Sunday, 5 March 2023

Spalluccipedia: Dante the Cat

 Greetings and welcome to this monthly dive into characters, places and themes in the ever-expanding world of my paranormal investigator, Sam Spallucci.

This time around, I want to have a little chat about one of my favourite little characters in Sam’s world: Spliff’s cat, Dante.

When I first started out writing the Sam Spallucci books, Dante was firmly based on a cat I knew about thirty years ago. His name was Mephistopheles and he was the cat of the chaplain at Saint Martin’s College in Lancaster. Mephs, was a big, black beast, more panther than a domestic cat and was known for his hunting prowess. As with Dante, he lived at the top of a tower block and was regularly seen on the windowsill, swiping careless sparrows that flew too close. Dante’s loathing of humans was firmly based on that of Mephs. Both felines had a hatred of anyone who wasn’t the human that fed them and lavished unconditional love on them. I recall many times when a student got too close to Mephs and paid the price with a severe, bloody scratch.

However, Dante began to be redeveloped somewhat in my books seven years ago when a black bundle of fur and bossiness strolled into my life. Those who follow me on social media will know very well that my constant companion is Schroedinger, a small black cat who is incredibly like Dante in appearance and personality. Schrodie regards most humans with disdain, only lavishing his affection on a select few. So it is that, as the books have progressed, Dante has taken on more and more of my own cat’s characteristics. It is now up to my readers to decide which of the tales I tell about him are fiction and which are, indeed, reality.

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Take care and keep looking out for what lurks in the shadows…


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