City officials argued that the cat sanctuary at Torre Argentina in Rome, the place where Caesar was assassinated, was unsanitary and built without permission, a position denied by the volunteers who run the place. They threatened to tear it down and send the cats away.
"These cats are not up for debate, they are part of the history of Rome," mayor Gianni Alemanno said on a visit on Tuesday to the refuge, which currently looks after around 250 cats, providing them with food and vaccinations.
"This is a praiseworthy, historical, wonderful enterprise. The feline colony must not be hounded out. Woe to those who lay a finger on the cats," he said. ~ Rome mayor steps in to rescue cat colony
Should folks be able to run cat shelters in historic sites? Tell us in the comments.
Don't know about the Cats of Rome? see Rome Cats.