Mishmash the crazy cat

Mishmash the crazy cat

I guess it is about time I introduced you to my crazy cat, obviously no cat of mine is going to be normal is it? Six years ago when I moved into this house I found half a dozen cats under the wood pile. The kitten that managed to claw me half to death as I tried to captured it was Mishmash.

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Such a tranquil little kitty

So I kept her. I am not a cat person, I always wanted a big stupid dog something like an Airedale, instead I ended up with a crazy cat.

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My choice of dog.

To look at Mishmash, she seems a calm pussycat. Happy to laze around on her box or occasionally return with a mouse or rabbit. She once dragged a rabbit home that was bigger then her. I am not sure she understands she is a cat. Let me give you an example.

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Mishmash basking on top of her old house.

The house next to mine is the country house of a guy who lives in Milan. During spring and autumn he spends the weekends here along with his wife and his dog. I always thought dogs chased cats, apparently this is not true.

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Run pussy run

My cat enjoys tormenting next doors dog. A  while ago I was looking out of my bedroom window and watched Mishmash creep across our garden and then into the neighbours garden where she disappear into a bush.  I waited and expected her to return with a mouse. She waited twenty minutes for her prey to arrive, Jotto, next doors poor dog  wandered down its garden and just as it was in striking distance a blur of orange and brown fur launched itself through the leaves of the bush.

I was shocked, I wasn’t as shocked as poor Jotto who wasn’t sure what had attacked him or which way to run. Jotto yelped and headed back up the garden with my cat chasing him, boy did he make a noise as he tried to escape.

Last week when confronted by Mishmash, Jotto made the mistake of running down the garden away from the house. The poor dog was pinned in the corner while Mishmash laid down and hissed at him every time he flinched or moved a muscle.

You might remember the retired doctor who lives down our lane, she once asked me to keep Mishmash in the house at night or at least lock her in the boiler room. I explained she is a working cat, she is here to keep the rodent population in check and she does this at night. I asked her what the problem was.

The doctors bedroom has an exterior glass door and it seems, when Mishmash gets bored around four o’clock in the morning, she wanders down the lane to the doctors house and bangs on the glass door to catch the attention of the doctors two very large dobermans. When the dogs hear her, they quite rightly go ballistic, frantically running around in circles and barking. This has a side effect of waking the doctoressa. I have been told it is not a huge problem because she only visits once a month.

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I am sure you remember the dottoressa from The Boys in Blue

I told Mishmash I was going to include her in my little blog of madness, she was non plussed with the idea. She knows she is already famous with the children in the schools I teach in. She somehow becomes involved in creative lessons such as how to write a letter to father Christmas in English or how to describing your pet.

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English lesson for 10 year old Italian children.

The reference to the tie, is because I normally wear a suit or a jacket and a Disney tie to school, the kids favourite tie is my Tigger tie.

After a lot of explaining and begging Mishmash agreed to have a picture taken for you. She even put on her best smile.

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A smile from Mishmash

It is around one O’clock in the morning and I can hear Jotto barking, which can only mean Mishmash has gone over to play with him.

Good night from me and of course also from Mishmash

Translating Fun.

By now you know my sense of humour isn’t exactly, normal.  I have no idea why this is. Grab a drink tea, coffee or preferably wine and come a little closer and I will tell you when I was asked to translate a conversation for a friend.

Now you guys know my Italian language skills are pretty dismal. But under the right conditions, maybe a couple of glasses of wine,  I can sometimes even surprise myself. It was eight o’ clock in the evening and I had just finished giving an English lesson to a group of friends. As I drove away in my little blue Mini, I received a voice message from the wife.

I am going to bed, your dinner is in the dog oven.

I turned my car around and headed back up the hill to La Chance, one of my favourite wine bars owned by Edo, who is a bit of a character and his selection of wine is fantastic.

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Edo, Cocktail maker, friend and a brilliant chef

I was just about to order food, when Edo invited me to stay and eat with the staff, so I settled down with my wine and started to laugh and have fun with the staff there was also an Irishman who was in Gabbiano looking for work!  Which is strange because Gabbiano is a little hill town, most people leave Gabbiano to find work.

