For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a cat lover. Being here without my kitty pride is (to put it mildly) difficult. Which leads me and all roads back to Rome.
We were on our way to the restaurant when the director, Sue, mentioned the cat ruins. Cat ruins? My imagination went wild. The slides in my mind’s eye were stuck somewhere between the Sphinx and a small-scale Forum (resplendent with the skeletal remains of mice sacrificed to Zeus-cat). No. Actually she meant ruins turned over to cats. The cats literally have their own ruins. (Actually, Roman law dictates that if a stray shows up at your house, it has the right to live there. You don’t have to take care of it, but don’t argue when it starts wanting to eat breakfast with you.) All ruins have cat occupants, but the Cat Ruins are located on Torre Argentina.
The next morning, after coffee and before the students were up, I made the short pilgrimage. And there they were below me on their field of green. Playing, lounging, jumping, yes, ruling over these ancient ruins. A well-fed calico napping on a column and the government recognizing its position of authority is a long way away from panhandle backroads where cats are allowed only to keep away mice and left to their own devices to fend off fleas, ringworm, and hunger. Brava Roma! Here’s to the rest of the world catching up.