This is a new series dedicated to cats in the news and commentary from our panel of feline experts.
In a story this morning on NPR’s Morning Edition, reporter Sylvia Poggioli (one of my favorite reporters from NPR) covered a crisis happening in Rome involving the ancient city’s well-known feral cat colonies. The story covers the plight of a particular cat shelter located at the Torre Argentina ruins, a cat shelter which has been issued an eviction notice by the country’s archeological society. It would seem the country’s archeologists take issue with the shelter, which has been open since the 1950s.
Everyone wonders why Garfield liked Italian food like pasta so much. The truth is that pasta and cats is a combination that is older than Italians and loud opera singing. The cats were in Rome long before any humans showed up. I’m sure that their ancestors appreciated having humans to feed them and take care of them, of course, but everyone knows that cats go where they want and do what they want. The city was smart when they made a decree that cats were part of the cultural heritage of the city; no one can mess with cats in Rome unless it is allowed by the city! (But, of course, they get all the free pasta they want.)
To me the archeologists seem to be nothing more than a bunch of dog lovers who are jealous that cats get all the attention. Since they can’t take it out on the cats thanks to the city’s decree, they can only go after the shelter that makes sure that all felines in the ruins are raised like Garfield – on hearty helpings of lasagna. Maybe the city needs to open a shelter for archeologist colonies… then they would know how we feel!
I hope all the cats take the time to look extra cute and cuddly so visitors will be more inclined to pet them, feed them, and give money to the shelter. Even though you humans are silly with things like “money”, it seems to be the best way to make sure that the place stays open. Also I suggest a “snuggle-in”, where cats invade the homes of all the ministers and snuggle on their laps for a day. This will keep the humans from getting anything done and show them just how powerful we really are!
The city needs to decree a tax on all dogs to keep this and other shelters going. Maybe dogs could be kept in the Colosseum, where they would be made to do battle like the gladiators of old. That would certainly raise more than enough money to keep the shelters like this one going for a long time.
While I do not agree with “sterilizations”, having had a very bad encounter of my own, the felines seem to have trained these humans well. They clearly are more focused on the well-being of the cats than on anything else. Keeping the cats vaccinated and well-fed is a sure way to guarantee that, when we do take over the world, you will have a place among us where you can scritch behind our ears and entertain us with your human antics.
I hope the archeologists, who seem to be poorly educated in the ways of cat culture and heritage, realize that they would be making a terrible mistake to mess with this shelter. There are many more important things out there to be worried about than a simple little shelter that makes sure cats are fed and taken care of. For example, where is the best spot to take my nap this afternoon? And what’s that bug over there?
Tazer is a two-year old cat whose favorite hobbies are playing “fetch” with Nerf darts, sitting on top of his climbing tower, and taking naps in office chairs just after someone has been sitting in them. He tends to reside in empty boxes when he is not antagonizing Buttercup or getting his furry butt kicked by her in turn.
Buttercup, known to the world as Her Majesty, the Warrior Princess Buttercup Mousebane the Snugglebug, is a year-and-a-half old. When not napping on top of the couch or the office chair she can be found playing with the rings from plastic milk jugs, beating up Tazer, or stealing laps so as to demand loving and snuggling time.