Guest Videos: The Highland “Tiger”

About that last part.

It is official policy, from all that I’ve read, but she doesn’t mention some of the other programs, like culling feral cats and limiting or even prohibiting domestic cat ownership in certain places.

In this matter, I really do wonder how much introgression there has been of the human love of prohibition into the broad and deep pool of human love for wild cats.

Also, the emphasis on using “genetic purity” to classify anything — especially one where, as I understand it, debate continues on the European wildcat taxonomic connection — has a creepy 1930s-eugenics vibe to me.

For comparison (“Kellas cats” aside), everybody LOVES black wolves, even though that black color has been shown to come from hybridization with dogs.

Nobody is saying that’s endangering the wolves. In fact, it might have helped.

To this layperson, the Scottish wildcat issue seems rather odd, even puritanical, by comparison.

That said, no one seems capable of talking rationally about cats, ever; I do see that my reaction is emotional.

But so is this: I totally understand the thrill of seeing this animal doing what wildcats have done in this land ever since they somehow evolved from Felis lunensis.

The difference is that my thrill wouldn’t be lessened any by knowing that this particular wildcat’s genes contained some contributions from the domesticated African wildcat a/k/a Fluffy (as could be the case, given widespread hybridization).

It is a wildcat. That is not a thesis I must defend — that is the evidence before my eyes.

Fluffy’s daddy — the long-legged steppe side of Felis silvestris — went its own way from wildcats in Europe some 22 millennia ago. Now H. sapiens is bringing the two groups together again.

Why word things as if to say that this is a completely bad thing?

We simply don’t know what will happen and we have little control over it, as is typical with us and most natural events.

Some lagniappe:

Nominally, it requires a box-of-tissues alert, BUT — this is also one of those delightful Scottish kernels with several unspoken levels. Just to get you started,

  • Does any civil society praise people who manipulate the property of helpless others and then walk off without a word?
  • Why did the dialogue writers keep him silent at this point, given the normal human reaction to such a rude act and there being no voice impediment, as we find out later?
  • Would she have been wonderful if she had written something else?
  • What are her first principles?
  • Why black?
  • Do the ends justify the means?

And so on.

Of course, there’s always the “tc;dnt” alternative — “too challenging; did not think.” But that won’t get you far in Scotland, or in most other places either.

Featured image: Ian W Douglas/Shutterstock

One comment

  1. I agree completely that hybridization of Scottish Wildcats and domestic cats is of little concern. It’s just ongoing evolution, and certainly does not warrant killingl feral domestic cats. TNRing the ferals is a much better idea.

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