Posted by: lornasass | April 23, 2009

SICILY: CATS AND DOGS

We saw a few dogs and lots of stray cats on this trip to Sicily, many more than we remember seeing last year.  Perhaps because we were mostly on the west side of the island rather than the east.  Who knows?  But I came close to adopting an adorable dachshund that someone had abandoned at the entrance to a natural forest reserve–perhaps in the hopes that one of the workers coming in and out would take pity and feed it or bring it home.  I still think about that little guy…

In general, dogs seem to get more respect than cats in Sicily and, though lots of them are running around, many are wearing collars and almost all of them seem well fed.  The one below looks a little mangy, but he’s taking a very peaceful siesta at the Piazza Amerina on some of the finest ancient Roman mosaics in the world. It looks as if someone has actually laid down a “sheet” for him.dsc01624

Here’s a serious, elegant pooch named Patch, named for Patch Adams.  He is a much beloved dog whom we met him on the day after Easter–more about that in another blog:

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Bu the most amazing doggy sight we witnessed was a man coming out of a very elegant gelateria in Ortygia with two costly cones, one in each hand. He didn’t even take one lick, but instead turned them gelato-side down and fed them to his two furry pals as others watched in amused wonder.

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Stray cats pretty much have to fend for themselves but here and there we saw evidence of people leaving pasta and other leftover food for them on the street.  One day while we were strolling through Ortygia, we saw a small gang of cats suddenly get in line to follow a woman holding a plastic bag as she walked down a small passageway.  It all happened too quickly for me to grab my camera, but once she put down the bag the cats gathered for a little feast:

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Here are a few more strays taking in the sun in the wonderland that is Sicily:

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