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The Story of Enrico and Luciano

by Siri Amrit



Enrico and Luciano came into the world in a most miraculous fashion, thanks to their very resourceful mother, Vanessa. It happened like this:

Late Saturday night on September 1, 2001, my husband and I were driving a friend home. She needed some change to do her laundry, and so we stopped at the dojo where my husband helps teach to get her some quarters. While my husband was inside I suddenly noticed a tiny white dot down the street coming towards the car. It was a cat- a white cat with round black spots on her head and back, and a black tail with white rings. She was young, starving, filthy...and pregnant. She actually jumped into the car and onto my lap!

This cat acted like she had been waiting her entire life for me to show up. On my lap, she rolled on her back and purred in ecstasy. She hugged me with her forepaws and kissed me! She refused to leave the car. She completely ignored Lucky-dawg in the backseat. Lucky noticed a cat in the car and went back to sleep. All I could say when my husband returned was, "Look who we have!"

After much discussion about how many cats we already had (three), how small our place is, where could we confine her and where could we possibly fit another litterbox, I broke character and made an executive decision. Her life and the lives of her kittens were at stake. They would all die if we left her there. And how could we leave her after she had chosen us so dramatically? I figured we could put her in the spare room for the night and place her in a shelter the next day. She was coming home with us and that was that. Mammy Yokum had spoken!

So off we drove and she thoroughly enjoyed the ride! She just kept rubbing and purring, standing up on my lap to look out the window. We dropped off our friend and as we continued home she decided to go into labor, right on my lap! My husband made up a box for her when we got home and put it under the bed. She jumped right in. It was about 11PM.

At 4AM he checked and discovered a new arrival- a very large, pure white kitten. At 6:30AM I looked in on them and found a second one, also pure white, also huge. And then something even stranger happened:

When I trepidatiously stuck my head under the bed to peer into her box, Momma rolled onto her back while her babies were nursing and asked me for a tummy rub! She let me stroke and pet her kittens. After that, whenever I entered the room she figured she could take a break from the kids while I baby- sat them. I've known cats who would scratch out their owners eyes if they even came near their kittens. But Vanessa (named for her Van pattern) trusted us both in an uncanny fashion.

Because they were such loud little squeakers, my husband named them Luciano and Enrico, after the great tenors. A few weeks later we learned that they're both deaf. Enrico is the more high-strung cat but is very affectionate; he has some degree of hearing. Luciano is a cheerful, placid little budda-cat, totally accepting of whatever happens (including frequent falls into Lucky's big water bowl). He is stone deaf, which means he never hears any curses from the other cats and he's unafraid of the vacuum cleaner.

Vanessa and Enrico went to live with our friend who needed the quarters for her laundry. I kept Luciano, who has a way of gazing into my eyes... and into my soul.