African cats are introduced into the Stravaganza series during City of Flowers. They are creatures with spotted coats, about the size of large dogs, and have been tamed. The cats resemble leopards, though they apparently are not.
A pair of adult cats were presented as a diplomatic gift to Arianna Rossi, the Duchessa of Bellezza, by Niccolo di Chimici, the Grand Duke of Tuschia and Duke of Giglia. Though the Grand Duke's suit for the young Duchessa's hand is refused, she retains the two cats, which she grows to love very dearly in spite of the fact they were given to her by her greatest enemy.
In Bellezza, the two cats are cared for by Mariotto, the youngest stable boy working at the Ducal Palace, who comes to love the cats as if they were his own. His job includes regularly exercising and feeding the Duchessa's African cats. The two cats eventually have four kittens, most of which the Duchessa gives away as presents to close friends and allies.
- Flora, the female adult in the initial pair given to the Duchessa of Bellezza. Because the Duchessa was unaware that the cat was female, Arianna initially names the cat "Florio", after a male saint of the same name. She later renames the cat after being convinced by Mariotto that the cat is actually female because it is pregnant.
- Lauro, the male adult in the initial pair given to the Duchessa by Niccolo di Chimici. Lauro is named after a male saint of the same name and is the father of four kittens.
- Vitale, the smaller of two male kittens born to Flora and Lauro. Because of his lively nature, he is named after the patron saint of Classe and is given to Germano Mariano, the Duke of Classe, as a diplomatic gift.
- Rigello, the larger of two male kittens born to Flora and Lauro. He is kept by Arianna along with his parents and nicknamed "Gello". The cat frequently appears by his mistress's side once he is grown.
- Dolcissima, one of the female kittens born to Flora and Lauro. The cat is given to the Duchessa's personal maid, Barbara, as a wedding present.
- Amica, one of the female kittens born to Flora and Lauro, given to the Duchessa's friends Gaetano and Francesca. The cat is described as gentle.