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 www.romancats.com/ for more information on this wonderful sanctuary and how you can help.