Nerina the black cat that lived in and around Rome’s Colosseum for over 10 years of faithfully tackling the rodent population has died of feline leukaemia.
The Archaeological Park of the Colosseum mourned the loss of Nerina, the cat that become a mascot to the historical amphitheatre, and loved by visitors from all over the world.
The news site Leggo said the cat that featured in thousands of images shared online over the years had been suffering with feline leukaemia for some time.
The Archaeological Park of the Colosseum said on social media: “Hello Nerina, may the earth be as light as your step on the ancient stones of this amphitheatre that you knew in every hidden corner.
“The purring, the scratching, the pacing up and down the stairs will be missed every day and we will always see you still happily stretching in the sun in the arena. With love from all of us.”
Architect and technical director of the Colosseum Barbara Nazzaro said: “Nerina arrived here as a kitten and was immediately one of the most pampered and loved cats around.
“You would meet her anywhere, she knew every corner of this place, especially where she could doze off quietly away from the tourists. Like all queens, she did not like being disturbed.”
Nazzaro added that the cat was there during the visits of people such as Barack Obama and Prince Harry, and also when Russell Crowe visited the Colosseum with legendary Roma footballer Francesco Totti.
She said: “Nerina had quite a temper, over the years she scratched so many tourists that we had to buy her a red collar with the words ‘don’t touch me’. She was loved by all of us, it’s amazing how such a small creature can leave such a huge void.”