Saturday, January 01, 2011

The New Year
This is very sad, and we hope that you can understand us, but we had to find a new home for our cats Mango and Tivoli. Unless you have tried to stand up all day because you are too scared to sit on your chairs and have spent hours picking our insects from fur and crushing them between your fingers, except for the ones that escape and end up in your pajamas biting your chest and neck, it will seem very cruel. It has just been so hard for F and I not to sleep because of the bites and for T to have to deal with sleep deprived, grumpy parents who spend hours every day doing nothing but sterilizing the house. I have dreamt of nothing but my body crawling with insects for nights and nights in a row. There is sadly a phase of flea development where the cocoons are impenetrable to poison and it can take months after a severe infestation for them all to hatch, continuing the atrocious process. So in the end it seemed that to protect our own health we didn't have a choice. If we let them back, we take the risk that the whole thing could get started all over again. 

I have to say that the house is sparkling clean. Unless you have ever vacuumed for hours in continuation a house that has virtually no fabric in it other than the bedding and then steamed every surface with a steamer and then wiped it down with alcohol, you have not seen clean like this. 

Hours after sending the cats off with none other than our erborista Maria Pia of folletto/vacuum pushing fame (may she be blessed a million times) we haven't seen any bugs or gotten any bites.  Maria Pia is a true animal lover, feeder of pigeons, and pied piper of puppies. She volunteers at a local kennel and has two cats of her own. The traps of soapy water we left out haven't produced anything since yesterday afternoon and there was nothing jumping off from the bedding minutes before I could finally fall asleep. Yesterday I had teary phone calls with our landlord, real estate agent, and of course Maria PIa, after a night of forty minutes of shut eye and fourteen new swollen bites on my arms and legs. Today I am going to have to convince Maria Pia that she does not have to take T to Pescia to visit with the cats today because she knows that they will be taken care of and is very tired after staying up past midnight for the first time with her friend Chiara. It would be hard phone call, even in English.

Last night we celebrated the New Year at Chiara's house with her parents, little brother, and grandparents.  I got phone calls all week concerning the menu to find out whether we liked the proposed (vegetarian) dishes, just for us. The food was so scrumptious that it brought new meaning to "melt in your mouth." The golden potatoes could make a potato lover like T weep with joy as they dissolve under the tongue like heavenly clouds of sun-filled mother's love. Chiara's little brother who is eight is non-verbal and shows his love by grabbing your hand and choosing you to come sit on his favorite couch in the living room which made me feel very special, I have to say. They even had little gifts for us on the plates and then, to T's delight, there were fireworks close by that could be seen from the balcony, even crazy ones set off by the neighbors' on the wood pile off their terrace from the floor above. Now all I want to do is make up to T for all of the time that was robbed by this and all of the times that I was impatient and exhausted. Chiara's mom is an inspiration to me and I know it was not by accident that we were meant to spend capodanno with her.


Anonymous said...

Time ago my cat had insects too. So, I went to veterinary, he told me what to do and after one week all the insects died. She has never had insects again. I would never find her a new house just for that reason. I am sad you decided to do that.

FB said...

I am glad that all ended up okay with your cat.
Somehow we must not have described well enough how long this has gone on, or how many things we have tried to get rid of the problem.
This was an extraordinary nightmare that has gone on for months and we would never have made this very sad decision unless there were no other possibility.