The adventures of Micia and Micio

There is a boot-shaped country, Italy. At the top of this boot, that is in northern Italy, there is Turin, where the Winter Olympic Games took place, and Milan, the city of fashion.
There are also many other cities well known all over the world, like Verona, Romeo and Juliet’s town, and Venice, the capital of water. Half way between Verona and Venice there is Vicenza, an old town arisen in medieval times, and crossed by Bacchiglione river. A family of cats lived in a house on the river bank. The kitten Micio and mum cat Micia.

Micio, who was still young, used to follow his mum. He would climb on her back and play with her tail. One day, for fun, he jumped in front of Micia with the intention to be chased by her.
Although she was quite tired, Micia run after him and Micio, who was really happy to have a game mate, started running around.

While Micio was snoring on the sofa, Micia tenderly licked his fur. The two cats used to have an happy and quiet life…until one day a terrible disaster suddenly happened.
It had been raining without interrumptions for the entire week, and the waters of the Bacchiglione, which flowed just in front of their home, flooded the banks.
This happened during a november night. Many bridges were destroyed, the wide green fields were covered in a second by a brown muddy river, and many houses on the bank were submerged up to the roof by the water.
The house where the two cats lived, being on one floor, was also crushed by the water. Before it was destroyed, however, the firemen boat rescued the people involved in the flood.
The rain did not stop falling, and the noise of the wind and of the boat were deafening. Micio and Micia heard someone calling their names in the distance, but in the meanwhile the poor kitten hid in the cupboard in the kitchen.
Shivering and scared, Micio did not expect that the water could have come so close, but suddenly the cupboard was dragged away by the water. In the meanwhile it was impossibile to find mum Micia. Beds, cars, and every kind of object were swiftly wiped out by the river.
At dawn, it finally stopped raining and the sun shone again in the blue sky.
Micio, closed in the cupboard, had been carried by the water up to the city centre, where he had stopped into the balustrade of a big stone bridge.
It was the first time he was in the centre of Vicenza, and he was looking around those unknown places, but he could not stop thinking of his poor mum. At some point he got hungry, and while he was slowly walking around the city, he suddenly smelt a delicious fragrance.
He tried to understand where it came from, and he ended up in a small fish shop.
A fat woman came out and, seeing Micio, exclaimed: - what a beautiful kitten! – She went down on her kneels and started caressing him. – You are such a sociable kitten! You are not afraid of strangers… - she said. That night Micio had not slept at all, he was tired and hungry and could not stop shivering.
– But you are shivering! – said the woman.
She took him into her arms and, caressing him with her cheek, she asked him: - Are you hungry? – Micio started purring to say “yes” and the woman took out of her bag one of the sardines she had bought and gave it to him. Then, she went again into the fish shop and ask for a salmon filet cut in two, so that Micio could eat it more easily.
- I would really like to bring home this little kitten, but maybe he already has an owner. I can’t believe such e cute kitten is a stray. – she said with regret, and, looking back at Micio who was eating, she went away.

The city centre was still flooded and Micio started thinking he had to live on his own and made do.
- Where could my mum be? – he was thinking. In the meanwhile he wandered around the city looking for a dry place where he could spend the night. At some point he came in front of a big palace. It was an old stone bulding, surrounded by a wide garden, with an oak standing in front of the entrance.
Micio, who was a very nimble cat, decided to spend the night on that oak, so he jumped on the most beautiful branch of that tree.
On the tree there was a nest of blackbirds, and Micio said to mum blackbird, who was brooding her eggs: - I beg your pardon –
From the top of the oak you could see what was happening inside the palace. The building had three floors and Micio noticed that there was another cat lying on the terrace downstairs. – What? But that is my mum! I can’t believe it! It must be her! – he shouted. Micio started meowing: - miaow…miaow…mum, it’s me! I am here! - Micia recognized Micio’s voice and tried to understand where those miaow came from. She looked around and finally found him. – There you are Micio, on that tree! – she cried out.
Micia crossed the garden as quick as she could, passed through the bars of the gate and reached the oak. Micio had already climbed down the tree and the two cats finally met at the feet of the oak. They licked and kissed each other; Micio and Micia were so happy they had finally met gain.
- In the end are you alive? What happened to you? I thought I would have never seen you again - , said Micia.
- Mum, it’s me! I was wiped out by the river and I thought you were dead -, Micio replied.

Micia had looked for him in that muddy river, she had reached the top of the roof, and then fallen on a mattress that had been dragged by the flow.
The mattress on which she was travelling had carried her up to the city centre, and had stopped into a bridge. Since the water level was high, Micia had easily climbed the bridge.
Fortunately the water had not risen up to the building where they now were.
A girl found Micia wet and shivering all alone in a corner, and cleaned her with a dry towel. She was a very kind girl.
– Mum, can we keep her? Please! – she had asked her mum.
– What will your dad say? He does not like cats, you know…Ok then, no worries, I will convince him. But only one, no more, ok? Promise? – she replied. - I promise -
- Look, I am serious -
- I got it!
That’s why Micia perfectly knew it would have been impossible to be both hosted by that family. Micia looked at Micio rubbing his little face against her throat, and started thinking seriously about a solution.
Suddenly she said: - Micio! I had a wonderful idea. Let’s go together to Rome! Exactly, Rome! –
- Rome? And where is it? - Micio asked suprised.
- More or less 500 kilometres south. It is a big and old city – she replied.
– And what can we find in Rome?
– The Colosseum! An enormous monument, now inhabited by homeless cats -
- There is something to eat? – asked Micio.
Micio still had to grow up, so food was quite important to him.
- Don’t worry. There are the “cats women” in Rome.
They really love cats, so they bring a lot of stuff to eat every morning and evening.
- But how can we go that far? –
- We will travel by train. A cargo train -

The two cats, excited by the adventure they were going to start, went to Vicenza station, and quickly got on a cargo train travelling to Rome.
In the morning they found themselves in front of Rome, surrounded by the bright light of the sun.
The traffic was disturbing. The uproar of cars, buses, tourists, trams and motorcycles mixed one with another and create a defeaning noise all over around. Micio was almost crushed by a taxi and it was also thanks to Micia’s speed that he was uninjured. In this moment Micio realized the value of his mother’s love, which constantly protected him from dangers.

The two cats crossed a big park of high pines, arrived in a wide square paved with stones, and ended up in front of an enormous monument. It was the Colosseum.
Looking at such majesty, they stood motionless. At night, when tourists had gone away, they entered the Colosseum. At that very moment they were surrounded by dozens of cats of different ages and colours. They all had a nice fur and looked healthy.

– My name is Micia. I come from a northern city called Vicenza. – Micia did not have time to introduce herself to the other cats, that a black cat quickly asked her: - Who is this kitten?
- He’s my son, Micio – she replied.
Micio smiled full of joy.

If one day you may visit the Colosseum and see a cat living there very happy, tenderly loved by his mother, who lickes him and takes care of his fur, there is no doubt: they are Micio and Micia, who live in the Colosseum, where everyone loves them.