Tonino is a powerful enchanter, but neither he nor his family realize it. Things come slowly for him, whereas his older brother Paolo is a quick study, both at school and in magical training. Tonino is one of the few in the family who can understand cats, and is a powerful enchanter even though his spells do not always work out the way that they should. It's particularly hard for him when both he and another relative are trying to do a spell, and while Tonino's doesn't work at all, the other person's spell works better than it ever has before. It gets a person down.
When he is in despair one day over how badly he seems to be doing everything, his family gathers around in concern, and his grandfather, Montana family patriarch Old Niccolo, decides that he will have the family's powerful spellcat Benvenuto take him in charge. Benvenuto, evidently, agrees, because from that point on, Benvenuto is always at Tonino's side