Thursday, August 16, 2012

our "mascot"

Many people who have eaten at the Cantina have met "Stipi" (like Tee-Pee but with an "S"), the little black cat with white paws who scoots between tables and sometimes naps in the middle of the outside patio during dinner.  He is very friendly, and even more so because he eats like a king - people often feed him some of the best parts of their meal.  Last night a woman dining alone gave him some scampi, and then he meandered over to another table, wiggling under a table and pawing another diner weakened by his charms, and finished his meal with sauteed anchovies in white wine, and some filet.

He's not "our" cat, really.  He technically belongs to a woman who lives a few blocks away and who shed some light onto his unusual name for me.  One day, her husband asked her to go pick up his paycheck from work in La Spezia.  On her way, she found a little black kitten, skinny and alone, mewing helplessly on the street.  She picked him up and brought him back to Monterosso, but then realized she forgot the paycheck.  Her husband, grumbling, said the cat would now be named "Stipendio", which means paycheck in Italian.  "Stipi", for short.  Like many cats in Monterosso, he runs the place, and comes home when he wants.  After the flood, many town cats disappeared for a little, scared as well by the disaster, and the newspaper in La Spezia did an article on their return a few weeks ago - the photo gallery of Monterosso's most beloved feline friends can be seen here.  But our Stipi never went anywhere.  Popping his little head over sandbags, pawing over mud, he now enjoys his return to normalcy as he continues charming guests in the Cantina, occasionally frustrating the staff, as we attempt to climb over his unmoving, napping body in the middle of our floor, and happily eating scraps and anchovies.  He might very well be our most regular guest.

1 comment:

  1. oohhhhh so cute :-) i have not see him (or her?) in june as we were 5 days in monterosse and of course in la cantina di miky :-)
    we have the same cat in our town, it's "toulouse - king from Olten" :-) (, when you in switzerland, you must see him :-)