Tag: felis catus

What Kind Of Cat Is This?

A reader in Alabama sent this image to the Bangor Daily News and asked for help identifying the cat.

Like many other states, Alabama is home to bobcats and cougars, but we can cross them both off the list: The long tail eliminates the possibility of a bobcat, while the coat pattern and build of the cat rules out a puma.

Aside from puma, bobcats and the lynx, almost all other species of wild cat in the western hemisphere are found only in South America.

The cat in the photo is muscular and looks like it’s taking a leisurely stroll, but something in the wooded area has caught its attention. The dipped tail may indicate uncertainty. Its tabby stripes are well-defined but broken, a trait often seen in domestic cats.

Finally, although Bangor says there’s not much to help put the cat’s overall size in context, it’s almost certainly smaller than it looks, judging from the barrel in the background. In fact, if you expand the image and look closely at the barrel, you can see there’s an arched entry cut out of it, and it’s secured to some kind of foundation. Who knows, maybe someone converted it into a small shelter for this cat and other strays.

I took the image, cropped it close, tried to enhance the details as much as possible without ruining the data, and got this:

The mystery cat of Alabama

My verdict: It’s a domestic cat.

The proportions, tail and gait are all consistent with a domestic cat, as is the coat pattern. The cat in the photo doesn’t resemble any local wild cats, and the cat isn’t as large as it may initially appear.

What do you think?

Bewildered Tigers Watch As Buddy Enters Enclosure

NEW YORK — A domestic feline entered the big cat enclosure at the Bronx Zoo on Wednesday, with the bemused tiger inhabitants unsure of how to respond to the brazen intruder.

“Sup guys!” the silver tabby calling himself Buddy meowed to the confused big cats, according to witnesses.

The bold domestic feline, who weighs approximately 10 pounds, made his way around the enclosure, fist-bumping each of the tigers before sauntering over to the rock pool and laying down next to a 506-pound male named Gerald.

“Whaddup, Gerald,” Buddy the Cat said as he emulated the much larger cat’s posture. “What’s good, my homie?”

Gerald turned his head toward the smaller cat and roared, but Buddy was unperturbed.

“Yeah,” he said to the massive tiger. “I feel you, bro. Haters gonna hate, am I right? Us apex predators just don’t get no respect no more.”

Gerald roared again.

“Exactly what I’m saying, my dude,” Buddy replied.

The massive felid eyed Buddy for a second as if deciding whether there was enough meat on his bones to justify turning him into a snack, then shrugged and yawned.

Bud and Gerald the Tiger
Best homies.

Asked later why he entered the tiger enclosure, Buddy said it was “important to connect with my heritage.”

“I’m showing solidarity with my peeps,” the silver tabby told reporters.

Encouraged by the fact that the tigers seemed to tolerate his presence, Buddy returned to the enclosure later the same day, only for a white tigress to claim him.

“I’m not your cub!” the tabby said, squirming as the tigress lifted him with the scruff of his neck between her teeth. “I’m a grown tiger! Put me down this instant!”

The domestic cat still hadn’t emerged from the tigress’ den by the next morning. A witness using a telephoto lens confirmed Buddy tried to make a run for it several times, only to be pulled back and given a tongue bath.

“Unpaw me! Untongue me!” he could be heard screaming from inside the den. “Help! Somebody help me!”

A zoo spokesman said there were currently no plans to free Buddy the cat.

Buddy the Cat, Hero of the Pandemic

From the High Office of Really Awesome Cats
Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020

Let it be known that Buddy the Cat has earned this commendation for going above and beyond the call of duty, for being a Good Boy (mostly) who has played an instrumental role in keeping his human sane during a time of absolute insanity. For helping alleviate loneliness and depressing circumstances, for being his naturally delightful self, and for fidelity to the daily schedule so yums are always dispensed at the right time, we salute the inimitable Buddy.

Buddy the Cat, 6, has been a constant companion to his human, Big Buddy, throughout the SARS-CoV2 pandemic, providing him with companionship and lulz during the dark days of March and April when New York became the epicenter of infection. He has continued his duties, raising morale over the summer, fall and into the current winter.

2FCDCAEB-2EB1-427B-B340-D4003AB9D8AB
Buddy the Cat, a true hero.

