A year plus after his owner died, a cat named Toldo has continued to visit his grave in Montagnana, a small village in the hills outside Pistoia, north of the city of Florence in Tuscany. According to the Italian newspaper Corriere, the gray and white cat has also been bringing leaves, sticks, twigs, plastic cups and paper towels to the tombstone of Iozelli Renzo, who died at the age of 71 on September 22, 2011, and had taken in Toldo when he was only three months old.
On the day of the funeral, Toldo had followed Renzo’s coffin to the cemetery. Nobody remarked on this until the next day, when a twig from an acacia tree was found on the gravestone. As Renzo’s widow, Ada, tells Corriere, her first thought was that Toldo had left it, but her daughter dismissed the notion on the grounds that her mother’s “emotional state” was affecting her.
Then Ada’s son, on visiting the cemetery in the evening, found Toldo at his father’s gravesite, as if the cat were “guarding” it.
Since then, other villagers have seen Toldo in the cemetery at the tombstone and roaming among the other graves. Their accounts, says Paolo Vannini in Corriere, show that the story of Toldo is not just something “from the imagination of Walt Disney.”
As Ada said about Toldo, “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.”
Whoever thinks animals cannot feel emotion, not to mention gratitude — and mourn and miss those who have died — is just really, terribly wrong.
Toldo is also the name of a former goalkeeper for the Fiorentia and Inter football clubs. Toldo is now an “idol” in the area, not, as the website Leggo comments, because of the athlete, but because he is one very special, very faithful cat.
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