Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary – A Lifeline for Rome’s Strays

"Caruso" King of the Cats at Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary

There are good people everywhere who care about homeless cats, who devote countless hours to caring for them until they can find a permanent “forever” home.

Such good people can be found at Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary in Rome.

I discovered Torre Argentina watching a documentary on TV. When I researched them further on line, I was so impressed with their tireless efforts for the cats, I knew I had to help. I was able to adopt “long distance” a beautiful black male which I named “Caruso”. Caruso was named in honor of my father, whose love of cats in turn, inspired my love of these beautiful, intelligent creatures.

Here’s a typical work day at the sanctuary:

“We’ve organized our workdays to begin at 8 A.M. with cleaning and disinfecting cages. Due to our confined quarters and the ease with which diseases spread, this job is one of the most important for our volunteers. Next, food is distributed to the cats in the underground shelter along with those that live permanently outdoors among the ruins. While feeding the outdoor cats, the volunteers must keep a vigilant eye out for sick or newly abandoned ones who must be caught, treated, vaccinated, spayed and neutered.

The workload at the sanctuary demands our presence seven days a week, including Christmas, Easter and every other holiday. Not only do the cats need daily attention, our finances do as well. Soliciting donations from tourists in all kinds of inclement weather is necessary for the survival of the sanctuary. Bad weather means no tourists or passersby – our biggest source of income. You can imagine our dilemma with a week of rain…

The need to stay abreast of medical issues, scheduling volunteers and developing new fundraising ideas has necessitated role and responsibility definition for all of us. Lia as treasurer, raises and manages funds, purchases supplies and oversees housekeeping and food distribution. Silvia is the spokesperson for the sanctuary. In addition, her responsibilities include record keeping and handling correspondence. In the end we must all be ready to clean a cage and distribute food.

Being denied facilities is one problem. Keep in mind that we worked with no running water and electricity for a year and a half. The only solution was to carry buckets to the nearest Roman fountain and back. The lighting problem was solved with a big gas lantern on a table. The shadows of the cats on the cave walls would have been a perfect backdrop to a Halloween movie. Currently we are still not hooked up to the city’s drainage system. There are no bathrooms and there is no hot water. .

In spite of all the obstacles and disappointments, Lia, Silvia and the volunteers say they have never felt so satisfied, useful and happy. At times when it seems impossible to go on, something happens that raises hope and encouragement. Perhaps one of our most handicapped cats is adopted or a generous donation helps pay another bill. In the end, the hundreds of abandoned cats and kittens that have been placed in loving families and the 3722 we managed (just in one year ) to have sterilized make it all worthwhile.”

Please visit for more information on this wonderful sanctuary and how you can help.


And the Winner is…

My Three Cats & Co, Inc. would like to thank everyone who entered the Unique Cat Name Contest.  The winner of the contest received a beautiful set of Melia ceramic hand painted cat food and water bowls, personalized with their cat’s name on each bowl.  First prize went to Barbara Shultis and her cat Matei.  The second place winner is Pat Ferrey and her cat Tinkerbelle.  Congratulations to our winners and a special thanks to all participants for sharing touching stories about your cats.

Meet Matei

Matei We were heartbroken when one of our cats passed away last year at 19 years of age. Of the two remaining, one seemed to take the loss especially hard. After careful thought, we looked to a local shelter for a kitten as a new companion for him. It so happened that the shelter was having a “2 for 1” event. We had every intention of leaving with only one feline, a lively little black fur ball we were both taken with. He had a companion who had been abandoned at a train station, and they asked if we might consider him too. We thought “this will mean four cats”, but this little orange guy had such a sad and hopeful look, that we couldn’t leave him behind. We named him “Matei” which is Celtic for “gift from God”, since we didn’t anticipate his arrival. He has been the most loving animal I have ever had, and we couldn’t imagine life without him. I believe both he and the name were chosen for us before we entered the shelter.

Meet Tinkerbelle

Hi there.  I’m Tinkerbelle.  I was losted on the South Side of Pittsburgh.  Someone nice took me to Tinkerbelle the Humane Society and they took care of me and placed me at Pet Smart in the North Hills for adoption.  My future dad spotted me hiding behind the sign and pulled me out of the cage.  Immediately I went into investigative mode and checked out my future mom’s purse and then looked in the cages at each of the other kitties.  Mom and dad took me home and I met my new brother, Cleo, who wasn’t too, too happy at first, but I’ve brought him around.  Now he’s really cool to chase and play it-tag with.  My new home was full of lots and lots of toys and the first night I was a busy kitty checking them out and ‘arranging’ them to suit me.  I’m a little tuxedo kitty.  My white muzzle makes me look like a little bear.  I’ve got mittens on my front paws and go-go boots on the hind paws. When playing with toys I tend to pounce and then stand up to throw them around and generally prance across the room just like a little fairy.  Therefore, mom decided my name is Tinkerbelle, since I’m such a little girly kitty who dances.


It’s All In a Name

meliodouble_largeYou know your cat is special and unique, and you also know just how important he or she is in your life.  Does your cat have a name that reflects this?  Then your cat’s name could be a winner!!!!

We want to hear the story behind your cat’s name and see your cat’s photo.  The cat with the winning entry will receive two Melia personalized ceramic cat bowls of their very own!

Click Here for Contest Rules and then Click Here to submit your entry!

Don’t delay– the deadline for entry submissions is March 31, 2009.

May the Best Cat Name win!

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