Travels with Trouble: Adventures in Italy

Wine glass in Italy

Ah, I recall the elegance and romance of Italy…the sinking sun, the wine…

The sound of the front door opening warns that my brief nap is about to be interrupted. My human, Tammy Lynn, greets the visitor and I realize my afternoon appointment has arrived, unfortunately on time. As their footsteps echo along the hall to the sun room, I rouse myself to sit upon the cushioned window seat, my favorite perch.

I sniff imperiously as the reporter hesitates at the open door. She looks slightly intimidated by my presence. Excellent.

“May I come in?”

I nod, pleased that she does not presume.

“I won’t keep you long. I was asked to leave these interview questions for your approval.”

She steps into the room and places a folder upon the small table near the window. I approve her confident posture, head high and shoulders back. Even so, her youth as well as her impeccable suit and unmarred shoes give her away. She’s new to the game of reporting. If she’s successful, that spit and polish won’t last long. I find myself hoping she will toughen and claim her place in the rough and tumble world of hard news reporting. I’ll do my best to give a leg up with this story. But I won’t make it too easy.

“You’re quite famous, you know, and we feel our readers would like to hear from you regarding your latest crime-solving success. A Whisper of Trouble, I believe the case was called.”

Were I human, I would snort. Thank goodness, I’m a feline and the more vulgar sounds of humor are beneath me. Besides, there’s never cause to be rude to an underling. Of course, my fans would like to hear from me! As if there were ever a doubt.

“I hope you don’t mind that I’ve asked a few specific questions. I’d love those responses along with anything else you’d care to include.”

I stretch and yawn. The young lady may ask anything. I may not answer everything. The various trials have not yet concluded so discretion is key. And I plan to keep the more salient details for my memoirs.

She turns to go, pausing at the door to say, “Thank you for being willing to share your thoughts with our readers. It means a lot to them.”

Of course it does, dear girl, of course it does. I wait until she exits the room before I move to the desk to scan her questions.

What did you think about your first case out of the states? Did it make your work more difficult?

A pithy reply comes to mind, but I stifle the urge. I do hope the questions become more, ah, substantial. Difficult? Not particularly. Travel is tedious, of course, but the flight was smooth and I occupied the time with investigative research for several hours. And I had a nice kip to refresh myself. The humans napped as well. It was important that the three of us arrive well-rested, ready for any contretemps to come.

Is it true you dodged a bullet or two while boarding? That must have been alarming.

My purr turns to a chuckle. She can’t possibly suppose that to be a great deal to such as myself! I had only to warn my humans that danger threatened and ensure they hastened to safety. Shots were exchanged on both sides before we had the equine in our charge safely aboard.

Nor was that our only encounter with gunfire. Things turned quite lively at the small but charming villa that was our abode for a day or two. I had already suspected the beamed ceilings and stone walls had seen a thing or two in the past but perhaps not the burst of gunfire our presence brought into play.

And Italy, what did you think of it? Was it lovely?

Despite my best efforts, I cannot prevent an eyeroll. When working a case, one’s surroundings are not viewed as lovely. Ahem, yes, well. It was…nice. The food was sufficient for my refined palate. A master sleuth, like myself, needs sustenance to function at the top of my game. I dined on several tasty varieties of sea creatures. And the bi-peds who accompanied me understood that sauces and such must be kept to a minimum so as not to interfere with the more sublime taste of succulent butter and savory herbs.

What of Rome with its ancient treasures and architecture? How splendid that you were able to see such grandeur!

Harrumph! Grandeur. Roads of cobblestones! Wankers in cars making three lanes out of two proper ones! Motorcycles weaving through cars and buses as if there were no lanes at all! Those are the unpleasantries I best recall of that ancient city.

Illustration of Swiss guards in colorful gold and purple garb, guarding the VaticanI do feel it unfortunate we didn’t visit the Vatican to observe the Swiss guards in their colorful garb. Despite their outlandish appearance, their role in providing security for the Pope is a serious one.

The three of you traveled by motor bike cross-country through Italy, did you not? How did you feel about that experience?

Not fun, although I suspect the fledgling reporter thought it should have been. I’ll give her a real tidbit with my answer and acknowledge it proved a tad harrowing at one point. We were leading one of the villain’s several henchmen a merry chase as we left Rome. The city is not well lit, and THAT is an understatement, and the streets were slick with rain and too narrow and winding for words. Pedestrians stepped blithely into our path at the most inconvenient of moments. Nonetheless, we contrived. I think it best I not mention the fate of the henchman. I shudder but, really, it was his own doing. Or undoing!

Did you and your humans visit the Amalfi Coast? Some very rich and famous people have homes there. Maybe a movie star or two.

Heavens! Does the young lady imagine we had time for star-gazing? There was work to be done! Murders to be solved! Equine to retrieve and return! Still, if it interests her, it may be of some mild interest to my faithful followers. I can admit that, truthfully, I would’ve enjoyed seeing the Amalfi Coast. There simply wasn’t time.

And the Isle of Capri? Were you able to visit there?

Perhaps someday but only if they build a bridge. I chanced upon some photographs of the famous isle during some of my research and the place looked charming but a trip by ferry is not in my future. In truth, I may never see Italy again. I never know where my cases will take me and perhaps that is for the best.

Now I’d best enlist my lovely human’s aid in communicating my interview responses. It will not be easy but I’m confident the rapport we share will ensure success.

And, really, the details of our adventures can be read by one and all in A Whisper of Trouble. My fans can find it here:

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