Colosseum

"See Rome and die," Roger's mother had always said. That was hopefully not to say that the visit would be lethal, but rather that Italy boasted so much for a visitor that one could be fully content just seeing the great city. Well, like most first-time tourists Roger decided to hit the heights of Rome, and that included an obligatory visit to the Colosseum. Loving ancient Roman history, the American was rather looking forward to it but was at the same time apprehensive about entering a place where so many had died so needlessly, and all for the cruel entertainment of others. Roger had heard it said that the spirits of those slain sometimes continued to dwell in places where they had met their demise.

-Perhaps the visit would be lethal after all!-These Italians drove like maniacs, and seemed to regard it as a competitive sport. Roger closed his eyes at times but trusted to the sturdy tour bus, and so arrived safely at the Colosseum, listening to the standard informative guide spiel but later wandering off by himself through the ruins in search of a little quiet reflection on the events that transpired there so long ago.

"Did you think that only humans died here?," slammed a voice into Roger's consciousness with a force that almost knocked him off his feet. Reeling, Roger looked about but saw only other tourists some distance away. "Many thousands of furred and feathered creatures also died here most cruelly!," continued the voice insistently. "History is seen through human eyes!," declared Roger's unseen informant.- "Come see what horrors transpired here from a feline perspective!"

His consciousness was clouded, and when Roger's mind cleared he was on all fours in a wooden cage with bars being pulled towards a light; emerging into it, the American was dazzled by its intensity, as if he had been in a dim place for a long time. There were noises, thousands of voices blending together into a roar.-Many were shouting at Roger; why? He staggered into a large open space, and saw that all of these people were sitting in an arena, above and all around him.-God, the stench!-Didn't these people use deodorant? There were other smells, too...smells of food, blood, sweat, feces, and a variety of animals.- Roger couldn't ever remember having smelled so many odors at one time! He sensed that he was far from home...yes, captured, and brought here against his will!-Maybe this gentleman in gladiator costume could direct him how to get out of here, he'd apparently stumbled into a show of some kind...

"Oww!," screamed Roger.-"Hey buddy, you could hurt someone with that sword!-I don't want to be here, I tell you!-There's been some kinda mistake...Hey!-You're making me mad here!-This is the worst Martin Luther King Day ever!-Aieee!" With those words, Roger was run through, never understanding his brief sojourn in a feline body.

The mind and consciousness of the tourist being thus obliterated in another time and place, his body was free to be inhabited by the transmigrated soul of the leopard whose body had been slain in the Roman Colosseum centuries before. The leopard flexed his human limbs, looking with some distain upon his largely hairless skin.

"Ah well!," sighed the soul of Felis the leopard. "I've been waiting a long time, so I should be happy with whatever body I can get, I suppose!-Let's see what this 21st century is about, shall we?"

Felis boarded the tour bus, drawing strange stares fom the elderly woman seated next to him as he licked the back of his hand in preparation to grooming himself...