International Tiger Day

The International Tiger Day is observed every year on July 29 across the world in order to raise awareness for tiger conservation.

Founded in 2010, at the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit in Russia after it was registered that 97 percent of tigers had disappeared, the day promotes a global system for protecting the natural habitats of tigers. The International Tiger Day is observed by several international organizations including – the World Wide Fund for Nature, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, and the Smithsonian Institution.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, India is home to over half of the world’s wild tigers – 2,226. It reported that while Malaysia’s tigers are critically endangered with as few as 250 remaining, Indonesia’s wild tigers are now found solely on the island of Sumatra. The organization has also called for urgent action to protect the tigers.

Cat of the Month ~ July 2022
White Tiger

Photograph Source: a-panache.com

 

Globally, the day is celebrated by holding conferences, seminars, and discussions on saving the tigers.

Meanwhile, according to the National Tiger Conservation Authority, there were 1,059 tiger deaths in India since 2012 with Madhya Pradesh recording the highest number of deaths.

Congress on its official Twitter handle on Friday has urged people to come together and “enhance efforts for conservation of the endangered species.”

Article Source: extract written by Manjiri Sachin Chitre of the Hindustani Times Newspaper.


Did you know that this year is ‘The Chinese year of the Water Tiger’ and that it began on February 1st and will last until January 21st of 2023 when the Year of the Black Rabbit will begin. ‘Tiger’ is the third of the twelve Chinese zodiac signs, and its corresponding European Horoscope Zodiac sign is Aquarius.

 

Happy Lunar Year of the Water Tiger

2022 is the Lunar Year of the Tiger so we thought we would bring you some facts about these beautiful creatures to get the year off to a feline start.
Tiger near a cataract by Morikuni Tachibana [Japenese Woodblock Print -moku-hanga]

Photograph: © Public Domain

There are only a few Cats that love being near water, heres one — but the Tiger must be the biggest of them all

Cat of the Lunar Year ~ 2022

Tigers have been around for a good 2 million years. Around 3,000 of the world’s wild tigers are in India.

Tigers are a top predator and, as such, help to keep their environment healthy. They have soft toe pads to help them stalk their prey. A tiger can easily travel 6-12 miles a night when they are hunting. Their main prey is deer and a large deer will provide a week’s food for a tiger. They will drag their kill elsewhere to eat it rather than eat it at the kill site. If tigers need to leave their food they will cover it with leaves, grass or dirt before coming back to it later.

Tigers use many vocalisations to communicate e.g. grunting, growling, roaring, chuffing, snarling and hissing. It is not yet understood what all of their vocal repertoire might mean. Sadly in the last 100 years their numbers have dropped by about 95%. It is estimated that there are about 3,900 tigers left in the wild. There are estimated to be more tigers in captivity in the US than there are in the wild.

The WWF, from whom these facts were gathered, has more information and ways for us all to get involved in supporting these amazing and inspirational animals. Tiger | WWF

The name ‘Water Tiger’ comes from the Tiger’s five elements (Gold, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth) .2022 is the Year of the Water Tiger, which indicates a prosperous year due to the Tiger’s auspicious signs of strength and courage. We wish all wild cats, domestic cats and their humans a happy and courageous 2022.

(Artist) Isoda Koryusai

Photograph: © Smithsonian

The Visitor Cats

Maybe we all have one (or maybe more?) of these … mystery cats that grace our gardens and yards with their beautiful but sometimes threatening presence. Oscar himself has a few of these visitors straying into his garden from time to time. Some of these moggies he likes more than others, obvs!

There is one that treats the fence like it is a minor B road – and it gets him from the back garden here right the way over to the front of the house via the one story out-building. From here its a quick step down to the road beyond. He is always just fleeting, and his demeanour seems as if he always has ‘places to be, things to see and do.’ He barely gives us a glance. We’ve named him ‘White Body Black Tail’, which just about covers his appearance.

Another visitor we have named ‘Tuxedo Ted’, again I’m sure you can guess how this one looks. When you see his black fur and bright white bib, they make him look as if he is always dressed for a night at a dinner dance or an opera in the West End. He is a shy and elusive creature, hanging around the bottom of the garden, always just out of sight winding our Oscar up no end. In any standoff it’s Oscar who hightails it out of there.

Tuxedo Ted making friends with a stone lion

Now, the favourite of these almost ‘welcome’ guests is a beautiful female feline who (sort of) gets on with Oscar – well, they sniff noses together often, and that is as close as cats can get, short of ‘claws drawn and engaged’… ouch. They’ve been known to sit on opposite sides of the lawn having an ‘stare us out if you can’, ‘eye dance’ moment, until one concedes and the other is King of the patch, (well for an hour anyway….)

