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First Vacation for the Travelin’ Cat

February 8, 2010

GrödenWhite Week.  It’s a lovely custom to which Italians loyally subscribe.  The family goes together to the mountains for a full week of skiing, snowboarding, sledding, snowshoeing, skating, all those wonderful “s” activities.  And, like August, they all go the same week.  Next week.  We are in the Dolomites this week with lots of Germans and Russians and Slavic types and Turks and others I cannot identify.  The cornucopia of languages present and available for butchering is delicious.  Even the region speaks as much German as Italian, not to mention Ladin, the local and ancient Romance language found only in small pockets of these mountains.

So, planning a week’s family vacation based in only two locations, it seemed the perfect opportunity to test out Kiwi’s travel skills.  After packing the warm clothes and aprés ski clothes, the snow toys and kitchen goods, I packed everything a kitten might need on vacation.  We have a hanging scratchy post and an electric heating pad and food and security blanket and toys and her Litter Kwitter™.  You see, she is mid-program, doing so well, and having enough unavoidable interruptions that I didn’t want to let her slack for a week right now.  Instead of a full sandbox, we have a tray with a hole in the middle which normally rests on ‘her’ toilet at home.  In time the hole gets bigger until the tray goes away and she’s using the toilet like people.  Really, there are videos on YouTube.  But I suppose this topic is momentous enough for its own entry.  More on cat toilet training in future.

Kiwi and LangkofelWe are having a great time with Black Cat on White Week!  She was a trooper in the car, especially considering the fact of her abdominal surgery 5 days before.  Just try to stop a kitten jumping and leaping and gamboling (only a few of the words translated for saltare, which I was told to prevent her doing.)  The confines of car travel were, in fact, a blessing.  We’ve rented a sweet little apartment with fantastic views of great craggy heaps of rock, making for excellent CatTV.  The huge corner window with wide sills is very popular.

We’ve done a day and a half of throwing ourselves down the mountain, Craig on Tele and me on board.  It’s taking a bit to sort out the trail maps, grade being indeterminable.  The narrow rolling flats early yesterday were tortuous for me, but would be a breeze on alpineTop of Col Reiser Gondola skis if one knew the route.  The wide open runs and bowls later and today were much more to my liking.  But I’m paying my dues for having converted from alpine to snowboard so recently.  And for being old while I’m doing it.  Right, and the lack of oxygen at 6,000 feet when I live at sea level.  It will be some time before I’m roaring all day and screaming back into the lift line for one more as they’re rolling up the nets and starting to shut her down.  Even more unfortunately, today I ran flat out of steam well up the mountain.  Got my money’s worth all right, but was nearly in tears for fears of doing myself a serious injury out of sheer fatigue just trying to get to the bottom.  Tomorrow is a scheduled day off for exploring the other little towns in the valley.

We will have a nice morning of breakfast, kitten ogling, starting a pot roast for dinner, going out for coffee ~it’s still Italy; we’re spared German coffee~ and strolling quaint South Tyrolean villages.

[Full disclosure: we are disconnected.  While not by choice and making for a more restful week, we don’t have the internets, so White Week posts will not be published until after we have returned to what passes for civilization.]

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