Oh the kitties, we'll see - Sicily
Updated: Jul 31, 2022
Cat lovers view when traveling: vol. 2 Italy
One cat, two cat, orange cat tabby cat
On a previous trip to Montenegro, where stray cats abound, Eric and I came up with a word to describe the more feral/unkempt cats. We would deem them "Itchy". I would plead with Eric saying he/she [cat] "...didn't look too itchy" to pet. We continued to measure if we can pet the cat based on its perceived itchiness.
Our first stop in Italy was Catania, Sicily. Eric and I have traveled to several cities on the mainland but we both never visited Sicily. Catania reminds me of old New York City in the 1980s: beautiful bones but lots of grit. The first sighting was this cute cat loaf art in a doorway. I thought this would be a great idea for doors or wall decorations for cat lovers. The black and white line design reflects a block print style for all modern and retro aesthetics at the same time.
As mentioned above Catania was gritty and the cats reflected the same. They looked a little worse for the wear, skinny and scrappy. It broke my heart that these little angels weren't cared for. These guys below fared a bit better. We saw them on the way back to our residence after a delicious pizza topped with prosciutto. Immediately I had to share the meat with them to Eric's contested pleas saying they looked "a little itchy but they needed the meat more than us". Of course, Eric was fine 2 seconds later seeing them lick their chops approving of the tasty treat although he did comment "don't give them all of it."
On our journeys away from the main city of Catania, we saw more cats in better condition. Our day trip to Taormina located less than an hour north of Catania resulted in more cute cat sightings. A gorgeous city in itself but made even more beautiful by the kitty details. Below this fluffy goddess from Taormina, sitting atop a stairwell is meant to be seen not touched according to her.
For the 2nd pic, we spied a picturesque gated doorway to a courtyard garden made extra special by a custom cat tile just below the residence number. The whole tableau reminded me of a classic children's storybook illustration. Moments after taking a picture of this doorway, a creamy white cat with tan spots resembling the tile cat scurried from the street into the garden through the gated door. I was excited by the coincidental timing and tried to take a quick picture but was too slow for this memorable kitty.
Located about an hour on the southern coast of Sicily we headed to explore the ancient city of Siracusa and the offset island of Ortigia. The city is like walking back in time, with beautiful water views but most importantly it included beach kitties tucked in a small crevice in the rocks high above. These perching bird-cats we spotted when walking down to the rocky beach to enjoy the sun. The 3rd picture is of a sweet kitty outside a restaurant. So gorgeously colored I had to take a picture. She reminded me of the Taormina cat tile kitty. I could tell she is well cared for by the restaurant as they stated she was famous as people wanted to take pictures of her. The waiter then kindly gave her head scritches cooing words of encouragement.
The last stop in Italy this time on the mainland was Rimini. Rimini was a chill beach community, calm now as it was still late April when we visited. There we came upon only a trio of kitties the first we've seen that looks like they have a home base. I snapped a quick picture of them on a porch as they judged me from above. I giggled laughing at the orange one staring through the bars back at me.
"There are times when you need the silence of animals to recover from humans." (Unknown)
Please ensure spaying or neutering of your cats to keep populations in control and share a little love and kindness to those you pass along the way. Check out humanesociety.org on what we can do to help.
So many more cats to come, (my phone is 50% cat pics), as we explore more cities...
About the author:
Christy is an artist/creative spirit & blogger/podcaster with a passion for many things especially the arts, nature, and weird things around the world.