Thursday, October 22, 2015

Little Black Pantherlet

Why we just had to bring home our little black Pantherlet,
James B. Fuqua!
"The black panther is not a distinct species, but is the common name for melanistic specimens of the genus, most often encountered in leopard and jaguar [and cougar]."
When I learned that instead of a separate species, black panther refers to any of the Big Cats (genus Panthera) whose coloring is all - black, that's when it dawned on me that an all - black house cat could properly be called a Pantherlet! As Christopher Smart writes in one of my favorite poems,
"My Cat Jeoffry":
For he is of the tribe of Tiger.
For the Cherub Cat is a term of the Angel Tiger.

Cherub Pantherlet
We adopted our pantherlet in April 2012 and named him James B. "Fuqua," because our older son Ben would begin his Ph.D. that fall at Duke University in the business school, named after John Brooks Fuqua. The university itself was founded by James Buchanan Duke. So we named our kitten -- who was joining our family just as Ben was leaving for grad school -- after a combination of the two founders, with his "B" standing for Bagheera, after the panther in The Jungle Book.
My friend Cate calls him "Little Duke."
And Ben always calls him "James."

Early Days

Foretold in Ancient Murals!?

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