The city of Bellinzona, Switzerland is perhaps best known for its trio of handsome medieval castles, inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 2000. Yet, this historic city, which sits at the foot of the Alps, has more to offer than these impressive fortifications. Bellinzona also has an elegant Old Town district, a spot which we explored with our dear friend, Claudine, likely already known to you since she is the adoptive mother of our former Ukrainian foster kitten and 2014 travel buddy, Cocoa.
As Shawn, Claudine and I waited to pick up Cocoa from the Swiss veterinarian following his neutering surgery (it would be our first time seeing Cocoa since we handed him over to his new family last autumn!), we dodged tiny raindrops in Bellinzona on a August afternoon. The town is the capital of the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino. Knowing that I was ‘collecting windows’ for my collage series, animal-lover Claudine was quick to suggest that I photograph window #2 featuring a pair of pigeons perched atop it.
In the coming weeks, I’ll feature much more about our time in the Mediterranean paradise of Ticino, but in the meantime I wanted to share these eye-pleasing windows from Bellinzona. Can you spot which ones are examples of trompe-l’œil – optical illusions which trick a viewer’s eye into thinking they’re actually three-dimensional?
Finally, because some of you have requested it, here’s a sneak peek of Cocoa via Facebook, and how he’s grown up to be such a handsome and healthy cat, thanks to his loving family.
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Last October, a 500-gram bundle of mischief and joy came into our lives on the streets of the stunning Ukrainian city of Lviv. The kitten’s story commenced in a sad fashion, when he was discarded behind a series of dumpsters right before our eyes. But there was a happy ending! We took the kitten, traveled with him for about 1,000 km. (600 mile), overland from Ukraine to Germany on trains, trams, and taxis. Once in Germany, we set to work to market Cocoa’s availability. We blogged and posted social media updates, we posted paper flyers all over my parents’ village in Germany’s Alps, hoping that a loving family would step forward to adopt him. One dear blog reader, Claudine, was quick to step forward and express an interest in being Cocoa’s forever home. Having just lost a beloved feline of her own, and as a hard-working cheerleader for the world’s less-fortunate animals, we knew that Claudine and her family would be the perfect fit. After two years of correspondence, Shawn, Claudine, her daughter and I met in person for the first time last November, on the edge of Germany’s Bodensee. We shared laughs and tears at a café overlooking the picturesque lake, and then handed little Cocoa over. I'm delighted to say that we're off to visit Cocoa, Claudine, and her family this weekend in beautiful Ticino, Switzerland. More updates from Austria, Switzerland and Italy coming up, as we begin our journey this morning! #kitten #tbt #rescuecat #travel #whywerescue @ticinoturismo #animals
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Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.