Feline Solidarity: Domestic Cat Grooms Wild Lynx in Zoo

A tabby and white stray cat (actually the cat looks like a calico) sneaks into the zoo enclosure of a lynx wild cat at St. Petersburg Zoo. This must be a Eurasian lynx, the biggest of the lynx family. He sneaks in and makes friends instantly it seems. He grooms his wild friend and his friendship is reciprocated. Beautiful. It is almost as if the calico cat is sorry for the lynx and trying to make his life better for a moment. I am possibly anthropomorphising this but God it is good.

9 thoughts on “Feline Solidarity: Domestic Cat Grooms Wild Lynx in Zoo”

  1. Yeah the animals are able to teach humans a lesson of openness, love and overcoming differences.

    Zoos are very sad places and they are where children first get desensitized to the feelings and needs of animals. What effect does it have on a child to be in a place like that and have the adults around you encouraging you to enjoy it and appreciate the animals without ever even mentioning the elephant in the room, which is that the animals are all in prison and depressed and exactly not a good example of their respective species simply because they are not behaving as they would in the wild.
    This a long comment I realised – so be warned.

    So a zoo is really a canned version of a sort of mentally lobotomized animal kingdom. But the kids need to be told this. Instead they are told “these are lions” – “these are penguins” – these are….. etc. How could they not get the wrong idea if they are as imprssionable as people say they are?

    It’s just another form of cultural ignorance – in other words part of the ‘zoo experience’ means having to ignore alot of negative things so you can enjoy the bits you want. A real consumer’s choice heaven actually. And nobody will ever challenge your ignorance because it is considered acceptable and if anything it’s more of a requirement than a choice – to ignore. If you start making noise about it people will just frown at you for ‘taking the hard road and choosing not to ignore the inherent stagnant effect zoos have on zoolife, which was maybe never even wild to begin with. I hope so. Because being yanked out of the wild and put in a zoo would be worse than being born into one I suspect.

    Anyway at least something nice happened at this zoo 🙂

    The other day a crazy thing happened. The most unlikely thing, the sort of thing that if you worried about it you would be paranoid and never be able do anything. Basically a folded hammock pouring off the edge of a chair became a noose. A tiny kitten got it’s head stuck in the strings and twisted and twisted making it shorter and tighter until it’s legs could barely reach the ground. Pure horror. If you saw 12 years a slave you know. I was literally about to leave and I did a quick scan and walked towards the kitten and it didn’t back off as usual. I was suprised and then realized it was stuck and suffocating.

    I picked him up and tried to get it off over his head but it was so tight from the twisting. I struggled for a long time to untwist the whole thing whilst keeping the kitten still and the rope around it’s neck from pulling harder whilst I worked on it. The kitten was literally choking and I couldn’t pull the rope over it’s tiny fragile little head. Eventually I managed. Poor thing slid off the chir and crawled under something all scared and shocked.

    Littens being kittens – not 3 minutes later he was swatting at things and generally being silly. That kitten will have a new found trust in humans now. He just had to let me work on it. HE would have died. If I had left 5 minutes earlier the owner would have come home the next day literally to a horror scene of an unimagineable nature.

    This for me is scary because what are the chances? You can’t go through life worrying about the unlikely possibilities like that. I am still pretty confused by it. A friend of mine, who is a parent, made a good point. Yes, I thought it was extreme bad luck. But my friend said you could also just say it was extreme good luck, because I was there to solve it. He said that as a parent he had to let go of all these fears and possibilities. He said in his experience when things like this happen there is very often a person there to solve it quite by chance. Therefore he says to himself that if one of his kids got in a situation, that he hopes that somebody will be there to help.

    You can’t worry about every piece of string because you can’t catch everything. I am a cat person and I might have not left the hammock as such with kittens around but I also might have because it wasn’t threatening. It was up and out of the way. The kitten stood up on back legs to fiddle with it and got stuck. It scares me to think if I had left 5 mins earlier. I don’t understand why. Why did this happen. I believe I am supposed to heed it as advice. Not advice to be paranoid, but advice perhaps to be more aware of that side of things. You can’t go on a plane and spend the whole flight thinking it will crash. You can’t go through life paranoid. So what? Don’t fly or use the challenge as a lesson to overcome those fears? I think it has to be the latter because the former doesn’t make sense. But, here’s the thing, I kind of felt like I was already ok wit this sort of thing.

