Are you ever in for a treat today. The following came my way from that most Awesome of AwesomeAdopters herself…Vito‘s Mommy.
Maria, make us merry as only you — and Doctor Scungilli — can do…
Hmm…oh, wait, wait, wait…You may not be familiar with these, and other aliases, of the former Italian Stallion of Tabby’s Place: Vito!
Allow me to introduce myself. I am the blessed madre of the snuggliest little love-stuffed cannoli this side of the Mississippi.
Although Vito has filled my heart and life with more joy than I could ever hope to express, my road to this exuberant bundle of purrs is not a pretty one. 2017 presented me with many challenges, including divorce, my child moving out, and being laid off from my long-time career.
The air that I breathed, the little, black cuddle bug who kept me going every day, was my 10 year old kitty Morticia. Always healthy as a horse, Morticia’s blood work in August was perfection. However…by October, she was exhibiting the early outward signs of squamous cell carcinoma in her jaw. By Thursday, December 14th, she had to leave her Mommy, to join her brothers (Percy and Doctor Bob) in Heaven. For the first time since I was 18, I did not have a kitty.
Heartbroken and despondent that my baby was taken from me so swiftly, but with room to save another life, endless love to give, and the need to have that unconditional love reciprocated, I started looking at the residents of Tabby’s Place. I knew I wanted a senior kitty; the older, the better! On Friday, December 15th, while looking at all the beautiful senior residents, I came across the most handsome little geriatric man (15 years old!), with the most beautiful cloudy eyes, and the sassiest goatee (a look that not many could pull off).
His name: Vito.
I took a screenshot of his profile, and sent it to my 100% Italian mother. ‘Mommy,’ I said, ‘Look at this gorgeous old Italian man! Just like you’ve always wanted me to find and bring home!’
Wracked with guilt (was I thinking about adopting too quickly? My Morticia had just gone to Heaven!), I walked into Tabby’s Place on Saturday, December 16th. There he was, in all his glory, the man of the hour, the head of the lobby, with a personality that could barely be contained by those four walls. I exclaimed, ‘There’s Vito!’ and sat down next to him. The love and warmth that radiated off him, filled my heart and soul to the point of overflow. I toured the facility, and met many beautiful residents, but, upon returning to the lobby, Vito and I locked eyes, and we both knew how this was going to end.
I returned to collect my little eggplant rollatini on Tuesday, December 19th. Still in a fog (Morticia had only been gone 5 days!), I brought Veetski into his new home. Now, when introducing a cat to a new environment, there are necessary methods for easing the stress upon Sir Kitty. One of these methods is starting out in a small area, to allow Mr. Puss to acclimate. Don Vito was not having annnny of that. He wanted OUT into the rest of the house, and was not shy about telling me so.
It did not take long at all for Vito to rule the roost. Now, up to a robust 9 pounds (poor little critter was only 4 pounds when he arrived at Tabby’s Place last July), he is the head of this household. Loud and vocal, just like his Italian mommy, there is no shortage of conversation under this roof. If Vito is awake, he is chirping, squawking, purring, howling, or squeaking. It’s hard to call any of his sounds ‘meowing,’ as he has the most unique, scratchy, old-man-kitty, hilariously beautiful voice I have ever heard. Vito will always answer you back when you speak to him, and he will keep going long after you have stopped.
Always the European gentleman, Vito escorts me from room to room, never leaving my side when we are home. With the playful energy of a kitten, Vito’s favorite activity is to carry toys from room to room, one by one. If I am sitting on the couch, he will carry toys over to my feet, and up next to me, howling with pride the entire journey. When I get in bed at night, he will make no less than 5 trips from the living room to the bedroom, to adorn me with stuffed mice.
Speaking of nighttime, Vito is not a fan of giving Mommy her personal space, and Mommy would have it no other way. Like two stuffed shells smothered in a sea of gravy blankets, we spoon all night long. If I roll over, he switches sides so that he can always be curled up in my face. I bury my nose in his now-smooshy belly, and we love each other to sleep. By morning, I am clinging to the edge of the King-sized bed, as his royal highness always manages to use his 9 pound mass to commandeer the entire area. He has earned this right. This house, this bed, this food, this love and happiness, is all for my bundle of manicotti.
If he is not sleeping, Vito is either playing, eating, or talking. He does not stop! His energy is abundant and infectious. He breathes such life and energy into this home, it is impossible to be anything other than elated when you are with him.
Every day, I say to Vito, ‘Thank you for saving Mommy’s life. Thank you for bringing me such love and joy.’ He truly has healed me, and he is just a beautiful, quirky, hilarious, larger-than-life clown. I have no idea how so much sass, personality, and love are contained in such a tiny parcel.
We Italians got it goin’ on!”