Monday, April 19, 2021

AtoZ of Animals I have met: ‘P’ is for Pantero #AtoZBloggingChallenge#


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.

Pantero is another of those four-footed babies of mine that I could write an entire book about,
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.

One other good thing about him was that he ate whatever you gave him. He liked bread every bit as much as he liked meat. And he liked barbecue potato chips. For him, they were the best, and his ears perked up the moment he heard the rustling of the bag. I know, they were bad for him and I didn’t give him more than two or three, but we all have our weaknesses, and his were barbecue potato chips.

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.   


  1. Poisoned mouse killed the cat? That's so sad!

    It's hard to believe the blogging challenge is almost over for 2021. Then the after survey, reflections, and the road trip sign-up.
    Plus, I'm taking part in the Bout of Books read-a-thon in May. So much excitement!
    J Lenni Dorner~ Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge, OperationAwesome6 Debut Author Interviewer, Reference& Speculative Fiction Author

    1. No, no! Fortunately, the vet cleaned his stomach out in time and he survived the incident. It took several days, but he made it, fortunately. Of course, he was literally king of the hill (or mountain, in our case) and it takes more than a mere poisoned mouse to kill the King of the Hill. No, he continued on for several more years.
      Regarding the end of the challenge. I know! I had the whole lineup, but unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), I got a mountain of work, all at the same time. I intend finishing the challenge, just not in time for the end of April. Darn! I thought it would have been a great comeback. Oh well...


I would really love to read your thoughts, so leave a comment so we can all converse. Thanks.