We spent a week in beautiful Milan with Poe, the biggest cat we have ever seen!  This boy was seriously huge – but then again, he was Maine Coon, the largest domestic cat breed in the world.  Still, his size was really imposing, but he really was a big, big softie!  We arrived very late in the evening and initially he was a little bit unsure about us. His mum had warned us he was usually quite timid, but it didn’t take us long to make friends with him and by the time she left the next morning he was perfectly relaxed and guiding us through his routines which were quite particular!

He liked to spend time in the big balcony, which was beautifully set up so he couldn’t jump and fall. He sought out the shade of the shrubs, and got entertained watching the cars and people below. But when the sun rose higher and it got too hot to bear, he liked to hide under the bed where it was cooler. For this, we had to turn the mattress a little so he could climb inside (it was a box bed) and snooze away until he felt like some food or some attention. And he let us know he wanted either by announcing his presence loudly and repeatedly whenever he entered the room – he was a very chatty boy indeed!

When it was time for food, he wasn’t happy with a “set menu”. He wanted “à la carte” service!  If he felt like wet food, he would jump on the table and wait patiently until one of us came with a bowl of food. We would then have to hold the bowl up for him until he had his fill. If it was biscuits he wanted, he would meow loudly on the way to kitchen, then sit in front of the drawer where his biscuits were kept and pat it insistently.

But it didn’t end there! He had several flavours to choose from and we had to pick up some biscuits from a bag and let him smell them. If he didn’t feel like having that flavour, he would turn away until we gave him a different one to sniff. Once he smelt the flavour he fancied, he would eat the biscuits straight from our hands. If we put the biscuits in a bowl, he would walk away.  Have you ever heard of such a thing before? But he was so adorable that we didn’t mind giving in to this quirky trait of his. He certainly gave new meaning to the popular notion that “cat don’t have owners, they have servants”!