He was Born on the Streets of Ridgewood QUEENS – Meet Fiver “Parmigiana” DiGioia

I know nothing about cats except they like tuna and they’re adorable. But this will all change. Meet Fiver “Parmigiana” DiGioia!!!


Last week I was obsessing over this kitten living in the side yard next to our apartment. He was terribly thin, skittish and cried incessantly — my friend Alex called him a “pitiable scaredy cat”. It was heartbreaking. After some routine begging, my husband said “If you can catch him you can keep him.” I was surprised because we’ve discussed getting a cat before but with the studio equipment, “we”  didn’t think it was a good idea. Oh, and we’re both allergic too. I guess the kitten’s cries were unbearable for him too!

Last Friday night I was feeding Fiver and trying to lure him in the front door of the apartment. I was using turkey as bait (which he really likes!) but he seemed disinterested. I thought it wouldn’t be the night. My neighbor Romy happened to walk by and we started talking about Fiver and how I wanted to take him in. I explained that Fiver looked unusually thin and perhaps was prematurely separated from his mother. I voiced my concerns about a possible vision problem too. She sensed my worry.

Romy has three cats and offered a wealth of useful cat information. She tried playing with Fiver, casually mentioning  “well, maybe I can get him in the house”. Next thing I know Romy has Fiver by the back of the neck and we (me) started frantically rushing up the stairs, screaming wildly!! But we got him upstairs.

After the “event”, Fiver seemed to settle in surprisingly well. He sat in the corner under the table just looking around. I woke up a few times to check on him thinking everything would be fine. 3:45am – He seemed to have disappeared, I started panicking!!!  Matt, Alex and myself eventually found him in a 6X6 inch soffit which runs along the floor behind the kitchen table. We couldn’t coax him out, It was very upsetting. 5am ish – I wake up and Fiver is no longer in the soffit. I looked everywhere in the confinements of the kitchen. Finally I heard rustling by the stove. I open it up and found Fiver hiding in the oven!


It’s been a week since we’ve had Fiver and things are going incredibly well. We’ve handled him plenty, he loves getting scratched under his chin and by his ears. Fiver loves to eat and play (especially with his new rainbow stick thingy, thanks to “Uncle” Alex) . He’s been gaining confidence too – he likes exploring around the kitchen. Fiver just discovered sleeping in my Christmas cactus plant on the window sill. I don’t have the heart to reprimand him, since I don’t want to discourage him during this delicate transition.

As you probably have already guessed, Fiver is going to be a permanent fixture on the blog – so I hope you like cats!  I’ll be updating on his socialization progress, Fiver’s food adventures and any adorable kitten related things.



I’m reading the book Watership Down at the moment and named our kitty after the character Fiver. Thankfully our suspicions about Fiver’s vision were wrong. In fact his sight is razor sharp so I thought the Fiver character description “one that sees” was perfect.

Fiver: Hazel’s younger brother; his Lapine name is Hrairoo, which means “Little-thousand”. He is a seer, and his visions of the destruction of the Sandleford warren compel him to leave, along with his brother Hazel and several other rabbits. His visions guide his considerable wisdom, such as when he realizes the true danger of the snared warren, which wins him the respect of his fellows who come to accept his counsel without question. Later, when Hazel is wounded by a gunshot in a raid on a human farm’s rabbit hutch, Fiver has a vision that enables him to save his brother. He also gives Hazel a vision that inspires Hazel to set up the release of the Nuthanger Farm dog to save the Watership Down warren from General Woundwort. In the TV series, Fiver’s visions come in rhymes, and he often feels responsible for foreseeing terrible things, blaming himself for their outcome.

The first two nights with Fiver we found him hiding out in the oven (as I mentioned above). We joked “he could have turned into cat parmigiana if he wasn’t careful!” and so it is, that’s how Fiver’s middle name came to be.


tagged in cats, fiver