Feral Finder

An Unknown Cat &
A Roman Catacomb

Want proof that the majority of Italians not just couldn’t care less about Silvio Berlusconi’s diatribes, but are actually capable of making us all very proud indeed? Take this stray cat who was being chased the other day by two obviously deeply misguided Rome residents.
Perhaps attempting to show how futile this business of running after animals can be, while at the same time, being utterly gracious about the whole affair, the cat led them to the most important discovery of theirs, and most people’s, entire lives: a 2,000-year-old tomb.
That it happened at the heart of the Eternal City, which has been dug up all over for hundreds of years, only adds to the specialness of such a finding. In fact, one has to go back 40 years to find another discovery as stunning as this one. Fortunately, that one was caught on film.
In 1972, while shooting Roma, Federico Fellini (no pun intended) came across a construction site and the amazing discovery of a first century apartment, with walls full of frescos that were immediately destroyed by air exposure. It was a classic case of happenstance making for a great piece of filmmaking.
This time, the cat played the role of a rabbit and by disappearing through a hole, led the men to a ‘subterranean burial chamber, surrounded by stone alcoves typically used to hold Roman funeral urns,’ La Repubblica reported. Hundreds of bones were also scattered around, but many doubt that they belong to the original site.
Since the tomb has niches specifically designed to store ashes in urns, the bones may be part of a nearby burial site. The entrance has now been cordoned off, according to archaeologist Paola Filippini, so her team can proceed with further research to date everything.
As for the cat, it’s not that anyone has thanked him, or given him a bone or something, specially those ancient ones. In fact, of the estimated 250,000 feral cats now living in Rome, these ungrateful dopes could not come up with a single picture of this unsung hero.
It doesn’t matter; cats, and animals at large, are used to act selflessly and to give us stuff for free all the time. And cats don’t even care much for bones, anyway. We bet those two who were trying to catch the feral archeologist, have already been hailed for their great fortune.
We, however, won’t rest until we get a photograph of this feline researcher. Let’s hope it takes just a couple of Caturdays, not another 2,000 years until we all get it. In the meantime, we chose the picture above, of which we’re giving full credit to yet another human, just so you know what we’re talking about.

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