A few weeks ago I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Rome; I’ve visited Rome a few times before but never with my husband and we were both very much looking forward to our trip. One of the many places we both wanted to see was the Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary. Yes I know Rome is full of beautiful amazing buildings, ruins, stunning piazzas and ice cream parlours but hey we are cat people and the Rome lions were calling to us!
The cat sanctuary at Torre Argentina was set up in 1993 by two ladies called Lia Dequel and Silvia Viviani to help the hundreds of stray and often abandoned cats fed in the temple ruins. The two ladies soon realised that the cats needed more than food and water but also medical help and neutering. After this colony was neutered and stabilized, the ladies extended help to other Rome cat colonies. The sanctuary promotes early neutering, fostering and TNR programs.
Move on to the present day and the sanctuary is going from strength to strength with supporters from all over the world. Some people come to Rome many times a year especially to visit the cats and even volunteer there. The sanctuary has an open area where visitors can see and fuss the cats and buy souvenirs, the cats here are allowed to roam around and wander the nearby Roman ruins 24/7. Another area is for the special needs cats, these are cats that cannot be allowed outside due to disabilities such as blindness, paralysis or old age. However these cats have lots of fresh air and company if they want it. These special cats can be adopted at a distance and people can donate once a month towards their upkeep and the sanctuary will send you updates about your special feline friend. There is also a veterinary area within the sanctuary to deal with medical issues.
I really loved this special place; it was so peaceful and slightly hidden away like some secret that only cat people know about. You can stand and look down onto the temple ruins and suddenly a cat appears, then another one…….. We even spotted a Bengal going about its day totally unaware that many tourists were watching it from above. We later found out the sanctuary had been trying to catch it for four months! Typical Bengal! The staff and volunteers made us feel very welcome while visiting and it was lovely to find similar like minded cat people in the craziness that is Rome!
We visited the sanctuary 3 times in all and distance adopted an elderly ginger gentleman called Giotto who has had sight problems but after a couple of operations he is improving. He loved a fuss and seemed content now he’s safe and comfortable, no longer a stray wandering the streets unable to fully see. Thank goodness for places like Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary. I very much hope to return to this special place and would love to offer Reiki to the many cats living there……
You can find more information here