The Honorable Lord of Ca’ Rezzonico
My story with the cats of Venice began a couple of years ago when I met Brussa in one of the shops selling Murano glass. She was an aging black beauty with a touch of white. She was not well. Didn’t like Venetian weather and suffered from arthritis. Nonetheless she set like a queen on a chair and acted like all true cats and queens act – she stared into space like I was not there. People usually can’t pull that off but cats are true masters if ignoring. I envy this skill but I cannot say I like it.
Next time I met a cat during this trip. It was even worse. My boyfriend was the one to spot him first. The cat was also black but young. He had yellow eyes and flaming heart. There are places in Venice (like in any other city) that are just not interesting. And this cat is living in such a place – simple house, simple alley, and the only view is a grey wall opposite his window and a piece of sky. Not sure if he cared for the sky. But he definitely cared that we were there – right in front of his window. I could read it from his eyes that we were ruining the morning and the view. People… Worse than that tourists… Even worse than that – with a camera. You must be kidding me. Who the hell would want to spend a morning looking at tourists with cameras who stare at you while you are thinking about important stuff – what you had for breakfast, how to make your owner give you another one, what will be for lunch, for dinner, for supper, where to sleep today… I can still remember those furious yellow eyes.
So imagine our frustration when we decided to check the garden of the Ca’ Rezzonico palace and saw a cat in the furthest corner. He was red. And I have to say give me a big red cat and I will forget about everything. Red cats are the best. Nothing in the Universe is better than a red cat. Not even chocolate. You get the idea even if you don’t share it.
So there we were staring at yet another innocent creature and hesitating. And then I thought I didn’t care. I wanted to come say hi to that one even if he ran away cursing. We slowly started to approach. He saw us, of course he did. He is a cat after all. It takes them a couple of days to notice that the refrigerator is gone during the renovation (though they are used to come to it everyday like 50 times a day to beg for food) but they always know when a human being with an unmistakable desire to pet them is nearing. I think there is an inbuilt alarm system that goes off with a warning. Imagine how astonished we were when he rose, stretched himself and came to us… smiling. I am sure he was smiling. Oh those moments were the best in Venice. He was so nice and communicative. He might look tough but is very sweet and gentle on the inside.