Who is Chuck and why does he like to travel?
I was born to be a writer and when I wrote my novel Wild Point Island, Chuck, my orange and white recently rescued feral tabby, got it in his head that he wanted to travel to the island and see the place for himself. Well, of course, Wild Point Island, can only be seen by revenants (you'll have to read the book to find out who they are) and Chuck is no revenant so instead, I concocted a plan to take Chuck with me when I travel around the world, which I do frequently. Not an easy task. First, I have to deflate the poor kid of all air, stuff him in my carry-on bag, remember to bring my portable pump, and when I arrive, I pump him back up. Ouch. But he's used to it by now and given the choice to either stay home in his comfy cat bed or get deflated, he pulls out his passport, ready to travel, every time.
Sunday, March 3, 2013
Chuck Visits Sacrificial Altar in Siracusa
While we were touring Sicily on the Taormina side, I had a brainstorm.
Teatro Greco, one of the great theatres of the Classical Period--dating back to 5th century B.C.--was nearby. The theatre was in ruins, yes, but the ruins were magnificent.
Because the ruins were carved out of rock, I thought that Chuck, my rascal cat, would appreciate the stop.
After all, what cat wouldn’t want to see the ruins of an ancient theatre where the plays of Euripedes were once shown? Where you could sit anywhere in the immense outdoor theatre on the ancient stones and hear what was being said on the stage below (without the benefit of microphones or speakers) because of the marvels of the ancient acoustic system. Where you could feel the cooling breezes from the nearby Ionian Sea in the stands because of the foresight of the planners, who chose to build the theatre near the water and take advantage of the geography.
Well, unfortunately, Chuck is not a fan of history or geography.
Usually, you have to entice him with a good story.
Ruins are ruins after all.
So I dragged my Chuck to Teatro Greco, sat him down with a SNACK, and tried to explain:
These ancient stones are not just stones . . .
Look around you . . .
(I tried to impress him with the immense size.) This theatre was the largest ever built by the Greeks. It had 67 rows, divided into nine sections with eight aisles. It was eventually modified by the Romans who adapted the theatre to show different kinds of spectacles, including circus games.
Over here is the Roman Amphitheatre, one of the top five amphitheatres left by the Romans. Here gladiators fought and slaves were whipped into the center of a battle between wild beasts.
For entertainment, I added.
Chuck looked mildly interested.
And here, is the Altar of Heron, the longest altar ever built: 75 feet wide by 653 feet long. It was used by the Greeks to sacrifice hundreds of animals at once.
But probably not cats, I added.
Chuck scooted over. I had caught his attention. He stared at the altar. What was he thinking? That how could such a terrible thing have happened?
Of course, I wasn’t finished. I wanted to show him the stone quarries nearby, which were used as prisons in ancient times, but Chuck had had enough.
Sure, he was sort of impressed by the ancient stones of Teatro Greco. He scooted up and down the steps, sniffing, his way of discovering the past.
And I let him. Finally, when it was time to go, I said:
Just think, Chuckie, if you lived back in the 5th century B.C., and were a Sicilian cat, this might have been your playground . . . and you’d be saying Ciao rather than Meow.
My paranormal romance, Wild Point Island, is now available in mass market paperback and e book from Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.