Cats seem to be afoot (no pun intended ) everywhere at the moment. The news this week has been full of the "new" clouded leopard species found on Borneo. I find it pedantically amusing that a species that existed on this planet before humanity can be considered "new" just because we're finally realised it's here, but:
It's still very exciting to learn of a new big cat And such a beautiful one, too.
To mark the occasion I'm going back to the Felidae drawings I used to experiment with when I was a teenager. These involve trying to fit all 39 (40? Did someone say Iriomote cat? ) extant species into one picture. I haven't yet decided whether to make this a pencil sketch or a painting. I suspect a pencil drawing has a better chance of actually being finished.
I thought this worth explaining as I am currently surrounded by books related to this drawing. Dreamer has tagged me which requires me to pick up a book, turn to page 123, and type up paragraph five. Oh well: it has been asked for - here's the excerpt from David Alderton's Wild Cats of the World
Interestingly, although the initial development of black-footed cats is precocious when compared with domestic cats, their age of maturity is subsequently much delayed. It appears that they are unlikely to breed much before they are twenty-one months old. Studies suggest that those small cats are relatively numerous through [sic] their range, however, and even common in some areas. In captivity they have hybridized with domestic cats, and are recorded to have bred with a local subspecies of the African wild cat in southern Africa.
Black-footed cats are very tiny (half the size of a domestic cat) but very fierce. I've only ever seen one, in a wildlife rescue centre in Zimbabwe (when I was visiting there in 1995) and it spat at me!
Anyway, I have to tag someone else now...
Away from both cats and tags, the Old Dogfox has put in a couple of appearances tonight, both times alone.