Guest blogger: the VERY handsome Orson

I’ve been busy this week and haven’t had time to put together anything blog-like. Orson, my always-willing-to-help cat, suggested that you might enjoy reading about HIS first visit to Italy.  He wrote this originally on March 3rd & 4th, 2009, the day he landed on Italian soil.  So…… HERE’S ORSIE!!!!!!…

Orson in the US

March 3, 2009:  The start.

I should have suspected something when the cage took up permanent residence in the kitchen.  But since it was big and roomy and Susan always put my food in there, I figured it was just a new, fancy dining “situation”…..something FINALLY worthy of my obviously regal heritage.

Orse in the Rolls Royce of cages

Then she put that collar on me.  It was very attractive…..light blue with tasteful green, yellow and red strips….and she kept telling me how FABULOUS I looked in it.  Considering that it did not hamper my two favorite activities (sleeping and eating), I let this, too, pass without mention.

A couple of days later, she attached two metal disks to my tasteful collar.  I thought I saw my name on both disks as she was struggling to affix them, but it seemed a bit odd that one said USA and the other said Italy. The thought:  “What’s an Italy?” passed briefly through my mind, but then I went on to more important things — like the fact that while the disks didn’t interfere with my pastimes, they made a slightly annoying “clink” when I’d walk fast…..something, I hasten to say, that I do as little as possible.  Still….I thought it was a point we should discuss.  Susan seemed so busy getting clothes out of the closet and putting them in those strange boxes with the zippers that she gets out every so often that I figured I’d wait until the morning, when things had calmed down a bit, to bring up the topic of those pesky metal disks.

But the morning was anything but calm.  I just tried to stay out of her way.  The only time I got really bent out of shape was when she turned OFF the heated bathroom floor….if you can imagine!!!!  And then the day turned truly odd.  We went for a ride in a car that did not smell at all like ours.  And while everyone knows that cats have no real sense of time, this certainly felt like a VERY long drive. It wasn’t too bad since Susan rubbed my chin practically the whole ride, but even that gets a little old after awhile.

When the car stopped, we went into a loud, frightening place.  Even though I could sort of hide in my roomy cage, it didn’t feel nearly as safe as it did at home.  First I waited with Susan in a long line and then before I knew what was happening, she took me out of my cage while a stern woman went over every inch of it with a strange wand.  I was afraid she was going to use that wand to turn me into something horrid…..like a toad, perhaps, or even worse – a dog!!!  I was momentarily relieved when she told Susan to put me back where I belonged, but then I was handed over to a burley man who took me away from Susan, and put me on a “plane”.  I had never heard of a “plane” before, and in case you haven’t either, I can tell you that it was a totally charmless area (I can’t even call it a room) with strange containers piled everywhere.  Worse still is that it bounced around at random times, and was VERY noisy.

As the burley man was taking me to the “plane”, I heard him mention to the other guys who were shuffling around zippered boxes like Susan’s, that I was to go to ITALY!!!!  Wait a minute!!!!!  Didn’t it say “Italy” on one of my metal tags???  Maybe back when I first saw the word, I should have tried to find out a bit more about it.  I don’t think it’s a person.  Is it a store or a restaurant?  Or maybe another town.  The thing he didn’t mention was whether I was going with Susan, or was she sending me off by myself.

Well….that’s where things stand now.  The sign says I’m at 33,000 feet — whatever that means.  Thinking back, I’m pretty sure I’ve heard Susan talk to people about Italy, and I seem to recall that her mood always perked up and she had a huge smile on her face during those conversations.  Alan talked about it, too, so maybe he’s going to be there with me.  I’m really hoping I’ll see Susan soon, but as I mentioned before, any of those time terms like “soon” or “later” are a bit open-ended with me.  I do know that this hell hole is not my favorite place, and it seems like I’ve been here “forever”.  Let’s hope “Italy” – whatever it is – is better than this!!!  And I have my toes crossed for heated floors.

March 4, 2009:  Arrival

Well…..THAT certainly was not pleasant at all!!!!  I guess I needn’t tell you how happy I was to FINALLY see Susan!!!!  And to tell you the truth, she was pretty happy to see me, too.  She had a long story about how they told her I’d be at one end of the terminal while, in fact, I was at the other, so she had to talk to three different people before she found me.  Right before we went out the door, we went through “customs”.  I’m not sure what Susan thought “customs” was going to be like, but if this is why she made me go through all those humiliating vet visits, it certainly was not worth the insult to my dignity.  I could have been foaming at the mouth, with fleas covering my cage and they would have waved us on through.

Outside, there was a very nice man with a car, and this time Susan made the mistake of holding me on her lap as we took still another drive that I’d term “long”.  I felt really bad about it when I peed on her lap, but after all — this was her doing.

FINALLY we arrived at our destination which, if the burley guy was right, had to be “Italy”.  For those of you less well-travelled than I, I can tell you that “Italy” turns out to be a pretty nice home that you get to via an elevator.  It doesn’t have nearly the number of comfortable spots as our other house, but I’ve tried all the usual places, and currently I prefer the white couch.

The guest beds are much too hard....and this is coming from someone who sleeps on tile.

This bed is more comfortable, but only when there's someone else on it.

Ahhh....the white couch. Just perfect.

My biggest gripe is that all the floors are tile, and they are definitely NOT heated.  In fact, when I arrived, they were so cold that I thought my little paws were going to freeze to them, and I’d be stuck to the floor, looking like a squirming cat sculpture.  But the place heated up fairly quickly, and now I can actually lie on them without shivering…..though, of course, I prefer the white couch.

So all in all, I like it here.  Susan says Alan is going to come “soon”, and I can’t wait to see him again.   It might not be fun getting here, but at least for the first day – this “Italy” place is OK in my book.

October 18, 2011:  Epilogue

Well, I’ve had many, many trips since then.  The good news for Susan is that I haven’t peed on her again.  As for “Italy”, it continues to be a great place where I can practice my favorite activities in pleasant surroundings.  Sometimes guests come and I very generously allow them to join me on the white couch — particularly if they understand the honor and pet me the whole time. I’m very happy that Alan is there because he’s much more generous about sharing than Susan, so I occasionally get an extra snack or two.

Sometimes Alan lets me share his yogurt.

What’s the difference between Italy and the US? Not much; I like them both.  The only negative is that time between the two, since the “plane” has done NOTHING to make my life more comfortable. Maybe I could talk them into heated floors……

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