We didn't see Marzio next morning but didn't think much of it, we haven't seen him for nine days now. We no longer get up expecting he will be at the door waiting for food with the other five. We've called him and searched as much as is possible on the side of a mountain with heavy undergrowth, we've checked with neighbours and driven round. Everyone says he will have gone off looking for a girl friend but I can't imagine any male missing out on two square meals a day for love. He can't be locked in anywhere as the two sets of families in our road over the weekend had left long before we last saw Marzio.
It's heart breaking that the funny little kitten that arrived a year ago survived all the perils of predators and falling off high walls, that managed six months without us, albeit fed by Mario and the automatic food dispenser, should just disappear. He was strong and capable from the start, hated being fastened in the cellar overnight snd was happy to sleep out tucked between his mother Lisa and Theo our very timid black cat. He was definitely an outdoor creature, he was friendly with us but wary of strangers, he was gorgeous and and we loved him, this not knowing is dreadful.