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This week's theme is Plush.
Of course when I saw this week's theme I thought immediately of my two cats, a brother and sister team named Betsy (left) and Pavel (right), adopted from the Largo Argentina cat shelter in April 2003.
Largo Argentina is a blessing for cats in Rome. It is a no-kill shelter that spays/neuters and vaccinates the abandoned cats that find their way there. This is still a fairly innovative approach for Italy, and it is so incredibly important in helping to control the stray population. I've seen some places where strays run wild and the number gets out of hand, and it is a real tragedy to see the cats go hungry.
The shelter runs entirely on volunteer labor and doesn't receive any money from the city. It is located in the Roman ruins, reportedly where Julius Caesar was assassinated. A couple years ago I bought a book that they sell, that has lots of short stories about the cats that people have adopted from there, and I gave it as a Christmas present to many of the friends and family on my list. All the proceeds from their "cat store" go directly back to the shelter, for food, veterinary care, medicine, etc.
If you have a moment, I urge you to stop by their website. They are an important force for these lovable animals and they could really use your help. You can even adopt a cat long-distance!