Meet Madonna della Croce Kitty, or at least that is the name we gave him. He was one of the free roaming cats in Italy who stopped to greet my husband while he was resting. In reality my guess is he was begging for feed, it simply sounds better and more hospitable that he was stopping to say Caio! If you have ever been to Italy you know there are hundreds of free roaming cats all across the country. They do what cats do best, and they serve as an entertainment point for locals and tourists alike.
Amazing how even an ocean and continent cannot change our reaction to furry friends. We talk to them and interact with them as if we are old friends…that is until we feel the claws pressing into our flesh as they nearly stand in our lap begging. We find them festive and appreciate how much life they add to the village. Not everyone feels that was about roaming cats; those who enjoy cats find this a charming feature of Italy.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could treat each other with this same kindness and curiosity? How different the world would be if we approached each other with innocence and respect hoping that we would be able to fulfill each others basic human needs. You need companionship and to be welcomed to a strange place, I need food and someone to scratch my back. Our interaction can meet both our needs, bridge the gap between our people, and both would leave the situation with a positive and pleasant feeling of the other. Instead we review other humans with fear and some anxiety not knowing how they will react to us or our customs. We let language, appearances, demographics and economics influence how we treat each other right off the bat.
There is a lesson to learn from Madonna della Croce Kitty. Give of yourself and assume the best until you directly find out otherwise. Treat people as you want to be treated, hoping they have tasty morsels of food to share. And if not, at least you got your back scratched.