Ciao, it’s me, Carlotta.

It’s been so hot recently that I’ve taken to sleeping outside on the terrazza where the tiles are nice and cool by night. It’s funny that not so long ago I’d sleep on the tiles during the day in the colder weather because they kept the heat of the sun.

I’m getting really high on this jasmine that surrounds me – it’s so intoxicating! Hiding in the jasmine is Corneglia. She’s a pretty wild cat and was already here for some time even before Napoleon. She hovers around us and likes to hide, as you can see.

Anyway, it might rain today so perhaps I might even decide to sleep on Francis’ bed again tonight.

Francis would like to know what those orange flowers are called. They always come out at this time of year.

Have a nice day from a very busy cat. Or I should be if I wasn’t such a great procatstinator!

PS One thing my butler has done is to continue his blog at


Do remember that you want to carry on following me and my friends!

Whisky Without Soda

Miao! If you read Francis’ blog regularly you’ll know who I am. Just because I’m black and white – no great thing for a cat – my servant has called me Whisky.

Actually I wouldn’t touch the stuff – prefer a nice dollop of cream myself. I’ve got a sister called Cheeky but thankfully she’s miles away as we don’t really get on except for giving some nice claws to each other.

Here is a picture of my sister climbing up a tree. Hope she can’t get down! Her butler is Francis from Longoio.

I think I’m quite a privileged cat as my patron is none other than Prof Sam Stych who must be the most venerable citizen of Bagni di Lucca. He will be 101 years old this July the 15th!

There’s nothing I like more than snuggling up on Sam’s lap and sleeping and dreaming away. After all 101 in cat years is 25. No mean feat! Sam’s very good to me as he truly loves cats. I get three meals a day and unlike other humans Sam doesn’t shove me off everytime I land on him.

Cat Walks in Longoio

Hi all you cats out there. Do your owners servants let you go on walks with them? If not complain! However, I should say that if you live in those horrible places full of traffic then your adorers are probably wise in not letting you follow them wherever they go. We are lucky, however, for where we live there’s only one road to cross and that has just one tractor a day on it. We can hear it in time and so can avoid the fate of so many of our compatriots.

After this road it’s all fun and games, Cheeky has a propensity for climbing up trees and she’s clever in coming down them too – just by reversing.


Carlotta is persevering and just walks and walks. I’m getting a bit long in the tooth now (what teeth I have left) and so I’m happy just to blaze the trail, have a good rest and let the others release their feline energies.

It’s so wonderful to sniff new smells, experience different sounds and generally have a nice sleep after our epic journey from my devotee’s house in Longoio to the little paradise field. I think we are quite lucky cats after all!


Cat-astrophe Avoided

Napoleon (my cat, not the French emperor…) began to move in a very slow-motion manner and not feel very hungry so that I started to get a bit worried about him. After all, Nap’s going to be eleven this year, which means sixty in terms of ‘cat years’.

I, therefore, took ‘Nap’ down to our local vet, Claudio, who has his place in Fornoli opposite the post office. Nap is a well-worn pillion passenger on my Scarabeo scooter:

Almost immediately the cause for Nap’s behaviour was found out. A giant abscess, perhaps as a result of an unwanted encounter with some wild feline yobo, under his left front paw-pit burst open covering part of the poor animal in blood. Nap’s a brave sort of fellow so he didn’t scream (or miaoogle) at all.

A clean-up followed and an antibiotic injection was administered. Nap was then ready to go home, Doctor Stefanini asked me (and Nap, of course) to return in four days’ time and tell him how the cat was proceeding.

I’m happy to say that Nap is recovering well and has started again to complain if he doesn’t get his breakfast (or lunch or dinner) – surely a good sign in any feline!

These are Claudio’s veterinary practice opening times:

You may also be interested in reading another post I’ve done about Claudio and his practice. It’s at:


A Pawsome Show with Cattitude

Lucca has a newish trade fair and exhibition complex and it’s easily reached from near the city’s autostrada exit. Housed in a refurbished ex-factory building it hosted a cat exhibition organised by ANFI (Italian National Cat Association) last weekend. I could not resist and headed to Lucca’s ‘polo fieristico’.

I was not disappointed. Every species of cat was there: from ragdolls to Persians, from Siamese to leopard-spotted, from blues to that giant of cats, the Maine coon which can reach up to ten kilos in weight. There were also the strange hairless cats called Canadian sphinx. (Actually they are not hairless but their hair is very short and fine). Cats were arranged in spacious cages which formed squares with their owners in the inside. It’s not exactly easy to photograph a cat, especially if it’s in a cage, but here is a selection of the species I saw on show:

There was a competition for the best cats in various categories.


There were talks about how to look after one’s cat and even train them how to use the loo and avoid having to clean cat litters! There were stands selling cat requisites from food to shampoo to cat-hammocks. I was particularly impressed by the recycling of vegetable market containers to produce cat baskets. Every cat-lover must have been surely well-pleased to attend the show.

There was an art corner where one could pick up a Rembrandt or Van Gogh for under a a thousand euros. (copies, very well-done, of course.)

As I arrived around mid-day I started to feel hungry. Fortunately there was a lunch stand specialising in truffle products. I could not resist!

There were also truffle and porcini mushroom flavour crisps. They certainly made a change from salt ‘n vinegar and cheese ‘n onion…

I got there in time. After 2 pm the queues started and they became rather long.

Competitors and breeders came from all parts of Italy and, indeed, the EU. I was amazed at the devotion so many people give to cats. Well, not so amazed: cats are ever fascinating – and mysterious too.

As I returned to the parking I met up with two magnificent Spanish greyhounds.


In the parking this car showed just how much cats are part of a family in Italy:


I came home back to my common or garden cats and realised that they are the most special cats in the world – at least to me…

Where’s the White Stuff?

Central, and now southern, Italy is still besieged by cruel winter weather which, especially after the three major earthquakes, is hampering rescue services. Italian TV isn’t so much bothering with trumpians and brexians as with focusing on any possible lives still entrapped in the Rigopiano Hotel which was smothered by an avalanche.

Although the emphasis is on getting people out there are already accusations and prosecutions in the air. Why weren’t holiday-makers told about the avalanche risks of staying at the hotel? Why was the hotel built at the entrance of a huge gully going up the steep slopes of Italy’s highest Apennine peak, the Gran Sasso? Why weren’t the local emergency services fully prepared? This seems to be the general rule in Italy – disaster management where all the praise goes to the hero volunteers who are actually doing something about saving lives and condemnation of the bureaucratic apparatus which is hampering progress in this country.

Meanwhile, at Longoio and the Val di Lima there is still no sign of snow, indeed of rain. We are experiencing a winter drought and I am having to water some plants on our house terraces! It’s the same drought that has caused the forest fires around the Genoa region which closed down a major artery last week and involved the evacuation of hundreds. How strange! On the one side of the peninsula people are saying they haven’t experienced such bad weather in living memory. On the other side people are suffering tinder-dry forests.

It’s therefore reassuring to cast one’s mind back to what the situation was like at our house during our second winter here ten years ago. On this day then it was actually snowing as these photographs demonstrate:

I wonder if Napoleon (cat)  remembers his first taste of snow?