Kiera the cat
Friendly Kiera sitting on Oscars patch

This thin but strong, young upstart likes to come and settle in the borders or under the tree. Often sunning herself in the morning rays … oh but wait a minute ….. there she goes again…., we can just make out her rear end and grass-snake tail as it turns right at the corner beneath the pine tree…., but, panic over, it’s our old faithful visitor (You can breathe easily again Osc, no marauding tiger this, just) little Kiera your neighbourhood friend of many a year.

We never feed Kiera or let her in the house. She is already well fed and looked after but has taken a shine to sleeping in our back garden for some reason. When the weather takes a turn for the worse though, she’ll stay home, so and we hardly see her in the Autumn and Winter.

We have called the beautiful cat ‘Kiera’ as she has the eyes of a famous beautiful, English actress. You may quite easily guess who. 

“Good Afternoon Ted”, And the same to you “Oscar”.

Louis Wain, Cats in Dogland

Louis Wain was an English artist best known for his drawings, which often featured anthropomorphised large-eyed cats and kittens. However the scope of work was far wider than this. He was a true artist but combined this with an approach to the rendering of his art in a unique and unprecedented style.

Wain was born on the 5th August 1860, so lived to the good age of 79, passing away on 4th July 1939. His father was a textile trader and embroiderer; his mother was French. He was the first of six children, and the only male child. None of his five sisters ever married.

Annuals By Lois Wain
A selection of Wains Annuals, issued from 1905 to 1914 © Louis Wain

Wain was born with a cleft lip and the doctor gave his parents the orders that he should not be sent to school or taught until he was ten years old. In his later years he may have suffered from schizophrenia (although this claim is widely disputed among many specialists if this is true or not), which, according to some psychiatrists, can be seen in his works.

Shortears Began And Sung A Solo. Then All The Cats Joined And Sung The Chorus To Madame’s Satisfaction (1886) © Louis Wain/Chris Beetles Gallery London

As a youth, he was often truant from school, and spent much of his childhood wandering around London. Following this period, Louis studied at the West London School of Art and eventually became a teacher there for a short period.

Two Jugs Of Milk

At the age of 20, Wain was left to support his mother and his five sisters after his father’s death.

The Naughty Puss, and of course ….
… The Good Puss

Wain soon resigned from his teaching position to become a freelance artist, and in this role he achieved substantial success. He specialized in drawing animals and country scenes, and worked for several journals including the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, where he stayed for four years. He also worked for the Illustrated London News from 1886.

I am very happy because everbody loves me

Through the 1880s, Wain’s work included detailed illustrations of English country houses and estates, along with livestock he was commissioned to draw at agricultural shows. His work at this time includes a wide variety of animals, and he maintained his ability to draw creatures of all kinds throughout his lifetime. At one point, he hoped to make a living by drawing dog portraits, but he didnt need to …

Dogs In Catland © Louis Wain

Wain became one of the most popular commercial illustrators in the history of England. His cats, dogs and other animals captured the imagination of the Edwardian era and his work helped to promote domestic cats to unprecedented heights. Before Wain, cats in England were often thought of with contempt, but his work humanised them and helped to show them as something to be liked, admired and even loved.

Peter the Cat, Emilys friend sat in thegarden
Peter the Cat, Emilys friend sat in the garden

His illustrations were so popular that throughout the beginning of the twentieth-century most homes had at least one of his famous cat annuals and many nurseries had Wain posters hanging on their walls. “He made the cat his own” H.G. Wells once remarked. “…he invented a cat style, a cat society, a whole cat world.” At the age of 23, Wain married his sisters’ governess, Emily Richardson, who was ten years his senior (which was considered quite scandalous at the time), and moved with her to Hampstead in north London. Emily soon began to suffer from breast cancer, and died three years into their marriage. Prior to Emily’s death, Wain discovered the subject that would define his career. During her illness, Emily was comforted by their pet cat Peter, a stray black and white kitten they had rescued after hearing him mewing in the rain one night.

Apple Tree Cats

Emily’s spirits were greatly lifted by Peter, and Louis began to draw extensive sketches of him, which Emily strongly encouraged him to have published. She died before this happened, but he continued to make cat sketches. He later wrote of Peter, “To him, properly, belongs the foundation of my career, the developments of my initial efforts, and the establishing of my work.” Peter can be recognized in many of Wain’s early published works.

