Black cat leaps, bounds onto field during National Rugby League match in Australia

A black cat easily earned player of the game Sunday during a National Rugby League match in Australia.

The fluffy black cat was caught on camera scampering down the field as the hometown Penrith Panthers hosted the Cronulla Sharks.

“I just saw a cat run on down the field. I’m sure it was,” the announcer says. “Am I imagining? No, there it is! Nooo! It might be a miniature panther.”

The crowd was laughing raucously as the athletic cat bounded along the line. But those laughs soon turned to tears the the Panthers fell 26-10 to the Sharks.

But please, don’t blame the bad luck on the cat.

Naturally, the cat’s performance inspired a Twitter account. Pepper Stadium Cat bragging about its speed and athletic prowess.

The Panthers, meanwhile, took the loss on the cuff and ran with it. The team launched a name-the-cat contest pitting “Trent Caughtamouse,” “Ryan Purrdler,” “Craig Meower” and “John Catwright.” (Odes to actual players of the past and present.)

The winner? Ryan Purrdler by a whisker.

The team also offered this update about the little kitty:

“Thanks to all those who have enquired about the wellbeing of the black cat who stole the show during yesterday’s game at Pepper Stadium.

Sadly we can confirm yesterday was not a rare sighting of the ever-elusive Lithgow Panther.

We understand the feline is a friendly stray who has been spotted around Pepper Stadium over the last few years – although never before on the field during an NRL game!

While we have been unable to locate the black cat following its shock NRL debut, spectators who witnessed our furry friend dashing out of precinct reported it looked ‘inspired’ by its brief taste of stardom.”

And yes. This is the best cat photo ever.

RugbyCatNRL

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Recovering newspaper reporter.

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