I promised myself not to bother, but what the hell. Last week I assisted journalist Marc Horne in his research on rabbit-headed cats, and the result was an article in the Scotland on Sunday newspaper that you can read here. I’m not going to write anything new on these cats, but the article does raise a couple of things worth commenting on…
Firstly, my quotes are – I hope – appropriately sceptical. I am not pretending to be a world expert on small cat morphology so, while the skull of the Dufftown cat does look morphologically unusual to me, I tempered my opinion with the caveat that we need further work before we can say anything definitive. I am pleased to see that Andrew Kitchener – who is a recognised felid expert – is also quoted in the piece. His interpretation is less sensational (he notes his hunch that the cats are wildcat x domestic cat hybrids, or perhaps just unusual domestic cats), but he also notes the need for further study. If anything, the take-home message is that more work is needed, and that we should do science on these animals before committing to a conclusion.
One more thing has been brought to the fore by the article. Namely, the fact that you can’t use the name ‘Rabbit-headed cat’ without people endlessly taking the piss. Unfortunately, but understandably, as soon as people hear the name, they think the whole thing’s a joke (look at the comments at the end of the article). So there are plans to come up with a new name: my vote is for ‘Roman-nosed cat’. Anyone any better ideas?
Galve post II to be published later
today. The art used above is by SkyJaguar and first appeared here.