The dedicated tabby cat has fallen face-first into boxes, misjudged jumps, scared himself with his own shadow and sung the Song of His People at 3 a.m., all in an attempt to bring laughs to the gloom. He has curled up with his human while the latter read books, supervised indoor hobby activities and defeated the Red Dot of Evil.

Also, he’s really good looking, charming and has big muscles!

We recognize Buddy the Cat as a credit to his species and a paragon of feline handsomeness. He is a true buddy and best friend. Now give him snacks!

Has your cat been a hero of the pandemic?

Real Life Cats Are The Villains of Nintendo’s Newest Game

Nintendo’s newest game has been out for all of one day and already cats are like “Nuh-uh.”

The idea behind Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit is clever yet simple and seemingly tailored for the pandemic era: Using a Nintendo Switch, players control a tiny Mario Kart equipped with a camera and race it around courses they design in their homes. Because players are controlling the kart through a screen and seeing things from the kart’s point of view, the game augments the race course by generating obstacles to dodge, coins to collect and opponents to race against.

It’s called augmented reality, because it adds layers of computer-generated imagery over things we can see with our own eyes. It’s the same concept behind smart glasses and floating heads-up displays.

But there’s one wild card Nintendo’s designers may not have anticipated: Felis catus.

Nothing grabs a cat’s attention quicker than a small, fast-moving object, and the little karts have been triggering the predatory instincts of countless cats.

Some cats go all “You shall not pass!” Gandalf-style on the karts:

Others aren’t sugar coating what they think of the invasive little cartoon racers:


Finally, some cats just don’t know what to make of it:

The best part about this is that, from the kart’s eye view, house cats look like furry kaiju — giant, lumbering beasts hell bent on sending the racers careening off course.

It also begs the question: Is there anything in existence that cannot be improved by adding cats?

Helicopters, Armed Squads, Scotland Yard…For A Cat?

Wealthy Londoners freaked out at the sight of a Savannah cat on Monday, confusing the domestic-Serval hybrid for a big cat.

The pet kitty was stalking the gardens of a neighborhood known as billionaire’s row in East Finchey, north London, when it caught the attention of a mother and daughter who called police to report a large felid.

“I was sitting having dinner with my daughter in the garden when the head appeared. It looked normal so I didn’t take much notice but then the body came out,” the mother told the Evening Standard. “It was elongated, really too big for a domestic pet. The markings were like that of a cheetah or leopard.”

savannahcat
A woman having dinner outside took this photo of the cat before calling police.

“We were scared. I said to myself ‘we should not be here’ and ran in the house. I took a picture on the way, it was frightening.”

“We called the police and armed officers started the hunt for the animal. They told us to stay inside. There were two police helicopters overhead. It was very dramatic, I can understand it. At that stage they had to think it was a dangerous wildcat.”

Leon Grant, who lives nearby, told the newspaper that police and neighbors thought they were dealing with a big cat.

“It was pandemonium,” Grant said. “There was a police helicopter whirring overhead and armed police and all sorts. It was being dealt with as a huge incident.”

The police, who were accompanied by a wildlife expert, stood down after they realized they were dealing with a pet, the BBC reported. The cops hadn’t found the owner, but said keeping a Savannah cat isn’t illegal in London or its outlying areas.

serval
A Serval cat. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Savannah cats are hybrids of domestic cats and servals, mid-sized African wildcats. The somewhat controversial breed is energetic, intelligent and needs a lot of stimulation, much like a working dog.

To be fair to the Londoners who were alarmed by the sight of the rare cat, the breed is considerably larger than typical domestic cats. A pet Savannah is about the size of two, maybe two-and-a-half Buddies: (Although not nearly as ripped or as fearsome, obviously.)

savannahcatsize
Credit: Savannah Cat Association
buddyripped3
Not as big as a Savannah cat, but fearsome and terrifying!

First-generation hybrids, known as F1 Savannahs, are not considered suitable pets. Typically breeders sell F3 (third generation) or F4 cats to the general public. A Savannah cat can cost as much as $20,000 in the US, and like all exotic breeds, they’re controversial because many activists feel people shouldn’t buy pets when 1.5 million homeless cats and dogs are euthanized every year.

F1 Savannah Cat
A four-month-old F1 Savannah hybrid. Credit: Jason Douglas/Wikimedia Commons