just another kitten saved

Yesterday afternoon as I was checking my favorite blogs working hard, I heard a kitten crying, over and over. So I did what any reasonable person would do.

I opened the door and responded, “Meoooooow.”

And the kitten answered.

And I meowed.

And the kitten answered.

We played this game for about thirty seconds as I intermittently asked “dove sei?” (where are you?) but always received the same response. Clearly this little one was stuck somewhere.

So I followed the noise, and I tracked down the kitty to an attic-like space above my neighbor‘s house, only accessible from the outside by a rather unique staircase.

Anna Maria had been up there earlier, so the little one must’ve gotten closed in sometime in the morning. I told Anna Maria what I thought had happened, and she gave me the OK to rescue the kitty.

I started to ask her for a key, but then I realized I was in Calabria, and the likelihood of the door being closed with more than a clever contraption was low. Sure enough, a knotted rope greeted me, and as I started to untie it, I was assured that the kitty was inside because through the crack in the door, its little blue eyes glared at me before it hissed, swatted, and ran into the corner.

Once I opened the door, I saw a space full of firewood, old chairs, stacked terra cotta roof tiles, various sacks, and assorted empty crates, jars, and bottles.

But no kitty.

I searched all over, meowed, and even poked around with a stick to ruffle some things about, but there was no sign of life.

I wanted to leave the door open for a bit to allow the kitten to let itself out, but it was extremely windy and Anna Maria would never go for it. So after a few minutes, I retied the rope behind me and formulated my plan to wait until Anna Maria went to church and then try again.

I was going to have to resume Operation Rescue Kitty da sola (alone).

And so when I heard the bells calling the faithful to Mass, I peeked my head out the door and meowed.

And the little one answered.

I climbed back up the stairs and performed the same routine as before, just in case it was now ready to come out.


So I tied the door partially shut, leaving room enough for escape, descended the stairs, and then started meowing loudly. At this point, I was pretty sure that its mother was around–there is one particular chubby stray that always used to hang around, but I hadn’t seen her in a while. I now assumed she had been on maternity leave.

And I was right.

Within seconds, (skinny) Mamma came rushing around the corner. She looked at me as if to ask, “Where’s my baby?” and so I pointed up the steps. She trotted up there to the crack in the door; immediately the kitten emerged, and they were reunited.

Baby rubbed all around Mamma as Mamma tried to clean the grime off Baby. And boy was the little one hungry.

Eventually Mamma decided on a more comfortable place for feeding where she could finally relax. You could see that she had just been worried sick about her little one from the way she collapsed once they were together again.

And another kitty family slept off into the sunset.

Β Just so you know, I was never even remotely tempted to spruce up these photos a la the LOLcat movement. I find it a little creepy to be honest with you.


[tags]cats, kittens, rescuing kittens[/tags]

55 Beans of Wisdom to “just another kitten saved”
  1. Scott

    That is a nice story, and cute pictures. Thanks for taking the time to make a difference in anothers life.

  2. jennifer

    Wow… great pictures and story. I needed that today!

  3. The Moon Topples

    This is an absolutely beautiful post. I’m so glad I’ve started coming by more often!

  4. eLΓ­

    I’m more of a dog person myself but this is just too cute.

  5. nyc/caribbean ragazza

    I love cats (but a little allergic to them, unfortunately). Nice photos. The view in the last one is gorgeous.

  6. Paolo


    (I can haz motherz milk?)

  7. Giulia

    What a sweet story. I can almost hear you “meowing!” πŸ™‚

  8. Bre

    These pictures are really fantastic!

    Weren’t you nervous on those stairs? They would have freaked me out!!

  9. chris & erin

    oh, I LOVED this entry! It was like I was turning the page of a book with each photo!

  10. The Other Girl

    This story is so cute. I love how, regardless of your meowing, kitten remained unconvinced of your cat status. (And I know what you mean about LOLcats; I don’t find it creepy, but I’m always irritated when the dumb caption obscures their little ears or feet.)

  11. sognatrice

    Scott, glad you liked it; thanks for commenting πŸ™‚

    Jennifer, happy to be of service!

    TMT, I’m happy you’re here too πŸ™‚

    eLi, as you might be able to tell from my collection of Luna photos around here, I’m more of a dog person too…but kitties and mommies are so cute πŸ™‚

    NYC, the last photo came about completely by chance as I looked up for one last shot of them. The sky was perfect and I clicked.

    Paolo, gah! I can’t hear you!

    Giulia, I really thought I had the little one convinced b/c it was responding. Nothin doin. I ain’t that good apparently.

    Bre, thanks; I think I’m just used to these kind of precarious situations by now–just about everything around here seems to be on a cliff, up a narrow set of stairs, on a steep hill, etc. I did, however, have visions of myself falling over the edge while snapping photos and thinking how stupid that would sound when I had to explain to P later. So I was extra careful.

