In July 1984, the same month that Beverly Burns became the first woman in the world to captain a Boeing 747 jumbo jet, I was on my first trip abroad to a professional conference in Cameroon with my colleague, Burt Swanson. Our first stop was for two to three days in Rome to confer with some of his colleagues at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

The Roman Coliseum

We stayed at the San Anselmo Hotel, a short distance from the Coliseum, where, among other things that were unusual to this Tennessee farm boy, I noticed that the wide-slatted, wooden venetian blinds in our room hung outside the windows, rather than inside.

Here’s my true story of the way my mind can work when left unattended:

. . . for some reason I’m reminded of my first trip to Rome (a place well known for cats). I was sitting in a hotel courtyard with my friend Burt, relaxing with a drink, when a cat came out from under a shrub and walked slowly toward me.

While this did not actually happen, as it turned out, it occurred to me at the time that IF that cat were to lick me on the leg, that it would be a Roman cat lick.

A Roman Cat at the Foot of a Historical Statue

I’m not quite sure why I couldn’t resist sharing this true recollection of something that didn’t happen. Maybe it was just for the pun of it.

Sorry about that, Dear Readers.

Photo Credits:  1) Roman Coliseum at ,  2) Roman cat at