Neurotic ? Us ?
Looking back, I wonder why we got as wound-up as we did about how the cats would react to the 1400-mile trek in the back of the car from Somerset to our new home in the hamlet of Ascigno in Abruzzo, where we’ll be running a small-scale villa rental business providing holidays for two.

True, Edwin complained at maximum decibels about pretty much everything from not being allowed to drive, to the quality of the in-car cat catering, for quite a few hours after we set off, while Rori just grizzled for a bit and Little Plum went to sleep. The Channel Tunnel bothered them not at all.

Edwin is less than impressed with his travel arrangmentsNeither did checking into the first overnight stop hotel at Lens in northern France.

The room met with their approval; they ate, looked out of the window, explored the bathroom, slept, used the litter tray, ate and slept again, while we filed our collective nerve-ends to a fine point watching for the minutest sign of their stress or discomfort. Of which there was not the remotest nano-trace. Why do we never learn ?

Welcome To Your New Home
By the time we’d made it down through Burgundy and the Frejus Tunnel, skirted Turin, survived an overnight stay in Parma at the dismal Best Western Farnese International, hit Ancona and headed due south down the A14 into Abruzzo, before turning off at Val di Sangro and aiming for Ascigno, Little Plum, Aurora and Edwin had become positively blase about international motor travel, popping up when least expected in the back window and getting the perfect jaw-dropping, eye-bulging reaction from every annoying tailgater. Eddie was particularly good at this, fixing them with a steely blue-eyed Siamese glare.

And of course it was entirely predictable that once we’d actually arrived in Ascigno, they decided the car was the absolute best place in the entire galaxy anywhere and they didn’t want to get out. And when they finally got dragged screaming into their new home, they hated it with an implacable, irrevocable cat hatred (which is pretty strong actually) and ran and hid. Then they had something to eat, which made things a bit better – but not much. Then they went to sleep and when they woke up, there was a grudging acceptance of the situation in a kind of ‘we’re-doing-you-one-big-favour’ sort of way. And it’s been OK ever since. 

Little Plum adapting to hotel life at the Novotel, Macon Just When You Thought You Were Settled…
Of course we haven’t let on that the house in Ascigno is just a temporary rented base while their real new home – and your Abruzzo holiday base – is being built about 500m away.

And those who’d really rather prefer their Abruzzo villa to provide the expected ‘holiday for two’ rather than a ‘holiday for two –  plus the odd cat who might wander into your rental villa from time to time’ needn’t worry. We understand that other people’s pets can be an acquired taste. We’re set in about an acre with separate, detached  accommodation for us and our guests, so there’s room for everyone. Little Plum, Aurora and Edwin will have their exclusive bit of Abruzzese countryside and you’ll have yours.

And yours is bigger.

(Click on pictures in text for larger images)