And here is the last of the endless black cats in this series of blogs. Don’t tell Missy Prissy, but Pantero was my favorite black cat. I know, I know; moms aren’t supposed to have favorites, but Pantero really was. He was a very good cat and despite the way some people whose names shall not be mentioned treated him, he behaved himself and was everything anyone could desire in a cat.
He was born in a barn, but I can’t remember if he was brought to us by the barn’s owner or if Nino brought him home, but he was still a very young kitten. His eyes were already open and he had been weaned, and he also easily took to the litter box; however, he preferred letting us know when he needed to go out.
From the tiny little thing he was when he arrived at our house, he grew to be a more than decent sized cat. In his prime, I would say he weighed close to 20 pounds, which is why his name went from Panterino (little male panther) to Pantero (male panther).
Despite this, he tended to be reserved and a pacifist with humans, although he had his moments when people (names again withheld) tended to be aggressive toward him. Then, he would put his teeth and claws to work. The thing he particularly hated was when someone would pull his whiskers and jowls. Those were the only times I would hear him hiss, if that is what you can classify the sound that comes when someone is pulling your cheeks.
but space here is limited (sort-of) and so I’ll limit myself to one of his adventures (not completely happy, but it did have a happy ending) and two interesting habits. I’ll start with the habits:
We had some very nice chestnut two-by-fours on the stairs leading up to the bedroom. There was no need for a bannister, because the slats went from slightly below the step to the ceiling. I’m thinking some cats need a sort of observation deck, so they can keep an eye on their humans. We talked about Missy Prissy’s reasoning, but Pantero used his vantage point as a pillow.
Yes, a pillow. He would sit up there to make sure everything was all right, and then… then he would fall sleep, his head leaning against the boards. He would still be sitting straight up, but the board kept him from falling off the stairs. I never actually thought about it because it became commonplace. And then my Mom came to visit us.
She caught the quirk the second day after she and my step-father came, and burst out laughing. Pantero opened his eyes quizzically and then fell back to sleep. I still have to chuckle whenever I think about it.
Pantero was an excellent hunter, and this trait almost led to his demise. I had gone to Switzerland for a week, and the day after I left he caught a mouse that had been, unfortunately, poisoned. He made it home, but barely. Nino and my daughter saw how weak and sick he was and immediately took him to the vet.
The vet was able to get his stomach cleaned out and gave him some medicines to buck him up, but it was touch and go there for several days, until the day I started back home. His listlessness disappeared and he even started eating again. He went outside the day I got home and came running down our little street to welcome me home.
Is there any doubt as to why he’s my favorite of the endless black cats?
Copyright © 19 April 18, 2021. Mary E. Purpari. All Rights Reserved.