Yes, "gattare" are cat ladies, the kind souls who go about making sure the feral cats of Italia have food to eat. The name might not always be quite respectful, but that's their problem. Are you a cat gent? You're a gattaro.
I've posted before, a long time ago, on Torre Argentina, the great Roman cat sanctuary. But they've beefed up their site and you should visit again. Here's a story from the-colosseum.net about these half-wild royalty of the stones. And here, still in Italian, a page from Milan. (Go to BabelFish.com to translate.)
Here's a little tidbit from the Torre Argentina diary:
Wednesday, December 17 -- Pierluigi came with a gift for Vladimiro, 5 little cans
to be precise. We had the unfortunate idea to open these cans of exquisite cat
food in the office: we immediately realized how many cats were actually hiding
in the office, There was an out and out assault on the small portion that
Vladimiro knew was rightfully his; he deftly slapped Iron and Moulin Rouge and
then the other cats did not even dare to come close! Of course we felt sorry for
them and opened all the cans.
Sounds like my house!