Thursday, August 16
Arriving back in Pos on one of the busiest days in the year after a quiet break in Tuscany I found the fridge empty and Boomerang the cat half her normal size and very ill.
"Carlo, I need to get Boomy to the vets. Where is the car parked?"
"The car? Are you mad? You can't use the car, it took me half a day to find a space to park it after I took you to Naples the other day. People are parking on the coast road halfway to Sorrento."
"But I need to take the cat to the vets!"
"We'll take her on the bike, we're not moving the car."
Seeing as it was the busiest day of the year we decided to hang on another day, so I patiently sat on the floor and tried to coax the cat to eat something. Maybe she had cat flu. She was sneezing, coughing and spluttering and Skye kept pointing out that 'Boomy needs to blow her nose." Normally a glutton, she sniffed disinterestedly at the egg, salami, cheese and posh cat food that I offered her. So I force fed her, opening her mouth and popping little morsals inside.
The next morning we piled onto the bike, Boomerang safely tucked into the footwell in a travel cage. After a few tests the vet declared that she had parasites in her lungs, lots of tiny worms that interfered with her breathing, and would need to take antibiotics.
"Pills?" I asked.
"If she eats you can give her pills, but if she won't eat you'll have to inject her every day."
Inject her? Not again! I told the vet about my experiences injecting Skye last year and she laughed. "Cats are much easied to inject, look, I'll teach you now."
I watched but resolved to feed her by hand, no matter how long it took. Anything to avoid injecting a struggling cat with its claws out. We put the cat back in her cage and had a look at all the other animals there; a bouncy puppy with a broken leg, a blind kitten and a ten kilo cat that resembled a cushion rather that an animal.
It was lunchtime so we stopped off at a tavola calda, a buffet style restaurant with tables on the pavement where we could keep an eye on the cat on the bike. As we drove back home, along the coast, we passed the burnt and blackened mountains which had been ravaged by fires a few weeks ago. The cat meowed anxiously every now and then and we all meowed back at her to reassure her that we were there.
My thoughts drifted to comfortable cars and private parking spaces, something that I'd taken for granted when I lived in England, now highly desired. I wondered if life would actually be better if I had the use of a car with a guaranteed parking place...I'd be able to go to a real supermarket to do the shopping...I could take Skye to play in the park in Sorrento, maybe even enrole her in ballet or horse-riding lessons. I could go on day trips, pick visitors up from the airport, all sorts of things...
We pulled up near home and the cat meowed with relief. I let her out the cage but she seemed overwhelmed, so Skye carried her up home and placed her on the sofa with a blanket tucked around her. The vet suggested trying to feed her babyfood instead of lumpy cat food. I have my doubts whether she'll like it but I'll try it anyway.
at 3:18 PM