The city of Rome has passed a new law to prevent cruelty to animals. "The civilization of a city can be measured by this. It's good to do whatever we can for our animals who in exchange for a little love fill our existence with their attention," said Monica Cirinna, the councilor behind the new law.

Could someone please paraphrase the phrase "fill our existence with their attention"?

2 Answers 2


Frankly, it's a very poor turn of phrase. I understand the sense that it's trying to convey, but as it stands it's practically nonsensical. (And it should be spelled "existence".)

A very non-literal paraphrase might be "they provide us with fulfillment through their devotion (to us)".


Judging that the speaker is a councilor, this overly stuffy, formal style of speaking makes sense. Such formal dialect tries to convey a sense of intelligence and expertise.

In context, we can break up this phrase into:

  • "Fill our existence" is a overly dramatic way of saying that these animals/pets change our lives. The use of "fill" implies that we are gaining something, so it is an improvement to our lives.
  • "With their attention" is another way of phrasing they they think or care about us. In this context, attention is more personal than mere awareness.

Putting that all together the entire quotation can be paraphrased to something like

It is good to do whatever we can for our animals (pets). They improve our lives because they think about us and care for us.

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