Another beautiful Bengal cat photograph by Helmi Flick. The cat’s name is Ruba. I don’t know anything about Ruba except from what I see in the photograph and that Helmi is the photographer. Ruba has been photographed on a specially constructed photographic studio table, which provides a fairly narrow walkway which keeps active cats like Bengals in focus! Or at least it helps to keep the cat in focus. You’ll see great compositions captured by Helmi combined with dynamic movement but it all happens in the blink of an eye. The strobe flash freezes that.
Ruba is obviously a spotted Bengal cat. There are a range of spot types and a range of patterns. What type of spots are these? Well in my opinion having studied my little chart, these are what breeders call ‘pawprints’. The other type of spots are donuts and arrowheads. You can see the full range on Bengal Cat Coat.Here is a photograph of a leopard cat. You can see the similarity, can’t you? In fact the leopard cat seems quite slight compared to the modern largish Bengal cat. As you probably know the leopard cat is the wild cat ancestor of the Bengal cat. It is this cat that was first used to create the first generation (f1) foundation cats that formed the breed. The leopard cat (sometimes called the Asia leopard cat) is a similar size to the Bengal cat but you can see that the pattern is a higher contrast and there is a lot of high contrast white on the face and the undersides.
The white background and contrasty spots on the undersides of the leopard cat are typical of many wild cat species. I expect that Bengal cat breeders like to achieve the same but will never quite replicate the true wild cat ancestor. The purpose behind the creation of the the first mainstream wild cat hybrid was to remind people of the plight of the small wild cat species. Unfortunately this goal has been lost in the mists of time and the small wild cats continue to be persecuted.
The leopard cat is possibly less than the ideal choice as one half of a new wild cat hybrid cat as, unlike a number of other small wild cats such as the margay, they are almost impossible to domesticate. The leopard cat is fiercely wild and independent. Is this partly why there was concern at the beginning of this breed’s show career about the higher levels of aggression in this wild cat hybrid?