Santo Iolo: “Fuji, the vineyards cat”
She arrived at a trot from the vineyard, I saw her, but I had other things to do and she was the last of my thoughts in that very moment: we had guests that night, I wanted everything to be perfect for them, we had guests from far away, from a different culture, I had a dinner to think about …. no, there was no space for her. But you cannot fight a strong personality and I saw it immediately. She was hungry! And no matter how busy we were she wanted us to pay attention. A leap, a pirouette, a nice rubbing against each one of us leg. “Hey, I’m here, is there anything for me? Nooo? You do not understand: I am starving! I’ll jump on the table and I am sure you’ll get it!”. “Go away small intruder! Where did you come from? Never saw you before around here!”. But, as said, “personality is personality” you cannot cope with it! So it went on like that the whole evening. Until the bowl filled up with food for her. That was the armistice, the deal. “You people with your bowl full for me and me here, with my silky hair, the harmony of my gait, my seductive poses. I’ll let you pet me, I will dwell on your couch, will heat up your winter …” What a deal! How can anyone resist? I confess: there was a good reason beyond it all. Ursula, “the most beautiful cat”, the friend and companion of many days, seriously ill, had passed away three days before. A shock. A real pain for us.
A new cat in the house was out of picture, no way. But a cat that acts like a dog, it relates to you, teases you, provokes you and is already there… why not? – Guess what… she strolls, comes for a walk with us!!?? A cat? Comes for a walk? Here they are, our animals: Fuji (the cat) and Gwynnie (the dog) strolling around together.
She follows us from afar. We, the always celebrated couple dog-man, placid, used t each other, proceed calmly. She comes over, is beyond us, stops again, let us move forward. Then, at a gallop, away, past us as we are too slow for her. A light gallop from a delicate yet powerful creature. It is the feline soul that dwells equally in kittens and panthers.
And then … the vineyard. A real passion. There has been no harvest day that she did not closely followed, there has been no box of grapes that she did not try to toy with. The winery is off limits for reasons of hygiene, but if it was up to her she would be first in row at the pumping! Sometimes, at sunset, wanders thoughtfully between the vine rows, stretches languidly under the clusters … I sometimes wonder what she thinks.
But, finally, I owe you an explanation. The day she arrived (out of the bleu) we had our Japanese Importers visiting and we had them over for dinner. They were our most expected and welcomed guests and it was a very important evening for us. We wanted to make “bella figura”, leave them a good impression of our winery and house and company, so we could not take care of the “intruder”. We paid attention to the cat when the evening was over, we looked at each other, studied each other, smelled, touched, liked what we felt. “Is it a he or a she? Shall we keep it? Well, if tomorrow it is still here … what do we do? We should give it a name? Should we call it Japan … but what if it’s a she? Let’s call it Fuji, that’s okay for both sex, it will remind us of the great evening and has a light sound, good for a cat”. Fuji is now here, as she promised, on my couch. I am thrusting my hand into her feathery hair, she has an aristocratic look. She is here coming from nowhere and I wish she will stay. I was born “Canara” (dog lover) and I find myself “Gattara” (cat lover), life is strange, good strange! (Alessandra Buffetti Ducoli)