Italian companion animals appear to be a spiritually-evolved breed.
Last Sunday, I posted about Tommy the dog who attends daily Mass in Santa Maria Assunta Church, San Donaci, in memory of his beloved departed person, Maria Margherita Lochi.
Today, I bring you the story of Toldo, a cat in Montagnana, in northern Italy, who daily brings little presents to his late master’s grave.
As reported by Agence France-Presse on January 4, 2013, the story of a cat named Toldo who visits his master’s tomb and brings him little presents on an almost daily basis a year after the man’s death has moved the inhabitants of Montagnana, a mountain village in Italy.
Renzo Iozzelli’s widow Ada told AFP on Friday from Montagnana that Toldo “brings little twigs, leaves, toothpicks, plastic cups. A bit of everything really. Sometimes he comes with me and sometimes he goes on his own. The whole town knows about him now!”
Toldo, a grey-and-white three-year-old tomcat, followed Iozzelli’s funeral procession last year and has continued going to the cemetery ever since, a habit usually ascribed to dogs.
Ada said: “He loved my husband. It was something else! Now it’s just me, my daughter and my son-in-law and he’s very affectionate with us too.” But the journey to and from the cemetery each day had tired Toldo out in the cold winter weather. “He’s not going out so much these days. He’s caught a bit of bronchitis so he’s sleeping next to me.”
According to the Corriere Fiorentino, Iozzelli Renzo had died on September 22, 2011, aged 71. At his funeral, Toldo followed the coffin from the house to the cemetery.
The next morning, Ada went to the grave again: “We went to the cemetery with my daughter and found a sprig of acacia on the grave. I immediately thought that it was the cat, but my daughter was convinced that I was just in a very emotional state at that moment.”
That night, however, Renzo’s son returned to the cemetery and found Toldo standing guard at the grave, reported Dreuz.info.
Ada says that her late husband shared a particularly strong bond with Toldo, having adopted Toldo from a stray cat colony when he was just 3 months old. “My husband was very affectionate with him. Renzo loved animals. It’s almost as if Toldo would be grateful. He is a special cat, one can not help liking him. “
But not everyone believes in the sanctity of the relationship between Toldo and his owner. Ada told La Nazione that people often try to shoo the cat away: “There are insensitive people who send him away with stones or other things, convinced that the presence of an animal in the cemetery is almost a desecration.”
Still, Toldo remains undaunted and continues to visit the grave everyday.