. We exercised her arms and legs so as to not let them atrophy, as we do every day, and she didn't seem to like it all. I know it might be somewhat painful, but it has to be done.

One day at a time. Tomorrow may be a better day.

A Stop in Felina (Italy)

On the way to the hospital today, we stopped at the Slow Food fair in Felina near here. The Slow Food fair is in its eighth year and is a backlash against the fast food society, which is unfortunately becoming the vogue in Italy as well, leading to higher rates of obesity and other bad side effects. In the years I've becoming to Italy, the people as a whole have become heavier and heavier, just as we have in the States. There are many wonderful things that other countries have copied from us Americans - this is not one of them!

The fair goes on for three days and today was the last day. It was very nice with lots of booths that had either food (slow, not fast) or artisan designs for sale. There was also a band playing old style music. You can hear the music by playing the short video.

To see more, click here.

My Sister's Works of Art Being Sold in S. Polo

In S. Polo, my sister had business with a shop there that sells local artisan work among other items. Among what you see here are her works.


Last Saturday night for dinner we decided to get some pizza. Usually Saturday for dinner, Sally makes pizza at home, and it's really the best ever, but with all that has been happening and as tired as we feel, last night we decided to go out for pizza. The first place we tried was small and it was already packed so we went to the town of Marola, close by. It's a pretty little place and opens its arms to tourists. The pizza we had at Il Griffone (The Gryphon) wаs mighty good.

More photos of Marola? Click here!

S. Polo d'Enza

On the way back from the hospital yesterday, Sally had some business in a town called S. Polo d'Enza. Enza is the name of the river that flows through the mountains here. S. Polo is a really pretty town, larger than Casina where my sister lives.

More photos of S. Polo? Click here!