Saturday, June 04, 2005

A Cautionary Tail

Gandalfette visited Thursday night and I cooked. We dined in the courtyard on my favorite (which is why one cooks): roast lamb, roast potatoes and leeks fried in olive oil, washed down with a lethal red matured with chestnuts that we bought in Montefalco. The combination was exquisite.

Walking Gandalfette to her car at 1PM (yes, it is 100% safe here but I can't break the habits of a lifetime), we passed a strange and tragic sight.

A cat was dragging another one into some ornamental bushes. The one being dragged looked dead - totally limp & head at strange angle. I wondered if we'd stumbled on a strange a mating ritual, But Gandalfette (who has raised cats in rougher places than I have) opined that cats did kill eachother & this one was dead.

Next day two distraught women called. Turned out that they're neighbors, and their cat which never went out had vanished the previous night. I related my story, with the uncertainty about mating v killing. They showed me a picture of the missing feline on a cellphone, and I had to agree it looked not unlike the one we'd seen, although the light wasn't good.

We parted with much mutual concern, they headed out to search the ornamental bushes.

I reflected darkly on the parallels with Europe today and the decline and fall of imperial Rome described by Gibbon: if your people don't learn to fight they will go down to peoples who do.

But the story ended happily. The women called round this morning to report that their cat had been found hiding in a cellar, 2 doors from where they live, with no signs of being murdered.

So there you are, a morality tale with no known victims. Except maybe an anonymous cat.