when we first moved into our apartment, we noticed a large grey cat in the garden. we asked sidrek about him and who he belonged to. “he belongs to no one” he replied. “he is a garden cat. every garden in lucca has one. they are good luck, they keep out other pests and they are harmless”. great, we thought. a good luck garden cat. what could be bad about that?
a few days later we discovered that our garden cat was married. we were happy for him. a cat with a companion is a happy cat and we wanted our garden cat to be happy. a few days after that we discovered that mrs. garden cat was pregnant and now we have seven cats. that’s right folks. count them – seven. no one needs that much good luck. especially since the cats think that the beautiful, upholstered garden furniture, meant for us, belongs to them and we have found one of our song birds dead in the bushes, a victim, no doubt of one of the good luck cats. not such good luck for the song bird. what to do? we called sad eyed rafaelli. “cats” he answered “cats are not my problem”. we called sidrak. “i will bring over cat repellant (whatever the hell cat repellant is. howard thinks it is a dog) if that doesn’t work it is out of my power”. so much for good luck cats.
howard, the vanquisher of the ants, is convinced that by going into the garden and stamping his feet and making loud, growling noises, the cats will get the hint that they are not wanted and move on to someone else’s garden. so far, that plan has not worked, but i have noticed our neighbor carolina looking at us strangely when we run into her on the piazza. i’m not sure she knows about the cats, but i am pretty sure that she knows about the crazy american who stomps and growls around the garden in his underwear.