See more of Wains Work here

If you wish to buy an original of Wains work then try the Chris Beetles Gallery

References: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Wain & other sources./p>

Other Illustrations by Wain using Pencil and Pen & Ink

The door of the Annual
A Cats Nightmare
A selection of Wains ‘Fractal Cat’ Illustrations
The Man Himself. Bringing Joy to so many, us included eh Osc.

Jacobo the Andean cat

Andean cats are rare and rarely seen. At last count it was reported that only 1,378 adults exist and those are scattered over more than 150,000 square kilometers (roughly 580,000 square miles) of highlands from northeastern Peru to Patagonia. So when Jacobo showed up there were a few puzzled faces in town.

Cat of the Month ~ December 2020
Jacobo, the beautiful Andean cat

Photograph: © https://news.mongabay.com/

 

Jacobo was spotted in the middle of a artificial grass football field in Bolivia, and he was far from anywhere that should have been home. Not knowing what else to do, local people put the Endangered cat in a birdcage to hand it over to authorities.

At first glance no bigger than a housecat, this feline had ended up such a distance from its usual haunts, high-up in the mountains of Chile, Argentina and Peru, that it was and still is, a mystery. However, this extraordinary circumstance gave conservationists a chance to learn about an animal they are dedicated to saving, but had rarely seen.

The Andean cat ranges from remote areas of central Peru to the Patagonian steppe. Perfectly adapted to extreme environments, this small feline is though threatened by habitat degradation and hunting.

Jacobo was lucky in that he was given to the Andean Cat Alliance, and instead of being kept captive, the members agreed there and then to forego the extraordinary opportunity to study the animal it had been gifted, and instead, try to return “Jacobo” to the wild.

Cordinators Rocío Palacios and Lilian Villalba orchestrated the multinational volunteer release effort. Jacobo was first examined to reveal no health problems. The conservationists then equipped Jacobo with a GPS collar in the hope that tracking his travels will reveal new data about this particular secretive cat, and others of his kind.

Andean cats are said to be a symbol of the Andes Mountains

Photograph: © https://news.mongabay.com/

Jacobo was released safe and sound in the Sajama National Park, in Bolivia. After the first few days of tracking his radio signal, he began venturing farther away from the release site.

Read the full story of Jacobo and the Andean Cat Alliance (AGA) on the Mongobay website.

The elusive Andean cat caught on camera trap. A stunning feline in a stunning location

Photograph: © Wildlife Conservation Network (link).

Ruby

27th October is ‘National Black Cat Day’ in the UK when Cats Protection highlight, in particular, all the beautiful black cats needing adoption. They have hundreds of them in their centres, so we can’t work out why anybody wouldn’t like to have a black cat as a companion…. they’re just like any other cat, and that’s straight from the horse’s mouth.

National Black Cat Day was created way back in 2011, as Cats Protection statistics showed that black cats were taking longer to rehome than other domestics. This situation has gotten a lot better since then, but of course, there is always room for improvement. This special day was thought up so as to highlight the fact that these black moggies are being forgotten by families taking on a new cat. At the same time lots of happy owners celebrate the beauty of their black cats on this special day. That, reader, includes me (little Oscar).

Anyway, what better day to celebrate the happy story of one black cat called Ruby who was reunited with her happy owner just this month, after being missing for two whole years!

Cat of the Month ~ October 2020
Ruby the cat
Ruby found, safe and sound

Photograph: © Cats Protection

Ruby went missing from her home near Brogborough, close to a major junction and lorry park on the M1 motorway, in April 2018.

About three weeks ago she was found by security guard Leighton Myers on an industrial estate where he works in Coventry. He was feeding Ruby and, with the help of Cat’s Protection, traced her ownership to Jordan Harvey in Bedfordshire, 60 miles away. Mr Harvey drove to Coventry to collect her and Ruby knew him immediately. Just where she was between April 2018 and October 2020 when Mr Myers started feeding her we will never know but she is healthy and happy. Both Ruby and Jordan were over the moon to be re united with each other once again.

If you think that you could give a loving home to a beautiful black cat ( or other) or support in any other way, please have a look at the Cats Protection website below.

Link: National Black Cat Day | Events | Cats Protection

Cats Protection Black Cat Day Tweet

Oh, and Happy Black Cat Day one and all.

Southern Tiger Cat

The little, spotted Southern Tiger Cat (Leopardus guttulus) aka ‘Southern Little Spotted Cat’ is a fairly new wild cat species native to Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. When found in the tropical rainforest of southern Brazil it was long referred to as an Oncilla, a Tigrina or a Tiger cat. A study of the cat’s genetics in 2013 found that it wasn’t interbreeding with Oncilla populations and had, as a result, become genetically distinct. So now these ‘Oncilla’ cats are referred to as either Southern Tiger Cats or Northern Tiger Cats (Leopardus tigrinus).

