Training cats

2 Jul
2 July 2016. Cats are considered untrainable, for the most part. They use the litterbox, but beyond that, it is pretty difficult to train a cat, unless you live in Italy and can take your cat on the train! Yes, Janie and LibbyJean are on vacation in the Dolomites. A few days ago we loaded them on a Trenitalia Frecciargento bound for Bolzano, where Taxi Ivan Moroder met us for the trip to Ortisei. In years past, Ric and I have taken the pullman (bus) service, which is very nice; However, with the cats along plus luggage and supplies for a month, we popped for a transfer service. It was so nice we may never take the bus again.
Janie showed a lot curiosity on the train.

Janie showed a lot curiosity on the train.

Libby hyperventilated much of the time. They don't find the train as relaxing as we do.

Libby hyperventilated much of the time. They don’t find the train as relaxing as we do.

I cannot say the cats enjoyed the train; they tolerated it. You can take a cat on a train without paying, but the cat has to go in the luggage storage area, which is very limited and they would be subject to constant disruption including people poking fingers in their crates. So we bought four standard-class seats at the super-economy rate of €29.00 per occupant. The capotreno never batted an eyelash at two seats occupied by cats. We let them take turns sitting (crated) on the table so they could see us and look out the window, which seemed to entertain Janie, who at 20 is ever-adaptable, in particular. Libby is not fond of strangers nor strange situations and even hissed at a little girl who got too close to her kennel. 
The long trip was worth it and the girls seem to have taken to the new digs, with a sunny terrace overlooking the village. 
A terrace with a view, even for cats. We see them peeking out between the slats on the railing.

A terrace with a view, even for cats. We see them peeking out between the slats on the railing.

Sunrise on the iconic Sassolungo as seen from our terrace.

Sunrise on the iconic Sassolungo as seen from our terrace.

Our terrace overlooks the lovely village of Ortisei.

Our terrace overlooks the lovely village of Ortisei.

We have an incredible apartment at Residence Astoria (#5 if you want to take a peek) with views over the valley and up Mont Seuc. We can see the round red cable cars rising from the valley to the top of Mont Seuc and if we peer around the corner of the terrace we can see the Sassalungo. Last summer we enjoyed our two weeks in Ortisei so much we decided to go for four weeks this year and take the cats along. We really do miss the girls incredibly when we are gone, and while during our significant travels there has been a parade of fabulous cat sitters (you know who you are!), we decided to close up the city apartment like so many Romans do when they go on summer holiday. Lots of apartments allow dogs but not cats. Then we met Justine and Siegfried who said yes to cats, but no dogs as they have their own cat. We signed up on the spot. 
My favorite hiking companion neare teh chapel at Rasciesa.

My favorite hiking companion near the chapel at Rasciesa.

Me on the Rasciesa hike.

On the Rasciesa hike.

We have already put in two days of hiking but are taking it easy adjusting versus last year when we pushed it the first day. See my entry for July 6, 2015, in this too-long post about hiking last year. This year we took one of our favorite hikes on Day 1, the Rasciesa Ridge, but it still tired us out. We walk a lot in Rome and everywhere we travel and would expect to have greater endurance; However, when we consider that Rome is sea level and flat, while Rasciesa is at about 2100 meters/6900 feet, no wonder we felt the exertion. 
Day 2, today, saw us on a forested path overlooking the valley. We got some kilometers in and managed to return to town moments before a huge thunderstorm hit. The weather is really everything we hoped it would be. The high today was about 21 Celcius/70 Fahrenheit. In Rome it was 34 C/93 F. I needed a sweater to go to dinner last night. It’s a nice temperature range for outdoor activity. 
Colorful bicycles are all over the village of Selva, celebrating the Sellaronda.

Colorful bicycles are all over the village of Selva, celebrating the Sellaronda.

Noah's Arc fountain in Selva, just down teh valley from Ortisei.

