Sweet Tennessee!

Sweet Tennessee!

November 12, 2012

Felines of the Torre Argentina..


I came across an interesting piece today as i looked over Archaeological News.  These are brief bits of news that appear in Archaeology Magazine online.  They come from sources like Discovery News, Scientist Magazine, etc.  I love this stuff!  Like licking the frosting bowl after icing a yummy cake.  Chocolate frosting, or peanut butter anyone?  :)  Anyway.. this article includes interesting information about a Roman dilemma involving cats!  It appeared in the November 7th edition of the New York Times in the Europe section.  'Strays Among Rome Ruins Set Off a Culture Clash.  Fascinating subject.  Ancient Roman History, artifacts and preserved archaeological sites and how this all affects felines and vice versa.  There is a homeless cat shelter above the site where Brutus is thought to have stabbed Caesar in 44 BC!  The felines are being threatened with eviction because they are compromising a vitally important location.  And the 'Gattare', the Roman cat ladies, don't like it one bit.  Felines are as much a part of Rome, and have been around Rome, as long as these ancient ruins.   I am a confessed 'cat lady' myself!  I love archaeology, but i love cats a lot more.  I'll post the article here so you can have a look...

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/08/world/europe/rome-drawn-into-tiff-between-preservationists-and-cat-shelter.html?pagewanted=all

I find that fascinating.  And i'll bet evicting the kitties IS a sensitive subject.  And i agree, the cats will return if they're relocated.  A feline is a territorial creature.  I hope a solution can be found to both help preserve this important ancient historic site and continue to aid all the cats who need the help.  I admit that as much as i adore ancient history, and think that these sites should be preserved and explored, and the findings recorded for posterity, i reside on the side of the kitties!  History is of vital importance to us as human beings.  We want and need to know where we came from and about ancient customs and cultures.  But cats are also an important part of Roman history, and they're living, breathing beings in the present.  Alas, i'm not a resident of Rome.  I'm an American cat lady.  :D  Another thing i want to share with you here is a post from a blog i found called, 'A Passport For Hercules.'  It's a great post!  It tells so much about the history of cats in Rome and their importance in daily life there for centuries.  Here it is..

http://www.herculesgetsapassport.com/europe/gatti-di-roma-the-cats-of-rome/

So next Monday's post will the a post about archaeology per se.  This one is about that in sort of a roundabout way.  I just found this intriguing and wanted to share.  When the study of archaeology comes to mind i don't automatically think.. cats!  But from now on, i'll think a little about the kitties at the Forum, etc when i think of Rome the City.

Speaking of cats, our four are vocally seeking my attention!  I'll take that as a hint to sign off.  But of course..


Our Tennessee, who was a feral stray before we became his.  :)  Love him and our other three kitties!  I'll be back soon.  M

12 comments:

  1. I had read about the feral cats of Rome a few days ago. I always worry regardless that I can do nothing about it and that it does no good. :-(((

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    1. I worry too. So very many cats. I've read around a half million of them living in archaeological sites all over the city. If only there was a solution that would work for all, but it's a dream, i'm afraid. The feral cat situation is so out of control...And i have to remember that Rome has a different culture than we have here... :(

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  2. Have they considered neutering or spaying them? Or has that been done? Left to propagate at will, it's a hopeless situation.

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    1. Yes.. many have been neutered and spayed, but there are just so many. It would take many volunteers to trap and take the ones who haven't been.. to a vet. I have volunteered for the Oregon Feral Cat Coalition. We have many feral cats here, but there aren't places where so many of them congregate at once as in Rome. The situation is disheartening to me, though i live halfway around the world. And i realize that these archaeological sites are important. What is the answer? It appears to be an ingrained part of the culture in Rome to feed them.. and they just keep reproducing because that's what animals do. So many feline lives...

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  3. Its such a sad situation for both the cats and the people like you who are trying to help fine a solution.
    Your are a kind and compassionate person, Mary.

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    1. Thank you Pam. :) It's very sad, but many are hoping for a solution. It's good that there are people working on this issue together..

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  4. As I sit here admiring your sweet kitty, I have a lap full of my Meeps, draped across as I type. Cats have a wonderful nap ethic! :)
    V

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    1. Kitties indeed have a knack for napping, don't they? :) They have many talents! And if they could speak our language, i'm sure they'd let us know it! Enjoy your lap full of your Meeps.. (like i have to say that, right?) :D

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  5. What a touchingly situation. Tony was born and raised in Italy and has shared many stories with me about the abundance of stray and abandoned animals (especially dogs) that abound across the country. Sickeningly, in Italy (and certainly various other parts of the world, too) there's much more of a culture of abandoning animals (yes, that happens in North America, too, but not, thankfully, at the same rate) as as result there's a huge over population of homeless animals with little hope of a home or a decent future there. As a massive animal lover (and proponent of animal rights) this really whole situation breaks my heart deeply. It's wonderful that there are the volunteers in Rome, but a small group of people obviously cannot care for all of the poor homeless kitties in such a huge city, and I think that the Italian government really needs to do more to help assist with this situation.

    ♥ Jessica

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    1. I think the government should step in too, Jessica, and i hope it will. The economy is bad all over the world, though, and sadly, i don't think the homeless animal population is a priority. It's hard to think of all those cats and dogs who have no hope of a good, loving home, but at the same time it heartens me to think that there are many volunteers who love and feed them. But you're right, it takes more than volunteers...

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  6. Hi Mary, here in Buenos Aires, Argentina, there is a huge cemetery (Recoleta Cemetery) and it has a very large cat population.
    The ladies who live in the neighbourhood have made a sort of Cemetery Cat Ladies Society and they care for the cats. They leave food, if a cat seems to need a vet they will take the cat to a vet who offers free care .. it is a lovely example of the warm and huge hearts of the people in this city.
    I am happy to read that Rome has the same sort of opened hearted animal lovers :)

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    1. That's so wonderful to hear! We can accomplish so much and do such good in the world if we work together! If i lived in that neighborhood, i'd likely be one of those cat ladies as well! What generous, loving hearts they have..

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