Profile of Zingarella – my little Italian Gypsy-
Happy Friday everyone – or maybe I should say – felice venerdì!
I have had an absolutely glorious week, working on this blog, getting lots of writing done, social networking with some wonderful people – many of them writers, enjoying the summer weather, and, most importantly – spending time with my family. Of course you can’t really have a vacation at home without running lots of errands too, an attempt to cross stuff off the Never-Ending To Do list that I never have time for during the normal workday routine.
Today I stopped at the vets and was yet again reminded of the embedded Italian culture in our daily lives – at least in my neck of the woods.
I am pretty much a pushover as a pet owner. I love my animals and everyone else’s too. And while pet discipline is not my strong suit, adoration and affection for all animals just flows from me. Whether it’s a dog I meet on a walk in the park, the cardinals that stop at my bird feeder, or something more exotic like our friends’ Guinea Pig collection – three beautiful girls named Oreo, Sparkle and Ginger that I wanted to bring home with me the other night so I could cuddle with them indefinitely.
I do not mind trips to the vets as long as I don’t have a sick or suffering pet. My visits almost always involve checking out the other animals in the office. Usually I am with one of my pets so I have to make sure that the dog plays nice with the other dogs and stays away from the cats. When I bring my cat in I have to keep her away from all the other animals – she hates any experience that takes her out of our home and puts into her crate. Today I had neither with me, and I actually had a moment or two to appreciate the other animals and chat with the owners.
Pet owners are usually friendly and look for opportunities to brag on their animal kids. I know I love it when others, especially kids, enjoy my pets. Everyone in the office today was very sweet – none of those snooty owners who don’t want their pets near anyone or any other animal. You know the ones I mean.
Today there were two big cats being carried in that were crying louder than a couple of seagulls – my guess is they most likely feel the same way my cat does about leaving their home base. I met a beautiful five-year old Doberman with long, uncropped ears, which made him look anything but intimidating. He was a big baby and gave me lots of kisses on the nose. I also got to pet a Lhasa Apso with very nice manners and a white fluffy coat.
I found it especially funny today that on my visit to get cat food for my cat Zingarella (little gypsy), I also encountered a beautiful fawn colored cocker spaniel named Ficcanaso (big nose), and an adorable tabby kitten named Enzo (Henry). We do have a lot of Italian American residents where I live in Smithfield, but to have that many Italo pets together bordered on comical. Enzo was newly adopted and was having his first kitten visit, and Ficcanaso was an older dog with a sweet face and playful eyes. I didn’t tell Ficcanso’s owner that I had an Uncle Fico – actually my Dad’s uncle Serafino, whose nickname was Fico because he was a bit of a nose bag. Apparently the Spaniel and my late Uncle share this trait.
Zingarella was a name that my mother and her family often used to refer to women who acted like gypsies, traipsing around and not spending a lot of time in their own homes. My husband gave me Zingarella – nicknamed Zingi – almost seventeen years ago, a year before we got married. I had no idea how to handle this little tabby kitten that began darting all over the house as soon as he put her down. I called my mother to tell her about the new cat- my first house cat. “She sounds like a Zingarella,” my mother laughed, and the name stuck. Her being a stray only made the name more meaningful.
What a treat encountering all of these pets, and their owners today. I’m looking forward to meeting up with Enzo and Fico again soon. If anyone has any other ethnic pet names to share I’m all ears – uncropped of course.