A Tabby Cat Tours Pompeii’s Newly Restored Roman Mansion

This is only tangentially related to cats, but 1) It’s awesome, 2) It represents one of the best surviving examples of Roman home life, and 3) Cats invited themselves to the party.

The AP has a story and an extensive photo gallery of what it calls “newly restored remains of an opulent house in Pompeii that likely belonged to two former slaves who became rich through the wine trade offer visitors an exceptional peek at details of domestic life in the doomed Roman city.”

The House of Vettii was known as Domus Vettiorum in Latin and its owners, Aulus Vettius Conviva and Aulus Vettius Restitutus, were freed slaves who used their knowledge of wine — probably gleaned from their former dominus — to launch a successful business which propelled them to the economic heights of Roman society.

And who do we have there in slide number 16 of the photo gallery? A tabby cat, checking out the restored lararium, a nook where Romans would venerate their “household gods.”

tabbypompeii
A tabby cat prowls the House of the Vettii in Pompei. Credit: AP

The Vettii spared no expense when it came to hiring the best craftsmen and artists to lavishly decorate their home, covering the walls with scenes from Greek and Roman mythology. It took 20 years to restore the domus to much of its former glory

“They evidently tried to show their new status also through culture and through Greek mythological paintings, and it’s all about saying, ‘We’ve made it and so we are part of this elite’” of the Roman world, said Gabriel Zuchtriegel, a German archeologist who is now the director of the Pompeii archaeological park.

Looking at the restored home, it’s clear shows like HBO’s Rome and Starz’ Spartacus did a good job of portraying what Roman houses looked like on the inside, and how individual rooms were used by the people who lived in the homes as well as their servants:

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Well-preserved walls show meticulously rendered scenes in the House of the Vettii. Credit: AP

We tend to think of ancient Greek and Roman buildings as monochrome since the paint has long worn off most structures, but the unique circumstances of Pompeii allowed some homes and other structures to remain largely preserved under volcanic debris since 79 AD.

Here’s a scene from Rome showing the interior of Servilia’s home, giving us an idea of how a wealthy Roman’s house would have looked in contemporary times:

Rome
Servilia and Octavia from HBO’s Rome. Credit: HBO

7 thoughts on “A Tabby Cat Tours Pompeii’s Newly Restored Roman Mansion”

    1. Gilda, where can I find the documentary? I’m literally running out of things to watch. I love documentaries! Thanx if you can help me find it!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If you go to justwatch.com you can search for any movie or TV series and it will show you where it’s streaming. You can even change regions if you’re traveling, since content libraries of streamers change depending on region.

        Also, The Last of Us TV adaptation premieres on Sunday night. I have not played the game and I don’t know much about it, but everyone is always going on about how amazing it is. I’m gonna give it a shot.

        Like

  1. Thanks Buddy’s for a really good feel good story. It was really needed after lots of darkness. I’m not superstitious soooooo happy Friday the 13th. I think it’s a lucky day. My mom was born on a Friday the 13th & that makes it lucky to me.

    Always the very best to both my Buddy’s 👣🐾🐾🫶🏼🥂 Have a good weekend ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’d go in just to see the cat…

    I went on a trip from work, and the thing I liked the best wasn’t the place where they taught us how to make sushi, or the place where they showed us how they make wine. What I remember is the dog that let me rub its belly and the feral cat on a tree.

    Liked by 1 person

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