Thursday, August 16, 2012
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.