Author’s Note: Many thanks to Dr. Love, Rebel, Jake & Tia (mom) for letting me ask questions. Pictures were borrowed with permission. Please visit Dr. Love & family on his facebook page : Dr. Love
First may I ask how old you are?
I’m one year old. I was born in May 2014, in St. Petersburg Florida.
Where did your name come from?
The human I rescued last August was one of four admirers petting me (at PetSmart) the day we met. I was being passed from lap to lap. It was a pretty competitive situation! After choosing and going home with my new Mom, it became clear that I was the most affectionate, cuddly kitten she had ever known. By this time, I had already met some family friends, and my abundant cuddles were like medicine to humans. Mom made my name official five days after I rescued her. She named me after the song by KISS!
How did you become a doctor?
I was pretty much born into it. These days, I take continuing education at my home school so I stay current on the latest advances in cuddling.
I read you were rescued and live with Rebel & Jake, how do you all get along?
We love each other very much. They’re loads of fun! Most days, it’s like a zoo at our house. Jake really welcomed me from the first moment. He’s a nurturer and a playmate. Rebel and I do lots of wild playing. Even though she’s a girl, she’s a tough breed and very pure (F2 Savannah), so she keeps me on my toes. That said, Rebel loathes Jake, and Jake uses this to torment her whenever he can, by jumping out at her, etc…
Do you like to be held still?
I love, love, love being held. My favorite is being held like a baby – tummy up. Also it’s fun to be held upright, against a human shoulder, with my paw holding a human’s finger.
Other than running around at night and wrecking things, what else you like to do?
One of my hobbies is hunting bugs. The flying kind are the most challenging, and the most rewarding! Another activity I try to do often is practicing my mouse hunting. We don’t have any real mice, so I hunt toy ones. Often, an unfortunate toy mouse can be found lying in my food bowl after being “killed”!
I read you have a catio, how often are you out there?
I’m out there every day, without fail. I like to look at passing neighbors, and catch any stray lizards, frogs, or bugs foolish enough to invade my precious catio! Rebel is out there even more than I am. She guards it most afternoons.
Do you have any grooming tips for other house panthers?
Every speck of dust shows up on a house panther’s black fur. One thing that helps a lot is having a human run a comb through my coat every two days, especially during shedding season. We use flea combs because they are fine enough to remove a lot of loose hair and lint. Hold one section of fur tight and comb the undercoat, then the outer coat, and move on to the next section. Don’t forget the tail! My whole body takes a couple of minutes, provided I don’t start biting the comb. Comb biting is fun though. Oh, well.
What would you like to say to the people who are cautious of adopting a black cat?
My message to anyone who thinks black cats are beautiful but scary: We black kitties are in no way bad luck. We are gentle, loving, and as a bonus, you can hug us without need for a lint roller! Believe it or not, that’s a MAJOR plus for most working humans. If you want to peek in on how we house panthers interact with the world, check out my Facebook page, and several of my house panther friends’ pages as well.
Do Rebel & Jake want to add anything about themselves?
Jake: I’m two years old and my favorite hobby is a game called “Treat Chase”. That’s where a human tosses treats one at a time and we catch or chase them down. I catch lots of treats right out of the air, with my huge fluffy paws.
Rebel: I’m three and a half, and I am a true athlete. I can jump 6 feet to catch toys and flying insects! I love to wrestle too. Out of the three cats, I am the closest to Mom. I follow her around everywhere — even when she’s cleaning.
Do you or your parents have anything to say about you?
Tia (Mom): Dr. Love is my first ever house panther. I couple of years ago, I got to know a close friend’s black kitty and could not get over how silly and warm he was. Then I heard this was common for black cats – a super-fun and affectionate personality. The day I was rescued by Dr. Love, three other people were competing with me. Somehow, I ended up with him, and the rest is history. I’ll finish with one secret almost no one knows about the little doc: he does not meow. He sweetly SQUEAKS!