ROME — It's impossible to talk about Rome without talking about cats.
The cats of Rome are everywhere. They bed down in the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. They scamper over the crumbling columns of Piazza Argentina. They meander languidly down city streets, intent on their own affairs, ignoring the humans. They stand as silent sentinels at the Pyramid, near the Protestant cemetery where Shelley, Keats and Byron are buried.
They are, it is said in the city, master mechanics. They know at 50 feet if the engine - and hence the warmest part - of a recently parked car is in the front or the back. Romans have learned to check under a car for napping cats before driving away.