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The other Torcello cat story

I'm determined to finish my Torcello series sooner rather than later...so here's the second cat story. This one isn't quite as dramatic as the cat who got on my lap in the cathedral, but still, It was such a strangely feline day, especially since after I left Torcello and went to Burano, I ran into another colony of cats that included a little orange kitten who tried to climb my leg.

Anyway, I stopped to pet and photograph all the many cats lounging along the canal leading down to the Piazza where the churches are. Because it was such a gray day and it wasn't raining at the time, I decided to walk around the island for a while before I went into the churches. So I was moseying along and all of a sudden, I glanced over and realized I had a companion. One of the Torcello cats had left his/her compatriots and decided to join me on my walk.


I was happy for the company and we walked together for about 20 minutes or so. Every once in a while, I'd stop and get the camera out, and the cat would stop and pose.



This is truly one of the most beautiful cats I've ever seen, and it blows my mind that it's a homeless cat living on a sparsely-populated island in the Venetian lagoon. Why hasn't anyone adopted this beauty?


It made me sad when he stopped to drink some rain water from a puddle. I'd brought some cat treats to Venice with me but had already given them out to the colony at the church of San Lorenzo, so I didn't have anything to give to this cat.


This cat was friendly but dignified - not a crazy or funny cat but a soulful cat. I was talking to him and felt like he could understand everything I said, despite the language barrier (he is Italian, after all). :)


The cat has very interesting feet and toes. The first cats that the ancient Venetians imported came from Syria and other places in the Middle East, and something about these feet make me think this cat is a descendant of those first cats brought to the lagoon many centuries ago.



I took a lot of photos of this cat. :)



The cat stayed with me until we came to a canal and ran into a free-roaming goat! At that point, the cat turned around and headed back to the Piazza.


Reflections in the canal (the goat was on the other side so I don't know if the cat left because of the goat or the water).


Someone who recently visited Torcello left a comment on my blog and said that she didn't see a single cat when she was there. It makes me wonder if Dingo has relocated the Torcello cats to their sanctuary on the Lido or somewhere else? I'll be very curious to see if the cats are still around the next time I visit Torcello (and I hope that it will be this year).

A couple more Torcello posts coming soon...

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Comments (17)

Donna in SF:

Anne, I loved these photos. What a beautiful cat! I've been waiting since your first Torcello post for this and now will look forward to your next one.

Thanks so much!

Donna, thank you so much and I'm sorry about the looooong delay! I hope to get back in the blogging groove now. :)


Fascinating post, Annie! Your friend's markings are really striking -- quite remarkable. He looks like an old soul.

I also love the random goat sighting, how often does that happen?


Oh Annie, what a beautiful cat.Did you want to bring hime home with you-I would have. We have adopted 4 cats at work and will be adopting 4 more over the next 2 months.It is always so hard for me to leave that cat room in the Shelter!

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Annie, I'm so glad that you are back in the blogging groove. Wonderful post. That is so cute how the first cat followed you around for 20 minutes and kept you company. They are all really beautiful looking cats and that one with the different looking toes is interesting. I wander if he/she is a descendant from the original cats from the middle east. And that's such an interesting looking goat. And I can't wait to hear more about your trip plans too.

Thanks for writing this post and sharing your wonderful photos. I look forward to your next entry. Have a great day today!

Sandra, you are right - this cat is an old soul. I was surprised to run into the goat (who completely ignored me, by the way).

Sheri, yes I did think about how I would love to bring that cat home. I can only imagine the bureaucratic hoops you would have to jump through to bring a cat from Italy to the US. I'm so glad to hear that you are adopting so many shelter cats!

Kathy, thanks! Those toes are really unusual; I haven't seen another cat with feet like that. I know you are counting down the days until your new cat Elizabeth comes home with you. I'm so excited and can't wait to read all about it!

Annie - You must be a pied piper of cats! Love these photos. PS: Noticed your photo featured in the newsletter. Very nice! Congrats. M


Now, I too want to know if the cats are still there!

Menuhune, "pied piper of cats" sounds much nicer than "crazy cat lady." :) And thanks for mentioning my photo. I entered that contest so long ago that I'd just about forgotten about it. It was a nice surprise to see my pic in the newsletter!

LB, if you make it back to Venice before I do, please go check and let me know!

What a beautiful story and what an adorable cat! It is very beautiful, and indeed dignified looking.


I'll be back in Venice very soon, and will surely keep an eye out for this handsome cat, both on Torcello and in the Dingo Sanctuary.

Yvonne, thank you! Have a wonderful trip and please let me know how the cats are doing. I hope you run into this guy.

Love your stories on the cats. This one is so gorgeous! I went to Venice many yrs ago and now want to go and see more of Torcello. Found your blog and linked to your piece on Chiesa di San Moise. Wonderful blog!

Bill Barrick:

I love your photos of the cats of Italy. Bravo!! I am working on a book project and am interested if you are willing to contribute or sell limited rights to several of your hi-res images. I can discuss further details if you email me.
Bill Barrick

Hi Bill,

Thank you! I sent you an email. Annie


I have just been to Torcello and there are cats there being provided kennels and food.

Michele, thanks for letting me know! Glad the cats are still there. Hope you had a fantastic time on Torcello.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 26, 2010 1:20 PM.

The previous post in this blog was PhotoHunt: Balanced.

The next post in this blog is PhotoHunt: Spotted.

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