The Cats of Roma
by R. Bremner
My most enduring memory of Roma is of an occurrence on a cold November afternoon in the little green park which sits just above and overlooks the Coliseum. A lone woman, looking ninety or more years of age, carried two large shopping bags to a bench. After sitting down, she began to call out something in Italian, which I didn’t understand. The most amazing thing then happened: within seconds, all manner of cats began to appear from all directions. Some come singly, some in groups of two, three, or more. The old woman reached into a bag, and removed five large bowls. These she placed in a row on the ground, and filled them with food. Then she sat down to watch.
By now there were at least twenty cats, and more coming. Some crawled through space below a nearby wall, some pranced across the park lawn, and some, I swear, even seemed to climb down from trees. And there they were, this multitude of cats, purring and meowing, and eating their fill. They made quite a lot of noise, as you might expect. It was not a sight I’d expect to see in the middle of one of the world’s great cities, to be sure.
After a while, the woman packed up her things, and went on her way, bidding her charges a fond farewell. The cats gradually dispersed, taking their own good time, as cats do. And before long, it was just another chilly day in another park in Roma.
R. Bremner has worked as a cab driver, a truck unloader, a computer programmer, and a vice-president at Citibank. He is widely published, including International Poetry Review, ten ebooks, two print books, and many magazines. You can read his complete bio and bibliography at http://www.writers.net/writers/110743
Richard Edwards has a BFA in Creative Writing and Journalism from Bowling Green State University and an M.S. in Education from the University of Akron. Managing editor of Drunk Duck, poetry editor for Prairie Margins, reporter for Miscellany, Akron Journal, Lorain Journal, and The BG News. He has also worked as a professional writer and editor in the medical publishing industry for several years. For the last 15 years Richard has also taught literature and writing at the secondary and post-secondary levels. He works much of the time with at-risk students.