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Rocco – another long surviving cat in the Italian earthquake

2016 September 18
Cat being rescued in WW2 (from State Library, Victoria, Australia H98 106/597)

Cat being rescued in WW2 (from State Library, Victoria, Australia H98 106/597)

I am sure that many people – apart from Pietro’s carers – were delighted to see that this much loved cat was rescued some 15 -16 days after the Italian earthquake.

But I am not altogether surprised based on my research for the Great Cat and Dog Massacre book. A particular story I record is of the mother of the cat Bob who lived at Cullen’s grocery stores in north west London. On one night in 1944 the area faced massive bombardment and huge fires.Cullens was hit. In due course the demolition men promised to keep an eye out for the cat as they went through the wreckage. And so, a fortnight after the bomb, the cat was found and taken away to another branch of the store. She was, diarist Gwladys Cox reported, very thin but seemed none the worse. Although some animal charities feared that rescue workers would not search for companion animals, in practice there were many examples of people conscientiously and at risk to themselves rescuing beloved pets. (Only in those days the firefighters etc did not possess the tiny air masks that many use today to save cats and dogs.)

Breaking news – another cat – Rocco – was found  on Sunday 25th September in Rio di San Lorenzo 32 days after the earthquake having spent 4 weeks without food or water. Altogether some 200 non human animals were rescued.

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