If Vincent R. Pantera’s invention takes off it will be because of his neighbor’s cat reports The Middletown Press.

Many times last winter when he was retrieving the morning paper, Pantera noticed the neighbor’s cat scampering from underneath his vehicle.

He realized his 1992 Oldsmobile 98 was keeping the cat warm at night. Now, he’s probably not the only person who has figured that out, but Pantera took it to the next step and decided that if the cat was staying warm, then there must be something that can be done to keep motor vehicle engines warm in the winter.

That’s where the dual thermal shield comes in.

Pantera, who lives on Savoy Street, has received a provisional patent from the U.S. Patent Office. He has until August to get the dual thermal shield manufactured and marketed. He is looking for investors.

“We may get a local retailer to jump onboard,” said David Itchkawitz, a friend who is helping Pantera navigate the patent and marketing processes. Itchkawitz’s brother is a patent lawyer in California.

“This is a winter product,” said Pantera. He said that his invention is a flame-resistant shield that would be placed over engine compartments in order to keep the heat in.

Naturally, the car would have to be turned off before the shield was in place for the night. And, you have to remember to take it out before you start up your car in the morning.

“If my car’s engine is keeping this cat warm, then why not devise a system of keeping an engine warm all night? A warm battery is better than a dead battery. The engine oil has to be warm,” he said. Pantera’s idea is really just common sense, and he doesn’t know why “the big guys” haven’t come up with it already.

Photo by Casey Serin