I’m not a football fan, and the only reason I occasionally watch the Super Bowl is for the commercials.  But this year, I’ll be cheering for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and it’s all because of a friend’s tortoiseshell cat named Steeler.

I first met Steeler when her human, Bernie, discovered my post “Tortitude” – The Unique Personality of Tortoiseshell Cats here on The Conscious Cat.  The post has received more than 2000 comments since I first wrote it in August of 2009, and has resulted in a small community of tortie lovers who enjoy sharing stories about their special cats.  In the process, Bernie, and many of the others who frequently comment on the thread, became friends. 

Bernie found the abandoned tortoiseshell cat crying at her backdoor in rural Pennsylvania. She had never had a cat before, and knew nothing about cats.  The little cat wanted in, and Bernie did not want a cat.  When it became colder, and no shelter would take her, Bernie decided that any cat that wanted a home that badly could stay.  She called her Steeler, because she stole her heart, and because she’s a big Pittsburgh Steeler fan.  And because, like all tortoiseshell cats, Steeler proudly wears the gold and black not just on game day, but every day.

Steeler became a comfort to Bernie’s husband, who was becoming increasingly debilitated from Alzheimer’s.  After he was hospitalized, Steeler continued to provide love and support to Bernie.  As she got to know Steeler better, she also became familiar with “tortitude.”  Torties tend to be strong-willed, a bit hot-tempered, and they can be very possessive of their human.  Other words used to describe torties are fiercely independent, feisty and unpredictable.  They’re usually very talkative and make their presence and needs known with anything from a hiss to a meow to a strong purr.  They can be a little unpredictable, and if they were football players, they’d probably be playing defense.

On game day, Steeler watches the games with Bernie.   And she appears to be turning into somewhat of a lucky charm – after all, the Steelers are going to play the Green Bay Packers in the Super Bowl this Sunday.  When a Pittsburgh television station asked viewers to post photos of their pets in Steeler gear on their website, Bernie posted Steeler’s photo, proudly showing off  her team colors, and even wearing a little Steeler hat.  As of this writing, Steeler’s photo has received almost 50,000 views.

There are plenty of tigers, cougars and wildcats who are team mascots.  Perhaps the Pittsburgh Steelers should consider making a feisty tortoiseshell cat named Steeler their mascot.  So far, she has brought them good luck.  With apologies to my readers who are Packers fans, I hope that streak of luck continues on Sunday.

14 Comments on Steeler the cat, accidental (and unofficial) team mascot

  1. Sweet Cee Cee Tortie claps her hairy liddle paws with delight!! Go Steeler(s)!!” she kvetches (she does not meow- she only kvetches and purrs)

  2. Ingrid, This is such a sweet story. Especially touching that the owner didn’t think she wanted a kitty, but was won over by little Steeler. Touchdown!

    Shared this lovely story with CFYC FB followers.

    Meanwhile it’s time to go out and get those SuperBowl snacks. Isn’t that always the best part!

  3. Since I don’t have any “stake” in who wins on Sunday, I’ll root for the Steelers for Steeler’s sake 🙂 (I really like football, but we have no TV, so I haven’t seen a game in over a year now. I’m finding… I don’t really miss it much!) 🙂

  4. That is a neat story. Now we hope the Steelers win on Sunday. It is always fun to read a story about someone that had never had a cat before. Those Tortie cats are just the best. Got one on my post today.

  5. Hope that “Steeler” brings it home for The Steelers! I am normally a Browns fan (one of Pittsburgh’s arch rivals) but….I also lived in Pittsburgh from age 2 til age 7….whenever the Steelers don’t play the Browns I go Steelers alll the way!!

    Steelers have only lost ONE Super Bowl they have played in….
    I pick the Steelers!!!!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Caren! If this little tortie has anything to say about it, the Steeler’s record of only ever losing one Super Bowl will stay intact this Sunday 🙂

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