Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A growing Gigia replaces Pepe as our home-away-from-home gattina

During our first four years at the Casolare dei Fiore, we were adopted by Pepe, a cat who would come around a few times a day and ask to be petted and fed. Unfortunately, Pepe died last April, shortly after I posted a blog entry about her. I commented to Lucy that I missed Pepe when we came here this February, and a couple of days later, Gigia showed up.

She is more cautious than Pepe and at first wouldn’t let us touch her, but now she loves to be petted. She is still a little jumpy, though. If I reach down to pet her and she doesn’t realize what I am doing, she jumps away. But if I crouch down and wait, she comes back and rubs against my legs, waiting to be petted. And then the purring starts.

She is much younger than Pepe, and I even like to speculate that she could be one of Pepe’s offspring. She is on the small size, like Pepe, and also gray in color. Initially, she didn’t have a name. I asked Luca, and he said that since she was a new arrival at the Casolare, no one had named her yet. He said he would give that job to his twin daughters, Melissa and Matilde. After a few days, we were told that our cat was Gigia, (pronounced Gee-gia), because the word sounds similar to grigia, which in Italian is grey.

She was kind of skinny when we first arrived, but we noticed that she quickly filled out. In fact, too quickly . . . because it now has become obvious that Gigia is quite pregnant. Chances are she will give birth before we leave at the end of April (a cat pregnancy lasts about 65 days), but we have no idea where she will go when the time comes to deliver. She usually only hangs around our apartment for about a half hour each day, sometimes less, so she obviously has other houses she visits. We hope that she will bring her kittens to meet us before we leave, but it is possible that we will not see them this year.

I realize feral cats can become quite a problem, but in this case, there is nothing that we can do to help. We will continue to enjoy being Gigia’s friend and provider while we are here, but after that, she and her family have to depend on Gigia
s other semi-adoptive homes and their own wits to survive.

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