The Italian Almanac

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Cattitude

A bereaved owner of a deceased cat took out a full-page ad in Italy's leading newspaper to mourn the death of her feline companion. "My profound feelings are beyond financial measure," said Luciana Matalon, 77, reflecting on the death of Sky, her 15-year-old cat, and her decision to publish a lavish obituary in Corriere della Sera.

Matalon, a well-known artist in Milan, explained that Sky had filled a void left by the passing of her husband some years ago. "I don't even know how I continued to work after his death," she said. "Sometimes I would wake up in the morning and find an artwork completed that I didn't even remember doing". Sky changed that, giving the artist a zest for life she describes as "catitude", the feline version of gratitude.

Matalon originally wished to transport Sky's remains in a helicopter to her home in Sardinia but encountered "obstacles". Nothing, however, could stop her from publishing a solemn epitaph in the paper. "I will soon be with you," it concludes. "And we'll never leave each other ever again".