    C&E, glad you liked it! It was fun while it was happening too πŸ™‚

    TheOG, I knew you’d be with me on the LOLcats. I don’t know if creepy is really the right word anyway, but I did want to express my displeasure (and also make it look like I’m remotely informed on what’s happening on the internets).

  12. KC

    That is so sweet! Sognatrice, since you love lolcats so much (haha), you should check out these medieval ones on Geoffrey Chaucer hath a blog:


    (Sorry, I don’t now how to put links in comments!)

  13. KC

    Well, that didn’t work. I’ll break it up into two lines:


    I’m not a fan of lolocats either, but those had me laughing.

  14. goodthomas

    “Scenes from Village Life” I can see this appearing in the New York Times Book section.

    I love this stuff. I could just eat this stuff up. This is like your Wednesday posts, only with words, atmosphere. And your photographs. Wow. I adore the steps shot. I know that the architecture there is amazing without you, but you took a great angle, with great light, perfectly cropped.

  15. sognatrice

    KC, that is awesome! And don’t worry, the full link comes up in my email inbox anyway, so when someone puts a long one up and I see it doesn’t come up on the site, I go back and put it in like this:

    Go see Lolpilgrims!

    Send me an email and I’ll fill you in on the secret πŸ˜‰

    And, btw, you just may be converting me on these LOLthingees….

    goodthomas, thank you, thank you! I have to say that many of my angles come about because I’m working in cramped spots of medieval alleys and narrow staircases, and I definitely get lucky with the lighting a lot. If I ever figured out how to manually adjust settings, I could be dangerous πŸ˜‰

  16. megg

    beautiful! I am so glad that you took the time and paid attention – clearly that mama would agree! I loved the one of them in the pot – gorgeous!

  17. Heather

    Great shots, and good job with the kitty rescue!

  18. Louise

    GREAT pictures!!!
    Way to rescue that kitty!!
    So cute!

  19. Anonymous

    what is a LOLcat?

    Lovely story with a great ending and fab phtos. Vanessa

  20. Karen Beth

    What a wonderful story and such adorable photos! Kittens are just the best!

  21. AuthorMomWithDogs

    I bet that mamma cat is sure glad you cared enough to help — not to mention the baby. I just love a happy ending!

  22. Anne

    Oh! Those stairs…beautiful…intriguing. That poor baby, and mama; how sweet. Lovely post!

  23. J.Doe

    great story and wonderful pics.

  24. Figs, Olives, Wine

    Sognatrice, I love that the mama cat understood when you pointed! So, so happy to have found your blog.

  25. Lisa Milton

    Poor little kitties – and what spectacular pictures.


  26. my melange

    I am a sucker for a cute animal story…especially one with a happy ending….nice pic’s too!

  27. JennDZ - The Leftover Queen

    I am such a sucker for kitty stories! What a sweet photo of the two of them together! You did a good deed today!

  28. it's me, Val

    When I saw your pictures and read your story I literally went “awwwwwwwwwwww”. I love kitties! And I have seen kitties nursing off their mommies so often having grown up on a farm with lots and lots of cats. What a beautiful post and such a good soul you are! πŸ™‚

  29. -R-

    Awww. And I love the rope as a door closing mechanism!

  30. Gil

    Great story, very beautiful pictures and a very good (and brave) you! Do you now have some new family members?

  31. Poppy Fields

    This is a great story. Not every one would take the time to rescue a stranded kitten.

  32. Jennifer

    Sweet story! What a view that mamma has from her nursing spot.

  33. Shirley

    Such a lovely story with a happy ending. Gorgeous photos too.

  34. sognatrice

    Megg, I love the pot one too πŸ™‚

    Heather, Louise, Karen Beth, JDoe, thanks!

    Vanessa, you need to click on the link in the post *or* check it out on Wikipedia; it’s described there much better than I could ever do.

    AuthorMom, yes, even though I’m a doggie mama too, kittens can pull on my heartstrings as well πŸ˜‰

    Anne, thank you. The stairs are pretty special and only added to the adventure of it all.

    Figs, yeah, we’re pretty in tune, Mamma and me πŸ˜‰

    Lisa, I felt so bad for the little one with all that crying…but the sight of the reunion made it all better.

    My Melange, Jenn, thanks; I’m a sucker too, obviously πŸ˜‰

    Val, thanks. Isn’t it the cutest when they’re nursing?

    R, I love the rope too. It’s genius, really, because it probably takes less effort than to untie a series of six knots than to kick in a locked door πŸ˜‰

    Gil, no new family members here. Luna wouldn’t have it, so these are our “outside” friends. If you think I leave a little bit of food and water out, well, you wouldn’t be wrong.

    Poppy, you know I hadn’t really thought about not everyone trying to get the kitten out, but I guess it’s true. I definitely couldn’t imagine just letting it cry and rcy.

