Apparently, for reasons that later became distorted, the Royal Air Force in Borneo once parachuted more than 20 house cats into a small village after DDT-related deaths of local cats caused a rise in rodent-related diseases like typhus and the plague. (Lesson learned: Don’t carelessly spray pesticides indoors – it accumulates in cat fur, where they lick it off and get poisoned.)
Yep – they had to air-drop cats into the rain forest because, for some reason, nobody wanted to domesticate local wildcats like the …
…leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis):
…flat-headed cat (Prionailurus planiceps):
…marbled cat (Pardofelis marmorata) (video and information here):
…Sunda clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi):
By the way, cat nerds are very excited about that video, because this critter was only discovered in the 21st century – here’s another one of the Sunda CL, close up (I think the lights move around in these videos purposely, so the cats don’t freak out):
… or the bay cat (Catopuma badia).
Cat nerds require smelling salts and IV resuscitation after watching that time-lapse video, because the Borneo bay cat is so rare, even ARKive only has images of captured cats.
By the way, scientific names for these cats are useful not only because the bay cat’s technical moniker is one of the most awesome in the animal kingdom (okay, it’s also known as Pardofelis badia), but also for catching media errors (pop quiz: is that a marbled cat or a bay cat?).
Categories: Friday's Casual Cat