Summer *may* (whisper it very softly) be finally here. Just in time for exam season, when afternoons are spent locked in stuffy rooms, watching students sweating both literally and metaphorically. One week of teaching left to do, and then it’s goodbye Calabria. Except that it isn’t. Over the last few months my departure date has been being put back further and further, until now it’s looking like it’s going to be the end of July. And that’s only because my mother has a big birthday on 2 August this year. Were it not for that fact, I don’t think I’d be going back at all.

The other weekend I had a conversation with some of the boys from choir about England. They asked if I missed my family. I said no. (Sorry, Mum and Dad!) If I’m honest, I probably speak to my family more now than I did when I lived in London, as we make more of an effort to keep in contact. I do, however, miss my cats. They don’t really *get* Skype, much though I’ve tried to persuade them that it’s the future.


I’ve just finished teaching my last student of the day. I’m in the staff room catching up on some marking. I’m aware of the door buzzer going, but ignore it. Sam comes out of her classroom to answer it, then returns to me a minute later with a puzzled look on her face. ‘Kate, there’s somebody at the door. They say they have something for you – they’re on their way up.’ Mystified, I head for the door, and am met by the choir boys, who are grinning fit to burst. Domenico is hidden behind Gianluca and Emmanuel at first, but then he pushes forward and thrusts a small, fluffy, grey bundle at me. Said small, fluffy bundle promptly swarms up my arm and settles herself on the back of my neck.  It would appear that I’m now an Italian cat owner.

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About Kate Bailward

Kate Bailward is a cat-loving, trifle-hating, maniac driver. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+
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20 Responses to Tosca

  1. cha0tic says:

    Noooooo! Get a dog.

  2. Katja says:

    Hahahaha! I can’t keep her, unfortunately, Cha0. The leaving of Calabria is merely delayed, not cancelled, so she’s going to be rehomed with a friend of mine.

    A dog is an idea, though. At least a dog could run along with me while I’m cycling (and if I got one big enough it could pull me up the bitches of hills they have round here …!)

  3. It sounds like you’ve gone completely native, Katja! And what are your cycling plans? Are you planning an epic journey far and wide, or just exploring your surroundings more?

  4. Katja says:

    Far and wide. But local exploration first – the plan at the moment is to hang around for a month or so and potter around Sicily and Sardinia, as well as Calabria, then to go further afield. The blog will possibly have to be renamed cycling like a maniac soon. The maniacal bit, of course, being that I have no bloody clue what I’m doing and will quite possibly die. All in the name of a good story ,though.

    How’s it going in the good ol’ US of A? Have you mortally offended anyone yet?

  5. Elora Daphne says:

    How adorable!!! I would stay just for kitty :) No just kidding! Where are you off to next? Another country? Or just another part of Southern Italia? Or…Northern Italy, perhaps???

  6. Katja says:

    It’s crossed my mind, Elora …! The problem being that I don’t currently have anywhere to live, but who needs a roof over their heads anyway?!

    I haven’t made any firm decisions as yet, but my instinct is telling me Italy. I’m just beginning to get more comfortable with the language, and would like to capitalise on that before I up sticks and go to a different country. I think I’ll stay south, rather than going north. I do like it down here. further than that, however, I don’t really know. Possibly Sicilia? Possibly somewhere else in Calabria? Maybe even back to Puglia – the boot is my oyster, so to speak …

  7. Leah says:

    I’d stay for the kitty : ) thanks for sharing such heartwarming story.
    Leah´s last post ..It finally happened…

  8. Katja says:

    Oh, Leah, stop tempting me!! :D

  9. LindyLouMac says:

    Good Luck with your next adventure and keep writing.
    LindyLouMac´s last post ..Wordless Wednesday – Beautiful Rosebud to Welcome Us Home

  10. Katja says:

    Thank you, Linda. I most certainly will. You never know – if I’m not spending so much time working I might even manage to start posting more than once every fortnight!

  11. saretta says:

    Oh, she’s adorable! Pity you can’t keep her!
    saretta´s last post ..Is it Summer Yet

  12. Katja says:

    I know, Sara. :( She’s just beginning to come into herself now, as well. Every time I go in the sitting room she’s shredded some more paper and kicked more stuff about the place. She’s also eating like a horse. Compare this to when she first arrived, when she barely moved off the sofa, even to eat or drink, and I think it’s safe to say that she’s feeling better!

  13. Angela says:

    Gorgeous :) I’m glad you like Italy, the boys from the choir had a very nice thought :)
    Angela´s last post ..In India- looking for Manila

  14. Katja says:

    Yes, it was really sweet of them. :)

  15. LindyLouMac says:

    Me again, thankyou for your kind words on News From Italy today, they do help and mean so much to me. Oh and welcome to Goodreads :)

  16. Ooh I loved Sicily when I was there (about 12 years ago!). I remember Taormina especially. And an ill-advised squid pizza. It was like trying to eat a wetsuit.

    As the the US of A, I don’t think I’ve offended anyone yet, but it can be so hard to tell.

  17. Sally says:

    Omigosh. I miss my cat the most, too. Sure, my family is great but they’re not the cuddling type. Besides, they never, as a rule, want to play with yarn balls. My good friend adopted my cat when I left the States and now he has informed that Kitty McPurrpants III (yes, that’s her name) will never be returned to me. Alas, I’m stuck roaming the world, cat-less.
    P.S. I would totally stay for the kitty. How could you abandon that face? You are heartless… HEARTLESS! ARRGGH!

  18. Katja says:

    And that, in a nutshell, is the problem with family. They just don’t GET yarn balls.

    If I could take the cat a’roaming with me, I would. I’d like to have a cat in a rucksack. Or a cycle pannier, in my case. She’s possibly adventurous enough to try it, actually. I live on the 2nd floor and her current favourite game is balancing on the edge – and I mean the VERY edge – of the balcony. I’m not sure who’s going to die first – her of suicidal tendencies or me of a heart attack …

  19. Mack Reynolds says:

    that’s a really nice thing of the choir boys to do. I mean, it poses a bit of a dilemma, but it’s really sweet of them anyway. i’m sure your cats at home would be jealous of the new one if they finally get up to using skype.

  20. Katja says:

    Oh, you betcha they would. They may be old (13 in October – yikes), but I’m not sure that age has brought any wisdom. Mind you, they’re currently battling with far more pressing matters. My tenant called me this morning to say that she’d got home last night to find a snake on the doormat. And no, she doesn’t mean a slowworm – she means a baby python. Or so she suspects, although she isn’t a snake expert and doesn’t know for sure. She hasn’t managed to trap it yet, and it’s currently loose somewhere (precise location unknown) in the flat. The cats are therefore shut out in the garden for their own safety, and are none too happy about that fact …

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