It is well renown that the true King of the internet is the cat, the object of love and adoration, the star of a flood of posts, photos and selfies by its very loving patrons.
But there was a time when the cat had a different main role in its family: to keep mice away from home.
For this reason, beautiful cats, but above all those good at following their feline instincts, were welcomed open arms in Roman houses, which, as it is well known, rest on millennial stratifications of this city, and therefore would be, if not adequately derated, easy breeding ground for rodents.
The "Carnacciaro" made the happiness of these feline Roman workers.
The Carnacciaro was an ancient craft, which, moreover, was exercised in Rome until the early 1940s, in conjunction with the outbreak of the Second World War.
This worker sold the "carnaccia" carnaccia, which in Roman language meant offal discarded by butchers, mainly intended for pets.
The carnacciari, before starting their tour in the early morning, boiled and flavored the offal with spices, then put them in their bags, touring the neighborhoods of Rome and distributing them shredded to domestic cats.
The carnacciari lived with the tips of the cats owners.
The chronicles tell that, at that time, the domestic cats had learned, at the sight of the carnacciaro, to rush to call their owners persistently meowing, as they were now aware that the lunch would not have been given to them but in presence of their owner, who had the task to tip the Carnacciaro.
In addition to living with the tips of the owners of the cats, the Roman carnacciari also lived from the sale of the cats themselves: when on the street they noticed a young and handsome stray, they attracted him with food, and eventually put it in a large bag that they carried with them, in order to sell it to families looking for a valid "rat-chasing associate". All in all it was a positive perspective for the cat himself, who thus went from stray living to the so-called "safe place", repaid with three meals a day.
The carnacciaro, unlike many other itinerant professions, did not shout its own motto to attract attention, also because he mainly worked in the early morning, merely whistling in order to attract the attention of cats.
The outbreak of the Second World War saw, together with the end of other itinerant trades, also the end of the carnacciaro.
Meat was scarce, many butchers had closed down; mobility was no longer completely free as in time of peace.
And so even cats, in their way, paid their bitter tribute to the painful war event.