Reviewed by Carlton Rolle
Mary M. Schmidt was a student in Rome during the ’60s and came to know the many feral cat colonies. She is the author of poetry, prose, and was a member of Poets Against the Iraq War. She resides outside Washington DC with her cat Graycie.
The gattara or cat lady is a part of Roman history. These are people that help feed the population of cats in Roman public spaces. In this story it follows the life of cats within the care of a lady named Maria. A cat named Queen Bast has 3 kittens and is talking to Maria about them. After the kittens have eaten, Maria is telling them a story about the Cardinal Mezzaluna who’s sends the cats food.
By the request from the Mezzaluna, he asks Maria to help him with his dying wish. There was a lady named Anne-Marie that Mezzaluna was in love with. He wished to know if she remembered him after many decades apart. He believed that Maria would be able to find her.
Mezzaluna briefly describes his love with Anne-Marie as, “For though the love we felt ran deep, I had made other vows to keep, which made our love a grievous wrong.” Their relationship felt almost forbidden. There is a sense of priority and love in the form of sacrifice and holding vows.
In an attempt to do so, Maria asks him how to define his love. He states: “To find her, I will need a sense, Of what made your love so intense. If on her heart you left a sign, a pattern of unique design, more lasting then a precious stone, by this your Anne-Marie is known.” Maria uses this energy pattern to find Anne-Marie by way of Astral projection and aura reading.