Clouded Leopard

Cat of the Month ~ February 2011
Clouded Leopard
Clouded Leopard in the Borneo forest.
Photograph: Alain Compost / WWF – Guardian website.

Until 2006, there was thought to be a single clouded leopard species (Neofelis nebulosa). However, recent genetic and morphological studies have led researchers to conclude that there are two completely separate species of clouded leopards. Researchers estimate that the two species diverged approximately 1.5 million years ago due to geographical isolation.

Officially recognised as new species of Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi or ‘the Sundaland clouded leopard’) in March 2007, these cats were discovered on the Indonesian islands of Borneo and Sumatra. Sadly these cats are already on the endangered species list, with an estimated 18,000 of them remaining in the wild.

If you would like to find out more please visit the following websites The National Geographic Big Cats Initiative The Clouded Leopard Project Leopard Conservation & Research.

Larry the Tabby becomes Chief Mouser at No. 10

A four-year old tabby by the name of Laurence (or Larry), was brought by van to Number 10, Downing Street today. He was carried past the waiting press pack in a covered cat basket. After being introduced to (and picked up by) Prime Minister, David Cameron, he quickly took up his role as chief mouser and ratter by falling asleep in a chair for the rest of his first afternoon in Westminster.
Larry, relaxing on the sofa
Photograph: BBC Television
Meanwhile, Mr Cameron made the following statement: “I’m delighted to welcome Larry to his new home. He came highly recommended to me by Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, who did a fantastic job looking after him.” “I’m sure he will be a great addition to Downing Street and will charm our many visitors.” Another Downing Street spokesman said the former stray was a “good ratter” with a high “chase-drive and hunting instinct” (yeah, looks like it Ed), developed during his time on the streets, adding that the tabby.. “seems relaxed and easy going and enjoys playing with his toy mouse”. He added that, as he was an office cat rather than a family pet, “Downing Street staff would be paying for Larry’s food and other bills”. The arrival follows weeks of speculation about potential pest control measures after a large black rat was seen (on TV, no less) scuttling past No 10. Number 10 Downing Street has a long history of Chief Mousers as can be seen from this list Norman and I just put together.
Larrys’ Illustrious Forebears (ooh err)
Compiled by Ed and Norman
(Norman says it would be nice to see some pictures of these other cats…. so perhaps we’ll do that on another day, eh Norm!) There’s a couple more photographs of Lovely Larry below….
Larry, arrives in the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home van
Photograph: BBC Television
Larry, looking sheepish
Larry, looking sheepish
Photograph: BBC Television
Larry, chief mouser
Photograph: Createive Commons