Independent University Newspaper
Copenhagen Business School

Popular searches:

Independent University Newspaper

Copenhagen Business School

She went to Rome and came home with a cat – now she has written a book about it

All the money that Marina Gross earns from her book is donated to the Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary. (Photo: Anne M. Lykkegaard)

A bond was formed in Rome when CBS student Marina Gross saw the little cat, Cumparsita for the first time on holiday last year. Today, Cumparsita lives with Marina Gross who has just written a book from Cumparsita’s perspective. And the book has a special purpose.

Profile |   07. Dec 2018

Anne Thora Lykkegaard


“When I found out that her name was Cumparsita, I knew it was meant to be. Cumparsita is the name of the most popular tango. It’s the tango you think of when you think of tango. And I have danced most of my life.”

Marina Gross, a fifth semester Business, Language and Culture student at CBS, describes the first meeting with the little cat, Cumparsita at the Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary in Rome. She met her in October last year while on holiday.

On the table between Marina Gross and me, is a book entitled ‘La Cumparsita’. The book isn’t about tango, but about the cat, and the author is Marina Gross. But there’s a twist.

“I wouldn’t write a book about her, but as her. So the book is written from Cumparsita’s perspective. Telling it from her perspective adds something to the story, I think,” says Marina Gross.

Marina Gross is 22 years old, and is currently doing an internship at a jewelry company and works at a health food shop. And now she can add writer and cat owner to her CV too. This wasn’t exactly on the cards a little over a year ago.

Cumparsita now lives at Marina Gross'. (Photo: Private)

It takes two to tango

Before Marina Gross went on holiday to Rome, she watched several YouTube videos about what to see and do in Rome. One suggestion was to visit the Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary.

“I’m a cat lady, so naturally, I just had to go. I actually visited two days in a row,” explains Marina Gross.

The sanctuary has been around since the 90s and takes in abandoned, injured and stray cats, and tries to find new homes for them as soon as they have recovered.

When Marina Gross visited the sanctuary on the first day, she noticed a cat. It was a little shy and walked with a limp due to a car accident. But somehow it looked familiar.

“She looked exactly like the cat we used to have when I was a child, and I immediately came to think about that cat and all the nice memories I had of her. Looking at Cumparsita and petting her, just brought me back to my childhood,” she says.

This picture is taken in Rome at the Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary. (Photo: Private)

The meeting with Cumparsita had an impact on Marina Gross. It was as if the little Roman cat wouldn’t leave her even though she had already left Rome.

“I kept thinking about Cumparsita when I came home. And I wasn’t supposed to get a cat at all. But I ended up contacting the sanctuary and I told them that I wanted to adopt Cumparsita,” she says.

One of the workers at the sanctuary flew to Hamburg with Cumparsita where Marina Gross picked her up and brought her back home to her flat in Copenhagen.

From idea to book

When Marina Gross visited the sanctuary in Rome, she asked about Cumparsita’s history. How did she end up at the sanctuary?

The workers there explained that Cumparsita had been abandoned along with her three kittens, who were taken to the sanctuary. The cats were released again later. However, Cumparsita was involved in a car accident and was taken back to the sanctuary to have her wounds seen to.

For a long while, Marina Gross had wanted to write a book. However, she wasn’t clear what subject to write about. That’s until Cumparsita came into her life.

“At first it was just for the fun of it. I like to write, so I just gave it a try, and the story just seemed to unfold itself,” says Marina Gross and continues:

“As I don’t know all of Cumparsita’s story, I have incorporated parts of my own story, but seen and experienced from Cumparsita’s point of view.”

Marina Gross started writing the book in December 2017 and published it on November 23 via Amazon.

The book not only came about because of Marina Gross’ ambition to write; the book also has a special purpose, she explains:

“I will donate the money earned from the book to the Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary. I want them to have it because it’s touching what they do, and I want to create awareness about how we treat animals and do my part in solving the problem,” she says.

A journey towards a better self

Juggling work and studies left little time for Marina Gross to write her book, so most of the 223-page book was written during her summer vacation. And although it was easy to write, there were some tough times too.

“The story is very emotional – not only in itself, but for me too, as I have included some personal details about myself in the story,” she says and continues:

“I have had time to reflect on how I am as a person and my own life.”

Now that the book is out, it stands as a symbol of Marina Gross’ hard work. Something that will come in handy later in life.

“Writing this book has given me a confidence boost. Whenever I face a challenge, I remind myself that I wrote a book on my own and that I believe in what I’m doing,” she says.

Writing and publishing the book, however, hasn’t satisfied her hunger for writing. Far from it.

“I definitely want to write another book. Maybe not about cats, though,” she says.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

She went to Rome and came home with a cat – now she has written a book about itby

  • News

    Student assistant for CBS WIRE

    One day, you’re uploading text and photos, working to make an article look great and preparing the newsletter items. The next, you’re interviewing CBS students or staff about the next hot topic. The university newspaper CBS WIRE is looking for a student who is ready to step up as our new editorial assistant from 11 April 2023 to 10 November 2023.

  • News

    A week in the life of a CBS student

    Want an exclusive glimpse of how another student has organised his everyday life? CBS Wire asked a student to journal what he did for a whole week. Learn about Magnus’ busy life juggling studies, political campaign work, sports – and dating. And tips from a CBS student guidance counsellor on how to structure your day.

  • Blog

    Homesickness – the most unexpected feeling

  • News

    A trip to Italy inspired Francesca and Fannar to open their own pasta boutique

    Thanks to two CBS graduates, Copenhagen now has a pasta boutique where you can buy freshly made pasta. Francesca Tenze and Fannar Hannesson had never thought they would end up running a food business. But, a trip to food-Mecca Bologna inspired them to quit their jobs and start their own company, La Fresca, modelled on the traditional Italian concept.

  • News

    CBS Associate Professor starts YouTube channel on compliance: “We must communicate research differently”

    For Associate Professor Kalle Johannes Rose, his YouTube channel about risk-based compliance serves many purposes. It is both a personal tool to help him structure and explain the material as well as an opportunity to reach out to people working with compliance and for them to ask questions before he finishes a new book. He believes that researchers should think differently about how they communicate their research, and that CBS could do a better job of helping them.

  • News

    Three emails revive old conflict between CBS and course company Aspiri

    Several students have received emails from the course company Aspiri asking for their Canvas password in return for free courses. The CBS legal department warns students against giving away their passwords – it compromises IT security and is illegal.

  • Gif of the week
  • News

    Start-up founded in a CBS entrepreneurial class sells for millions

    What started as a business case in class - AI for solving GDPR issues - has turned into fulltime employment and a multi-million kroner deal for two former CBS students.

Follow CBS students studying abroad

CBS WIRE collaborates with

Stay connected