A modern day folktale comes to life in this narrative poem of 125 tightly metered rhyming couplets ending with a message.
A Cat Lady, Maria, in Rome goes out of her way to feed the feral cats. At least one passerby call the cat lady a witch [Strega], and they are likely right for she talks to cats and they talk back. In particular, she has befriended Bast, a mother cat, and her three curious kittens.
She tells Bast and the kits that kindly Cardinal Mezzaluna, who makes sure the cats get fed, had a mission for the Cat Lady, which also shows that he accepts her abilities. He confesses that he loved a woman, Anne Marie, but due to his vows, they swore to part and never see each other again in this life. In his dying state, he longs to know if she remembers him.
Maria uses a spell to detect the Cardinal’s love and it pulls across the sea to America where Anne-Marie reveals that she respected his vows and his love–she never forgot and never took another love. The Cat Lady is able to let him know before he dies, after which the feral cats of Rome lead Mezzaluna to his afterlife.
The kits are distraught that the obits mention his wondrous deeds, but not his love. . .