Do you know what “Pallino” means? Say it loud, change a little the vowel – and yes, you get it. It means “ball”, and more correctly “little ball” in Italy, where Pallino lived his 10 years as a snow white cat. He was a descendant of the famous Queen SnowWhite which already has appeared in this blog and certainly will re-appear over and over again.
A cat’s personality
While SnowWhite, his mother, was often schizophrenic and restless, Pallino was the calmness himself. His peaceful nature revealed itself in his interactions with his fellow cats. Or should we say his “non-interaction”? When others came to bully him he hardly ever reacted, he sat around or lay down and didn’t care – until the molester lost interest and went off.
As a kitten he was playful and alert like all kittens. When he grew up I neutered him and so the normal male urges didn’t bother him. It is not the neutering which necessarily calms down tomcats like it did with Pallino. I had other cats who kept being aroused and quirky after neutering. I think it is also a question of character, of personality, probably as it is with humans, too. Some are more active, some more phlegmatic, and Pallino belonged to the last category.
Be prepared for surprises!
Some days there were hardly any of my many cats around the house, busy mating or hunting, but you could count on Pallino lying somewhere on a chair and in summer on the cool tile floor. By lifting slightly his head he let me know that he was fine and that he enjoyed sleeping and dozing a lot. He was quite round, quite a heavy cat, and you would think that he was not very agile. He didn’t move a lot, it was just not what he liked to do.
The more surprised was I when, one day, I passed by him when he was sleepy lying on the floor near the rose bush. And then, you won’t believe it! – out of nothing, he jumped up high, about a meter, and he caught a bird in the air. Wow! I had never seen others doing that with such an elegance and precision! Catching an incautious bird while it walks on the ground is one thing, but catching a flying bird with uttermost precision! I would never have thought that Pallino would be able to do such a feat! This changed completely my opinion about him. Had I thought him lazy and a little awkward before, even weak or dumb because of his body form and lacking participation in the cat world – now I understood that he was more intelligent and alert than most of the other cats, that he just didn’t want to play the traditional cat game.
Humans and animals are (almost) alike!
As often, I saw the clear parallels to humans and I think that I have learned a lot about humans by observing my cats. After all, the difference is not as huge as many humans love to think! Maybe we humans could learn something from cats like Pallino: be quiet, don’t engage in hyper-activity, also if it seems the normal thing which everybody is doing. Be yourself, be friendly, don’t bother others and don’t allow others to bother you, even if they try hard. Live your life as you like to live it and enjoy your capacities and skills when the time comes. And don’t allow others to tell you that you should go on diet if your body is healthy and you are ok with it.
Pallino’s personality made him a resilient and endearing patient when his health was threatened – as happened with all the snow-white cats under the dangerous Italian sun. But this is another story. I don’t want to break your heart today and wait for another moment to tell you about what has happened to all five of my white cats. It is a sad story but will be told in their honor.