Favorite spot for many foreign visitors having a vacation in the eternal city, a visit to the Non Catholic Cemetery in Rome can reserve some surprises. Yes, because there’s no doubt that the first view is a not so unusual row of crosses and some beautiful statues. And one of the main target, as soon as one gets into the cemetery, is running to discover the Keats’s grave in the ancient part of the cemetery. But you don’t need much time before realizing that the cemetery has a nice colony of cats, the famous cats of Rome, wandering free, self confident and incredibly ready to socialize. One of the most colored has been the first one I’ve noticed not so far from the grave of the young poet “whose name was writ in Water” as the stone delivers. Look at it!
Like a kind and loyal guardian, another cat, maybe less gaudy, stayed near the tomb of another famous poet, Shelley. The cat was almost hidden, behind a cage or a gate but so sure about its position and (maybe?) role.
I realized that every cat chooses the bones to control and protect. Searching in Internet for images of this cemetery, you can notice another cat, probably a revolutionary one or at least nostalgic for communism…because he always goes around the Gramsci’s grave and he seems to love staying in some corner nearby.
If cats are so familiar and comfortable with these tombs and cross, it can’t seem weird to find suddenly a tiny and sweet grave for a cat. The lucky cat, “owner” of the mini-tomb, is Romeo. It made me smile, maybe just a little sadly.
Tremendously poetic and sweet, isn’t it? Anyway, there a strange but somehow obvious harmony between these creatures and the peaceful atmosphere of that place. They seem to suggest that there is another way to look at the death…a way made of patience, silence and respect but also a lighter way sometimes. And I enjoyed so much this brighter side of the matter.