Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About The Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary
Cat populations have been known to spiral out of control all over the world. Not only is this problematic for humans, but it can also be devastating for felines themselves, given that competition for food and other resources rapidly becomes fierce.
Fortunately, there are certain places that cats can go for respite, food, and relief. These shelters vary in type, design, services provide and their ultimate goals. One of the most interesting of these by far is the Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary.
This sanctuary is a no-kill shelter for cats. It is as much historic as it is essential for supporting the massive, feral cat population. It is a vital part of Roman culture and has been for nearly eight decades. Tourist passing through this company have found that this destination is an essential addition to their itineraries.
Beautiful and enchanting at once, these temple ruins have become the ideal haunt for countless cats.
Called Largo di Torre Argentina, this is truly an architectural wonder. It was excavated in 1929 as part of the rebuilding efforts of Mussolini. This project revealed and expansive series of tunnels that were positioned a full 20 feet beneath the street.
In addition to these various temples throughout the excavated area, there is also the Theater of Pompeii. Famous not only for the impressive works that were showcased on its stage, the Theater of Pompeii is also the site of Julius Caesar’s death. It was on the very steps of this theater that this dictator was betrayed and murdered.
Once the excavation of the site was complete, feral cats immediately took it over. This was not seen as a special occurrence, given that there is an expansive population of cats in the area. Whenever there is new and unclaimed land available, these animals immediately move in and make themselves at home.
There are currently volunteers who service the location in order to make it more habitable. Their contributions include the provision of nutritious, palatable food which invariably encourages the animals to remain and ensures their well-being.
Understanding The Gattare Or The Cat Ladies
In Rome, there is a segment of the human population that is referred to as the gattare. These are the cat ladies and they have come to sites that attract feral felines throughout the centuries, bringing water, comfort, and food.
Although all people can take part in the regular feedings that take place here, the act of supplying food to sites like these was initiated by the Gattare. In the mid-1990s, the number of cats was calculated as being just at 90. Since this time, this number has nearly tripled and continues to grow daily.
Volunteers also provide care here for animals that have become sick or wounded. Many of the feline residents have a diverse range of special needs. Some are missing legs, while others are blind or otherwise impaired. Whenever new needs are identified, new and qualified volunteers are found to meet them so that there are few needs that cannot be met for any extended period of time.
Modern conditions are far more conducive to effectively supporting the health of these animals than were the conditions of 1929 when the Gattare was the sole group of volunteers caring for residents.
Long before this became a cat shelter, a cave-like area beneath the modern street had been created by the actual construction of the road. This served as a place for storing food for the cats. The process of volunteering was both challenging and incredibly frustrating. The space was dark, damp and still largely underground.
Moreover, there was no access to clean, potable, running water and absolutely no electricity. Unfortunately, some portions of this makeshift storage space had ceilings that were set so low, volunteers could not even stand upright when moving through them.
The good news is that the Anglo-Italian Society for the Protection of Animals would become involved some time later in order to forge the development of a more stable, functional and beneficial environment for supporting this incredibly worthwhile and ongoing cause.
Largo di Torre Argentina Has An Aggressive Spay And Neuter Program
While sites like these might be seen in other areas as only supporting the expansion of fast-growing problem, this one is actually working tirelessly to keep the number of feral cats in the region in check. This is accomplished through the implementation and maintenance of an aggressive spay and neuter program. This, in turn, prevents these animals from creating more homeless cats.
A Sanctuary From Abusive Homes
Sadly, many of the animals that come here have not been considered feral their whole lives. A number actually come from abusive and neglectful homes. It is speculated that this is what explains a large number of injuries that have treated and recorded on-site. There are even families who have come to deposit their pets here when they no longer wish to care for them or when they no longer have the means to do so.
Crowds of local and tourists frequently come together on this site to take in both the resplendent architecture and the amazing numbers of cats. This is especially true on warm temperate days. The animals can be seen sunbathing on temple pillars and other structures. All those who visit are free to adopt cats or offer their services on a volunteer basis. The ruins can be easily observed from street level.
This location is hardly the only cat sanctuary in all of Rome. In fact, there is another locate just near the Pyramid of Cestius at the Protestant Cemetery. Here, people can spectate, adopt animals, drop them off or volunteer their services.
The array of services provided at the Protestant Cemetery is essentially the same as well. Cats can get food, water, and other provisions along with medical treatment for both illnesses and injuries.
The primary difference between these two sites lies in the historical value of the location. Largo di Torre is situated on ancient ruins that are rich with lively and colorful stories even as it has a massive population of feral animals that are constantly adding to its diverse and captivating history.