Friday, December 7, 2018

Purrano Island

Several people have asked me to show the pictures of my magical cat encounter on my trip to Venice last year, so I will retell the story with pleasure!  It was a beautiful sunny day, December 6, the day after my birthday. 

I woke up to this view out my hotel window, and was immediately ready for adventure!

I arranged to take the hotel's private boat on a day's journey to the glass blowing island of Murano, where I'd never been. The boat ride itself was a thing of beauty!

Soon we were on the open lagoon, approaching Murano.

The museum, which I had wanted to see, was closed, but I was taken on a tour of one of the glass factories, and watched glassblowers practicing their art, with deftness and speed. Then I was shown around the glass warehouse, full of amazing, colorful, fanciful glass pieces, but I got tired of it surprisingly quickly. Everything seemed to be 700 euros and up, and I kept being told, "You are not obligated to buy anything. And we'll make you a deal!" I was free to leave whenever I wanted, and an impulse led me out the door and into the beautiful sunshiny morning on a Venetian island. So I went for a walk in the back streets. And met a cat. 

Well, really, how could you not stop and talk to this little puss? 

We were just getting acquainted when we were joined by another...and another. And then there were three!

This is the cat alley, below. The cats spent most of the time cavorting here, but when they weren't in the alley they lived in a pretty garden behind that cloth on the left. In the garden they had bowls of food, and looked very happy, well cared for, and lively. And although they were outdoor cats, they were in no danger of getting run over!  No cars on Murano, and the only predators were glassware salesmen.  

Eventually I was able to discern that there were six cats in all, evidently litter mates under a year old. Some of them loved to jump and walk on these walls...

Five of the cats are in this picture, above. I spent a couple of hours happily watching them frolic - I don't think I've ever had a more enchanting time in my life!  

These two spent a lot of time play fighting, but would take breaks for naps.

The last cat to emerge was a very shy little white cat, perhaps the runt of the litter, who seemed to have something wrong with her eyes - they were mostly closed. Though it may have been that white cats are more sensitive to sun. 

I longed to take the little angel home! Indeed, I wanted to take them all home. Paul's comment was, "A cat from Venice would be the ultimate souvenir." And I had the elderly lady saw me engaged with them and let loose a torrent of Italian. It took some pantomiming, but her meaning was clear: she was asking if I wanted to take one (or more!) home with me!  I regretfully explained that I was a tourist from California, and she walked away rather contemptuously. No, my idyll had to come to an end, but I knew that my time on Purrano Island would always be a very special memory. Here are pictures from the exquisite sunset boat ride back to the hotel (Accademia Pensione).