When I was teaching children in Italy a game I loved to play with them was “Guess how many cats my Dad has?” (technically the felines belong to both my Dad and Mom, but if it were up to her alone… I don’t think cats would be in the picture much). Each child could call out a number and I would respond with “higher” or “lower”. Once we had it established that the number was larger than 4 but less than 400 we could gradually narrow it down to the correct response of 7. The shocked expression marked across an eight-year-olds’ face never got old.
The cat pictured here is one of my personal favorites. This is Anna. She is wide in the hips with a long and luxurious tale. She is a cat with a strikingly beautiful face or a face of complete terror ready to strike if you accede the preferred time allotment for petting and snuggling. One of her favorite past times is sleeping in my Mom’s well-planted flowerbeds that hang from the balconies along the house. Although this habit is somewhat distressing to the gardner (understandably so) Anna seems to have little sympathies over the trouble she is causing with her afternoon naps. At the same time, it is hard to blame Anna for enjoying her self-proclaimed cat beds so much when they provide the best views of the nature around and appear to have been made with her size in mind.