• The Panther of The Lake

    Article by Ey@el

    Original en français

    It's almost Halloween. On this occasion, I intended to repost an article by Alanna Ketler about what black cats actually symbolise and had set to translate it in French only to realise afterwards that I had already done so more than a year ago (see Related articles). I did have that impression of déjà vu, but the title of the article was different and so were the website and more recent publication date, hence a search on my blog returned no entry (the embedded search engine on Eklablog is not what I'd call efficient). Come on, you can tease me with this, I deserve it! Wasting hours on a job you've already done is what you call being off with the fairies or completely off radar — there's an awful lot more you could say, but please, don't.

    On the spur of the moment, I was quite upset (mind you), then I must have changed a lot of late because instead of raising a tsunami in a teaspoon or indulging in some Calimero whinging (an ancient nemesis of mine), I chose to take it on with humour and without berating myself, I'm bouncing back with this original article instead to roll over Halloween's unhealthy spooky tales (as if the mainstream media didn't feed us with their own all year long).


    My story is a quite unusual. Since the beginning of last summer, I got into the habit of spending time by the lake in my neighbourhood to feed ducks and coypus, observe herons and geese, while enjoying the peace and quiet and sunshine (whenever available) to practice meditation and earthing (stay tuned for an article on this topic very soon). This is where I met a black cat, which I've called Panther, who popped up out of the blue one day and meowed and rubbed against me and eventually spent the afternoon with me curled up on my towel by the water. And he did it again the next day. And the day after. And almost every day of the week. No matter what time. It's as there was some telepathy going on.

    I think it's actually what happens, because two weeks ago, it had rained a lot and it was chilly. I wasn't sure whether I should stop by the lake on my way back from the physio, all the more since it was unlikely for the panther to be out in such foul weather. Then I felt some urge to take another route and there he was, sitting atop a post as if waiting for me. Meowing loudly, he leaped off his perch and followed me like a faithful dog.

    Cuddle Therapy

    The Panther is definitely not a stray, he does have owners (who seem to groom him well going by his healthy coat), but unlike most cats, he's very outgoing and in great need of company. I saw him stroking against every passer-by on his lake, playing with kids, and even cheering up some loners like me as if if could feel who needed the most the touch of his magic paw. A lady even joked that he must be a “cuddle therapist”.

    Incidentally, it has been shown that cats, and particularly cat's purr, actually had therapeutic effects. In some countries such as Japan or Austria, they have created ”cat bars” where people can come and cuddle cats to release stress. Purr therapy is not a myth. You can even find CD recordings of cat purr for those who can't keep a pet at home. Though, in my opinion, there is more to the healing effect than just the purring.


    Click on each picture of this gallery to display

    It's funny how everyone seems to think he is my cat and compliments me on how lovely he is. We must look like we belong to each other. Which we don't. We have no ties of sorts, but we're bound by some kind of tenderness. Thanks to him, I now meditate on a regular basis, I take the time to do nothing, and I'm feeling so much better. I'm becoming more inspired, more tolerant and more positive.

    And you know what: the panther is scared of fish! Not only does he steps back when an angler waves a fish under his nose (before carefully putting it back to the lake), he literally runs off whenever some carp leaps out like a dolphin. Luckily, there are no sharks nor piranhas in the lake — that is as far as I know. Oops!


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