    Jennifer, yeah, even Italian cats know how to find the view and appreciate πŸ˜‰

    Shirley, thanks! Aren’t happy endings the best?

  35. Jay Innes

    Gorgeous post, I am a massive cat lover! and the last photo posted looks divine. What a vista! Nice to know that kitty and mother have reunited, great feline hunting skills, from both of you!

    Thanks for sharing!

  36. Sara

    Kitties! Kitties, kitties, kitties!

    (Thank you. And, you know, sorry about the content-free commenting. The cute make me goofy. Happy goofy.)

  37. Cyndi

    Awww, those kitties are so cute! That was a good story. My cat does the “Marco Polo” meow thing when he wants to find us too!

  38. a far away friend

    Great story and pictures. Those stairs look awfully scary !! I love the lock on the door. Wish that’s all we needed here in the US.

  39. midnightbunny

    Oh my gosh, I’m so glad you were able to help the kitten to safety where the momma cat could find it. Beautiful pictures and an absolutely wonderful post. *HUGS*

  40. Clockworkchris

    I am such a cat lover-your story and pictures were wonderful. Thanks for your visit. I linked you to my blog.

  41. Anonymous

    This story is a children’s picture book ripe for publishing. Just a thought…..

  42. Kristen

    What a great story and wonderful photos! I’m so glad that mommy and kitty were reunited.

  43. Ally Bean

    Such a sweet story. Such a sweet mom cat and kitten. Very nice, indeed.

  44. Wanderlust Scarlett

    I love this! Just wonderful photos and you are now a feline heroine… good job!
    You always have great bits to read, and this was no exception!
    Thanks for sharing it!


  45. Paolo

    Also, I thought it was really cute that you talked to the kitty in Italian — cause obviously, micino wouldn’t have known what the hell you were saying if you spoke English!

  46. Darla

    Hi I found your blog through the foodie blog roll! I love you blog name (mostly because Italy is the only place on this earth where I can get a decent cappuccino), and that you jsut up and moved to Italy because you wanted to– that is the best reason. I’m in love with the country myself and this time next year my husband and I hope to be moving ourselves to spain.

    I’ll be back!

  47. lacey kaye

    Wow. Your pictures are just–wow. Thank you for sharing. I’m blown away.

  48. sognatrice

    Jay, I have to say that the little one did most of the work with all that crying πŸ˜‰

    Sara, sometimes little content comments are the only way to go–giddy for kitties, eh?

    Cyndi, too funny that your kitty plays hide and seek!

    Far away friend, I suppose my neighbor’s precarious steps also act as a deterrent–you have to *really* want some wood to climb up there!

    Midnightb, Kristen, Ally, Lacey Kaye, I’m glad you enjoyed the story and photos. Happy endings, especially involving Mommy and Baby, are so fun to relate.

    Clockworkchris, welcome, and thank you πŸ™‚

    Wunschd, hmmm….

    Scarlett, a feline heroine? Who woulda thought I’d end up like this?

    Paolo, yeah, the poverino was already so stressed out, I didn’t think throwing in a foreign language would help.

    Darla, I’m glad you found me–Foodie BlogRoll rules! And best of luck on your move to Spain–woohoo!

  49. sarala

    Lovely story. I feel sad for all these feral cats. It is a tough life.

  50. Something...

    I had a dream: I looked over my garden fence and was soooo pleased to see that I had You for a neighbour. Then I woke up.

    You are such a sweetie even with the kitties. Love your writing.

  51. sognatrice

    Sarala, me too. We don’t really have too many in my town, and they’re pretty much all taken care of by the older women. In fact, as you walk through the streets, you’ll see little pots of pasta outside just for the kitties.

    Something, that might be the sweetest comment ever. I suppose for now we’ll have to settle for Internet neighbors πŸ˜‰

  52. Crafty Green Poet

    Lovely story. The photos remind me of the wonderful kittens who follwed us round Ventimiglia Old Town and Dolceaqua when we were in Italy a couple of years back.

  53. Suray

    Nice cats! I love those cats.

  54. sognatrice

    CGP, yes, we do tend to have friendly stray cats in Italy; glad I could spark some nice memories πŸ™‚

    Suray, thanks! They are cuties πŸ™‚

  55. 11.25.2009

    Awwwwwwwwwwwwww! Sooooooooooo cute!!!- Pam

    Thanks Pam!

Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

Calabria Guidebook

Calabria travel guide by Michelle Fabio



Homemade apple butter
Green beans, potatoes, and pancetta
Glazed Apple Oatmeal Cinnamon Muffins
Pasta with snails alla calabrese
Onion, Oregano, and Thyme Focaccia
Oatmeal Banana Craisin Muffins
Prosciutto wrapped watermelon with bel paese cheese
Fried eggs with red onion and cheese
Calabrian sausage and fava beans
Ricotta Pound Cake