Noah’s Arc fountain in Selva, just up the valley from Ortisei.

We will suffer through August in Rome, taking walks at 06:00 and hiding in the apartment during the hottest hours as much as possible. The beauty of Rome in August is that so many people leave the city that traffic is greatly diminished making sleeping more peaceful and the streets less chaotic. 
I am not sure how much I will blog this month. I am hoping to read more and study Italian when I am not out busting my butt on the trails. We shall see. So for now, we wish you all a great summer, and Happy Independence Day to our compatriots in the U.S! 
How to know when you are in the part of Italy that was formerly Austria. There's nothing like a beer at elevensies!

How to know when you are in the part of Italy that was formerly Austria. There’s nothing like a beer at elevensies!


17 Responses to “Training cats”

  1. gayleseely July 6, 2016 at 22:57 #

    Well, I have kitty envy because I am jealous of those cats – hanging out in Ortisei!
    Oh my goodness, a whole month. Luxury of luxuries. And I am sure that the girls
    will give you high marks for being such good staff. Those are some very lucky cats!

    Liked by 1 person

    • gooddayrome July 7, 2016 at 04:53 #

      We miss them so when we travel, it is a real treat to have them along.


  2. Sheron July 5, 2016 at 06:36 #

    I love reading your blog as well as hearing about your cats. I still remember reading about how you got the cats to Italy in the first place and I thought to myself that my little Simba would never have been up for the adventure (especially because he can’t meow in Italian!! LOL). Enjoy the Dolomites!


    • gooddayrome July 5, 2016 at 06:43 #

      Thank you, Sheron, for being a loyal reader. We are really enjoying being cool and hanging with the cats in this beautiful place. Luckily there is no interaction with Italian cats. 🙂


  3. Maarja July 3, 2016 at 06:25 #

    What a beautiful area you are in!
    I think the cat trip on the train would be a perfect little children’s book with illustrations!
    Bonnes vacances.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gooddayrome July 3, 2016 at 14:21 #

      That is so funny and not a bad idea! I have not the first idea about doing such a thing, but I can see it being very cute from cab ride in the big city to the train and on to overlooking the mountains from their terrace. Sweet!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. ckleonard July 3, 2016 at 00:44 #

    Oh! If only Janie and LibbyJean could type. They would provide us with such wonderful incites of living and traveling with you! They could provide a blog that would be priceless!


    • gooddayrome July 3, 2016 at 05:37 #

      HJahaha! That’s why I lock my computer when I am away from it! No telling the pictures they would post.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. mvaden1948 July 2, 2016 at 19:15 #

    Lucky cats indeed. Mine sings the song of his people all the way to and from the vet…which is only 10 minutes away. I can’t imagine the noise he would make on a train. Nice to see the girls having a good time too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gooddayrome July 2, 2016 at 19:20 #

      I think they were scared silent! Janie is mostly deaf now (at 20) so the noises don’t bother her. In fact, we startle her a lot when we enter a room and she doesn’t see us.


  6. Marcia Kakiuchi July 2, 2016 at 18:37 #

    I think that’s so great the cats got to go along. They love being with you too. And that apartment and views are spectacular. I’m so envious with the hiking. I bet the food is outstanding. I hope you give us a few hints about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gooddayrome July 2, 2016 at 18:53 #

      The food is great here! We have the advantage of Italian cuisine and pricing versus being on the Swiss Franc in SW eating potatoes and cheese. I love that here you can find Italian specialties like Aglio, Olio & Peperoncino on the menu with Weinerschnitzel. The wine is great, too. A new favorite red for us is Lagrein.

      I’ll try to do some reflection on the food and post.


  7. Barbie July 2, 2016 at 18:22 #

    Gosh – such beautiful scenery for you and the cats. Love sharing all of your adventures.


    • gooddayrome July 2, 2016 at 18:29 #

      Thank you my dear! The cats don’t know how lucky they are. 🙂



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