Cat of the Month ~ August 2020
Souther Tiger Cat
A Young Southern Tiger Cat caught at night

Photograph: © Gustavo Pinto

Tiger cats are one of the smallest cat species in the Americas. A fully grown Tiger Cat can range from 1.8 kg to 3.5 kg in weight. They are nimble and extremely sleek animals, with a narrow but stocky head and neck, muscular shoulders and very large ears. The irises are golden or light brown. Males are generally larger than females. The fur of the Southern Tiger cat has a yellowish-brown ground colour, with large, rounded open rosettes of camouflage. Melanism is common. The paler belly fur is covered with dark spots.

The Tiger Cat’s fur is thick and short and does not turn forward in the nape region as it does on the Ocelot and Margay. Limbs are spotted on the outside and the long tail has spots at the root, developing into irregular rings with a black tip. The tail is short measuring just 60% of the head and body length.

The Southern Tiger cat ranges from Central to southern Brazil, eastern Paraguay and north-eastern Argentina. The northern limits of its geographic range are still unclear, so whether it overlaps with Northern Tiger Cats and to what extent is still not known. Sources state it reaches Central Brazil in the states of Minas Gerais, Goiás and the Atlantic forest of central-south Bahia in the northeast region.

A captive Southern Tiger Cat with very chunky paws!

Photograph: © Creative Commons

The Southern Tiger cat occurs in a variety of habitats, from dense tropical and subtropical rainforests, deciduous/semi-deciduous, and mixed pine forests, to the open savannah, and beach vegetation. In the Pantanal (wet/swampy savannah), it is very rare and has been recorded only in the dry savannas, but not in the marshy areas.

The Southern Tiger cat also inhabits disturbed areas such as agricultural fields where there is an abundance of rodents but its occurrence is limited by the presence of natural cover. Both telemetry information and scat analysis indicate the cats do not venture into disturbed areas, but only skirt around their borders, where it has been shown that Rodent abundance is more pronounced.

Southern Tiger cats tend to avoid areas where the Ocelot is found in large numbers. As a generalist carnivore and the largest and most adaptable of the small cat species in tropical America, the Ocelot dominates the other small cat species. In fact the Southern Tiger Cats are in fear of being the prey of these Ocelots. This negative effect on other small cat species is known to scientists as “the ocelot effect”. When Ocelots inhabit protected areas, the smaller cats can be forced into adjacent unprotected areas, where the threat of habitat loss and human interaction is greater.

A young Tiger Cat on the forest floor.

Photograph: © Gambarini on procarnivoros.org.br

The Southern Tiger cat has been observed as being a solitary felid. It is active predominantly at night, but can also show varying degrees of diurnal activity. This activity during any time of the day is suggested as a strategy to avoid the Ocelot. On the other hand, Tiger Cat numbers are not affected by the presence of the Margay and Jaguarundi, which are more likely potential competitors for similar sized prey.

Tiger cats are excellent climbers, but spend most of their time on the ground as most of their prey is terrestrial. When threatened, they show an aggressive behavior with arched back and raised hair, besides showing the teeth and producing a “whistling-spitting” vocalization.

The Southern Tiger cat’s diet is still very poorly studied, but is known to consist mostly of small mammals, birds and reptiles (especially lizards) and can include larger prey over 1 kg. This suggests that this small felid is a generalist predator, taking advantage of the most readily available resources in the area.

Very little information about the Tiger cat’s reproduction in the wild is available. Reproduction occurs year round, but could show different peaks in different areas. The gestation period lasts for 75-78 days, after which 1 to 3 kittens are born, but the normal litter is just one. The eyes are open at around 8 to 17 days. Weaning occurs at two to three months and young are about adult body size at 11 months of age. These felids are reported to have a lifespan ofs 15 – 21 years.

Southern Tiger Cat Conservation and Research organisations report that the global conservation status for the Southern Tiger Cat is Vulnerable (VU) and populations are declining. One of the Organisation dedicated to research and conservation of the smaller cats of Latin America: is the Institute Pro-Carnivores – Wild Cats of Brazil. Here is thier Carnivores – webpage showing the Shouthern Tiger Cat.

link to the red list website
The world wide ‘Red List’ partnership.[Est. 2000]

A group of Organisations dedicated to saving animals from extinction