When Ms. Mar Fell In Love With Italy


Preface:  I spent the last couple of days at the pet hospital with a bladder blockage. FYI to my fellow felines, bladder blockage maybe lethal.  Sure glad Mr. C and Ms. M took me in when they did. With no thumbs I would’ve had a hard time driving.

For several days, I was having a problem going to the bathroom and my bladder felt like I was about to have kittens. Mr. C hooked up the royal carriage and off we went for the second time in my life outside of my castle.  I knew I was in trouble when Ms. M kept telling me I was going to be alright when we were in the doctor’s examining room.  Nurse Ratchet then gave me some “happy juice” and laid me on the examination table.  Before I could say, “Meee- OUCH!” the nurse touched me with her cold hand and placed a tube up me.  Within seconds I felt relief…. Ahhhh. Prior to then, I never knew how Mr. C felt when he tried to go, but had a slow stream.  Boy, getting old is only for the brave and lucky, but wait–I’m only 7 years old.

Train Station
Train Station

So here I sit in my wired jail with the most motley group of animals I’ve ever seen.  Everyone is either bandaged or crying.  I’m the only one with a tube extending out of my little buddy I call Ulysses S. Grant, and attached to a bag on the other end.  How indignant is this?

I missed Ms. Mar and Mr. C, but had the company of a bunch of other cats and dogs.  Oh how I missed Ms. Mar’s stories.  All I could do was lie back and think about some of the adventures she told me about.

Hill Town from Train
Hill Town from Train

Ms. Mar likes to talk about Italy . . . a LOT.  She painted the house to look like an Italian villa.  She cooks Italian food with lots of garlic and drinks a LOTS of red wine.  I often wondered when she goes to the litter box, if her pee is red. The house is filled with terra-cotta pots.  All this coming from a Swedish/German woman.

Another Hill Town
Another Hill Town

Ms. Mar says she fell in love with Italy on her first trip there . . . way back in 1997.  She and her friend Carol planned this trip for months in advance and had every detail planned out. Their first week was going to be spent at a resort in the little town of Gavoranno in Tuscany.   But first they had to get there.

Ms. Mar was living in Hawaii at that time and it was a looooooong flight, leaving Saturday afternoon and arriving in Milan on Monday morning.  Ms. Mar complains that she cannot sleep on airplanes, so she must have been pretty fussy when she arrived.  She was supposed to meet Carol at the Milan train station.  They had made no contingent plans in the event one of their flights was delayed, and fortunately for them, their flights were on time.

The train ride from Milan to Florence was her first experience on the European train system.  Arriving in Florence, their first task was to find the place where they had rented a car.  If you’ve ever been to Florence, there seems to be no rhyme or reason for the way the streets are laid out.  When you don’t speak the language, trying to get directions from someone is futile, at best.  So after some trial and error, and some sign language, they found the car rental (Florence map).

Next the big challenge was getting out of the city heading in the right direction.  Florence is a city of one-way streets, traffic, fast drivers and no street signs.  Well, there were street signs but they’re posted on the buildings about two stories up from the ground.  After a couple of wrong turns, they got on the right road and headed toward Gavoranno.

Ms. Mar at resort circa 1997
Ms. Mar at resort circa 1997

Both Ms. Mar and Carol were a little punchy – neither had had any sleep for almost 48 hours.  Driving on the highway with virtually no sleep didn’t seem like the prudent thing to do so they resorted to alternate smaller road routes.  That’s when Ms. Mar really fell in love with Italy.

Carol at Resort circa 1997
Carol at Resort circa 1997

The road they took wound through the countryside, through some of Tuscany’s famed hill towns.  Around each turn was a picturesque scene or village.  Although the drive on the back roads took a little longer, it was worth it just for the beauty surrounding them.  They arrived in Gavorrano right at sunset

I’m in need of my nap now so next week I’ll tell you about their stay in Gavorrano . . . a town where no one speaks English.

Ciao for now (see I even learned a little Italian).


This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. bulldogsturf

    What a lovely stories or post I should say… and Italy sounds a wonderful place if you know where you’re going… hope the tube comes out soon … know how it feels… enjoyed this…

  2. Judy Backlund

    It was good to hear Ms. Mar’s stories again as told by you,Tux. Makes me want to go to Italy. I wouldn’t want to drive there, though. Glad that you got your problem taken care of at the pet hospital.

  3. mdphotographers

    I fear that if I ever visited Italy I would probably never want to come back! Thanks for a wonderful story Maralee!

  4. Wow. I think I’ve fallen in love with Italy too. Those pictures are so clear, fresh (to imagine breathing in that country air).

    A great write-up too – not too wordy 🙂 AND I LOVE YOUR CAT!!

  5. rumpydog

    Happy New Year! Eat more cookies!

  6. Lara Klein

    Good work, it’s pleasure to read your interesting articles. Waiting for more

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