The cook who works at La Chance is a big fellow and to be honest a little scary looking, I always think he looks like a huge KGB hitman, on the plus side he is a talented chef.

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He may be nice, but he is really scary looking.

The chef, believe it or not, is twice as scary as the photo I pinched from the net.

It is now two-thirty in the morning and we are just finishing the deserts and I have a nice glass of Spanish wine in front of me, who would have guessed Spanish wine could be so good.

I have spent the evening laughing and joking with these guys and suddenly the chef leans across the table and catches me like a deer caught in a cars headlights and then he asks “Pecora Nera, can you translate for me, I want to ask the Irishman a question?”

Now I know, I should have laughed and declined, or called Edo over who was in the kitchen, but, well I was drinking wine and….

Sure, tell me?

Ask him why he has moved here.

So as the chef cast his stare on the Irish man. I turned to my new friend and said, The Chef says you have really nice legs.

Monkey

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

The Irishman was struck dumb for a few seconds, he managed to tear his eyes away from the chef, who incidentally was watching him quite intently, he turned to me and said.

I am not like that.

How I didn’t snort my wine all over the table I will never know, I shrugged my shoulders and told the chef he is here for work.

The chef looked at me, and said, tell him there is no work here.

My translation, from Italian to English went something like , The Chef says he can teach you.

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Sorry I had to use this one

The look on the irishman’s face was priceless, the chef followed up his previous question, by looking at the waitress and asking if she knew of any jobs.

This was obviously translated into, The chef says your legs are almost as nice as the waitresses, and then Edo leaned over and refilled my glass. His English is pretty good and he caught my latest bit of translation.

Pecora Nera!!!!! Be good.

The Irishman looked at me, and then I lost it, I collapsed into laughter, I had to put my glass down before I spilled it. Fortunately, when I came clean and explained my little error in translating, both the the chef and Irishman thought it was funny. Although I haven’t seen the Irishman around in a long time.

 

Cabin Fever and the Corona Virus

Cabin Fever and the Corona Virus

The last three weeks have been a little strange to say the least, to be allowed to leave the house I need to print a self certification explaining why leaving my house is so important, which wouldn’t be such a problem if my printer had not run out of ink and if I could think of a good enough reason to go out. It seems replenishing my stock of wine or buying crisps is not important enough.

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If only I had kept my printing press

The government has shut all the shops excluding supermarkets and Chemists, I was due to have my hair cut last week as it is getting a little long, hopefully they will reopen sometime next month, by which time I will have either taken a pair of scissors to it or I will start to look a little like Cousin It

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It is actually pretty serious, I am down to my last bottle of wine oh and a bag in the box of cooking wine, which might have to be considered drinking wine. Keeping the British stiff upper lip, I am putting together an escape committee.

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The plan is really quite simple, we dig a tunnel to the closest bar which is  The Osteria della Luna. I know the layout of the bar pretty well as it is one of my regular haunts, if the plan and my calculations work perfectly, our tunnel should exit just behind the bar, where I know there is an ample supply of  fine wine, whisky and crisps. We won’t be detected until the bar is allowed to reopen sometime in April.

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Tell Pecora Nera we missed the pub and got the beer garden

What else, oh my Italian Citizenship ceremony is on hold until they lift the movement restrictions,  I am a little cross over this, I went to the trouble of ordering a bow tie and getting my suit cleaned and pressed.

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My new Bow Tie

I kid you not, I wore my new bow tie to school and the kids went crazy, so when this is all over and the schools reopen, (although the latest rumour circulating is they won’t bother reopening the schools before summer…) I will buy a few funky bow ties for the kids to laugh at.

I want the schools to open soon as I really miss working with my little munchkins. Especially Class 2 who have decided I am Peter Pan and one morning pleaded with me to fly around the classroom for them and even little Cecilia who sometimes forgets herself and decides that licking her school desk is much more interesting than my English Lesson.

Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, I wish you well.

Pecora Nera

President of the Escape Committee