by Deborah-Ann Milettte
Qe Tesh of the Nile (Egyptian for the God of Nature) surveys her domain
Many people don’t realize that before I owned my famous boy “Motzie” I used to rescue, safe-capture and relocate exotic felines. Yes, I am talking about lions, tigers, leopards (to a certain age), servals, caracals and any other kinds of cats that needed my help.
But many people don’t know that living with 8 servals and 2 caracals you learn plenty and I was the first to ever notice that caracals are ear talkers. Caracals can communicate with their ears. Yes, they use their ears to talk to each other, which helps keep them safe in the wild.
I learned with my quite sociable Israeli Caracal, Tesha. She would flip an ear when I walked to the door. I labeled it acceptance. So I chose to take my fingers in a “V” shape and flip one finger back to her. She would reply with one ear flip then the other ear would flip, OK we had acknowledgment.
If Tesha flipped both ears at once she was unsure of who was there if someone else was with me. Constant flipping of both her ears, she was agitated by what ever either entered the room or something that happened.
This became a way of being able to communicate with them and when I would visit zoos, I was the only individual that could get the attention of caracals in there, because I could talk to them.
I even had one zoo employee ask me what I was doing and I told her and I was allowed to go to the back and meet a caracal named Duma and talk with him.
She said I was the first person that had actually been able to touch Duma without harm. I said you always have to ask first and gain the cat’s respect by asking first. That is what I did and Duma accepted me.
Private owners learn and know their animals better than zoos. If you can’t speak to the animal in it’s language then why have the display. It was even funnier to see my Woodland African Serval, Motuka talk caracal talk.