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Fight For What You Want: Advice from a Florida Panther 🐾

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

Advice from a Florida Panther from The Whine Bar by Ally Brown CPC

It’s a beautiful sunny warm day in Lake Norman, North Carolina, and it’s about bloody time. I, as well as The Furry Five, are finally able to enjoy the sunshine and the fresh air as we sit on our deck. They are on patrol making sure the myriad of birds, squirrels and rabbits, keep their distance, while I am typing this after a long morning of trying to grasp how to succeed with social media. I did not grow up with the whole social media thing, I am not at all comfortable with it, and let’s face it, being of menopausal age does not at all enhance my abilities to pick up on this multimedia delight. But, I need to learn it, I want to learn it, so I will referee the battle between my left brain and my right and I will master it. I will fight for what I want.

As I sit here on Friday, enjoying the warmth, my mind drifts to our plans for the weekend. On it, maybe a visit to the North Carolina Zoo, but definitely the first game of the Stanley Cup finals. Although we are hockey fans, I always find it weird that they are still playing hockey in June. But this year makes it a little special, slightly heart breaking, but special nonetheless.

I said we were hockey fans. What I haven’t mentioned yet is that my husband is a crazy Boston Bruins fan. Thankfully, he does not paint his face black and gold, but lawn equipment and tools and such in those colors definitely are tops on his list, and no matter the final color, they are always emblazoned with the spoked B. Watching any hockey with him, but especially the Bruins, I feel like I need goalie pads for protection with all the twitching he does as if he were on the ice.

That would be the heartbreaking part of watching the Stanley Cup Finals.

The special part would be watching the Florida Panthers. A team, who like the animal for which they are named, fought for what they wanted and landed right where they need to be. For the first time since 1996, they beat all odds and are in the Finals once again.

They barely made the playoffs after an up-and-down season.

They beat the NHL record-setting #1 ranked Boston Bruins. (Most wins and most points in case you’re interested), #2 ranked Carolina Hurricanes and the #4 ranked Toronto Maple Leafs. They have won 11 out of their last 12 games.

My husband has always said that in order to win, you not only have to be good, but you also need to want it. The Florida Panthers wanted it more than the other teams did, so they fought harder and won.

Fighting for something you want, does not necessarily mean that you are physical with someone. Albeit, sometimes in hockey, you are. Fighting for something means that you go for it, you earn it. You make the effort, you accept the struggles and the challenges, you learn, you adjust and you succeed.

It’s no wonder the team is named for the animal, the Florida Panther.

Until this team entered the playoffs, and my love of all critters feline took over, I had no idea that Florida’s panthers were not black, like other panthers that I knew of, such as a Disney character and the Carolina Panthers NFL Team.

Florida panthers are also known as mountain lions, cougars and pumas. They are the only ones of their kind living east of the Mississippi. The Florida Panthers NHL team are representing the East in the Stanley Cup Finals.

A quick search of the web and it appears that there are only about 200 of these beautiful cats left, and they are one of the rarest, and most endangered mammals in the United States. There are only 2 NHL teams left to play hockey this post season (little plug of kudos for the Las Vegas Golden Knights).

Although these mountain lions are one of the largest species of cat found in North America, weighing up to 160lbs, they actually have more in common with the cats that live in our homes than they do with a lion or a tiger. For example, Florida panthers are fast and efficient hunters like our house cats, they sneak up on their prey and pounce on it. The Florida panther, however, does it at 35 mph and has the capability to leap 15 feet to ambush its prey. If you watched the Florida Panthers this postseason you have witnessed their speed and efficiency.

A big reason why these beautiful cats are now only in Florida is not due to its wonderful weather. It’s because of humans. Historically, the Florida panther’s territory used to be the entire Southeast United States, but now they are confined to America’s Everglades and surrounding areas of southwest Florida. You see panthers need a lot of room – up to about 275 square miles for a male, 150 for a female. European settlers in the 1600s, the growth of the population and the overtaking of their preferred swamps, forests, wetlands, and grasslands, drove their population and their territory to where it is today. The Florida Panther wanted its existence to continue so much so that it fought for it. They let humans have what they needed, they shrunk their homes, adjusted their lives, and now hide from humans in the Everglades. They want it so much so that there are no documented cases of human attack by a Florida panther; however the same cannot be said for the panthers by humans. Cars, trucks, and even some illegal hunters are still the greatest threat to extinction. The NHL Panthers bested the big bear, moved out of the way of the swirling leaves, survived the storm and now need to beat humans to survive. They have to fight once again for what they want.

It’s no wonder the team is named after the animal, the Florida Panther.

Try following the advice of our tenacious feline friends, and fight for what you want. It might just get you where you need to be or to be able to raise a cup over your head.

Go Panthers!!!


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