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Saturday, July 12, 2014
the cats of rome
"Rome is just one big catwalk," David Attenborough says as humans and cats strut by the Spanish Steps. It's a worthy play on words, and found in the 2000 BBC Wildlife series documentary "Pussies Galore." Though I wasn't thrilled with the title, I took a look and am glad I did. Now I hope you'll visit the Roman Forum in turn to meet a colony of ferals as they make their way through a year in the Eternal City. There's tough, grubby Caesar and his foe Brutus; good gray mom Mina; her daughter Livia; and a pack of kittens. Do I wish they had it easier? Am I worried about the kittens? Do I wonder if there's a trap and neuter program in Rome? Yes to all those things. But there's a long tradition of kind "cat women" who step into the Forum (dressed up for the privilege, often) with food offerings, and though litters of ferals do die as you'd imagine, in this film the kittens thrive on fresh pigeon. All this among the ancient stone of a great empire.