The Real FIU Panthers

Carlos Pino/ PantherNOW

Carlos Pino/ Staff Writer

Disclaimer: PantherNow does not condone the use or possession of illegal drugs or substances. The purpose of this article is to entertain.

Whether you’ve seen their tiny paws zoom by or seen pictures of them on Instagram, the stray cats here at FIU are the actual Panthers. 

Anabel Guerrero, a senior majoring in biology, explains how many students suffer through declining mental health such as anxiety and depression, and the cats often provide emotional support to these students.

“There’s nothing better than going to pet one of these sweet and loving cats and having them cuddle up in your lap or rub against you after spending hours studying in the library,” said Guerrero. 

The presence of the cats enthralls students at FIU. Their tiny mews, their friendliness and their mysterious nature to always be at certain spots when you need their attention is why these cats hold such a special place in our hearts. 

Elaine Guevara, a senior majoring in biology, said that some of the friendliest cats on campus include Kuruma, Oreo, Shadow and Noggin. Kuruma lives by CASE, Oreo lives by CP and AHC4 and Noggin lives by the Barnes and Nobles.

I own two cats named Tabby and Kimchi. Whenever I was weary of life’s troubles, felt crazy and stressed, or was in a state of mind where I felt uncomfortably dissociated, my cats were always around to ground me. They would meow at me, they would purr next to me and I would instantly feel like I have a reason to be on this Earth, to grow with my cats and make them proud that I’m doing better each day. 

They were there when I felt happy and wanted to hug something warm and loving. Tabby would jump on my chest and make biscuits on my skin whenever I felt sad and couldn’t get out of bed. Their purrs would help me calm down when my emotions ran too high.

My cats have been there for me while tripping on psychedelics. They know when you’re tripping. They have to know your heart is opening up to invite the love of the world, and they will be there to reciprocate that love. They offer themselves to the world. I can’t thank them enough for their presence. 

Unfortunately, I couldn’t take Kimchi and Tabby with me when I moved to the FIU dorms. Although I miss them dearly, they’ve taught me that love can exist in mere presence and acceptance. My cats taught me that love doesn’t need to be spoken to appear. 

While living here, I noticed a couple of rogue cats that offer their own brand of friendliness similar to my cats. Their purrs, soft fur and cute meows remind me of home. They provided comfort during my low moments. I feel immense gratitude for the FIU panthers. 

Other students have also extended their gratitude for what the cats mean to them. 

The cats “teach me that those who have the least can be the most loving,” said Laura Salavejus, a sophomore majoring in psychology. 

The cats carry symbolic significance to the heart of our campus and university. Many students agree that these cats are here to stay as they are too essential to relinquish. 

FIU consists of a community of cat-loving students and faculty, said Clarissa Villanueva, a junior majoring in Graphic Design. The cats grew up here, and students and staff care for them by feeding, adopting, loving and treating them to whatever they need. 

As the Beat Poet, William S. Burroughs once said: “Cats didn’t start as mousers. Weasels and snakes and dogs are more efficient as rodent-control agents. I postulate that cats started as psychic companions, as Familiars, and have never deviated from this function.”


The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of the PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community

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