    And that’s exactly why having it happen in front of me is confusing. I don’t know how to settle it. Where to file it. How to move one from it. This was not a person. This was nature in it’s cruelest and most arbitrary form. The one thing nobody can overcome or control or beat. Nature is harsh. This time shortly coming – two years ago – Red got run over. I’ve since had a thing about June. It’s my dads birthday on 16th and he died not long ago. So June just changed from one year to the next for me – forever. After this incidence I am a little scared of June. That’s me. I know it’s not rational but it’s not mean’t to be.

    The kitten is 100% fine. If anything emotionally affected. I could have kept it to myself and nobody would have ever known about it. What the hell. Why me. How do I make sure to be in the right place at the right time next time? I suppose I have to take note of how it played out.

    The key factor in it was simple. Somebody called urging me to leave quickly because I was late and had to meet them. So I was basically ready and was going to up and leave because I had sorted everything before, it’s not my house. But being in a hurry stresses me. I hate it. And I know I make mistakes if I am in a hurry. I suddenly got that feeling, and I liked it there and wanted to stay anyway. So instead of acting out the feeling as I would sometime and being all stressed and sloppy I said to myself “No, wait, ok, I am leaving, focus, ok one last look around before I go”.

    I could easily have not done that extra check because I checked 5 mins or less before. IT was actually the feeling of stress which forced me to react by being extra organized to counter the feeling of stress. If there wasn’t a hurry, I would have just got up and left. The stress made me look an extra time.

    So here’s my conclusion as to what to ‘do’ about this.

    Whenever I feel like something is not right, and that I could counter balance or change that feeling with some kind of mental exercise or action, I will do it. I’ll make an extra effort to be aware of exactly when I feel things going wrong, and if it happens, I won’t be lazy and react in a destructive way, instead I’ll make an effort to solve it constructively.

    It might seem strange to go into so much detail over a moment and a couple of thoughts, but if you experience something like that you can’t escape it. Your mind just goes back and plays it over and over. You have to do something. You can’t just let it haunt you. So the obvious thing is to try and understand it in a positive and constructive way. I was there! Luckily.

    How to be there and similarly resolve an event of a similar nature another time?

    The one overriding good thing here is – that I was there at the exact right moment and I saw it just in time. That’s the part of it which is incredibly, if not magically good. That’s the part I want to preserve. That’s the part which motivates me forward and it’s the part which makes it possible to move on and not suffer or change for the worse because of it.

    Without that good side I think it gets disturbing. Like PTSD disturbing. Pure bad things happen all over. We are lucky we don’t have to live with such things where others do. Lands far away where evil things happen and quite arbitrarily in some cases too. It’s like a hurricane. or a tornado. It’s a force of nature and humans have always taken issue with it in different ways. In the developed world it seems like the solution is physical control, nothing left to ‘chance’. In India, for me, it’s the opposite. You don’t drive carefully there. You pray to the forces that be and ask that you be spared a horrible accident, and then you drive like a nutter.

    There are different attitudes that deal with this untameable force of nature. How do you surf that wave correctly. Not getting left behind but also not going too soon that it crushes under it’s weight.

    How do you manage your mental state in a way that allows you to best deal with what life gives you, even when it gives you something so impossible that your mind and emotions literally cannot process the information?

    • Zoos are very sad places and they are where children first get desensitised to the feelings and needs of animals

      That is a very good point which should be repeated over and over again. When children look at animals in zoos is it reinforces the idea that animals are objects to be looked at, to entertain people. It reinforces the idea that they can live in small spaces contentedly when species like the lynx require perhaps 10 km² in which to live contentedly.

      I am going to turn the second half about the kitten into an article 😉 Hope you don’t mind. It is interesting and worth an article.

  2. This is so cool! It looks like the Calico is well fed. I wonder if she was recently abandoned or ran away from home? Perhaps they are just letting her feed at will. They are like two peas in a pod. Dee: You are so right, A cat is cat is a cat.

    Definitely an Eurasian Lynx. There is so much wrong in the world, it is nice to see something that is so right.

    • Totally agree, it is lovely to see something positive and constructive in the world and on this occasion it happens to be between 2 cats. And I also agree with Dee, whether wild or domestic they’re all the same and they still relate to each other.

      The world is going through a bad phase I believe and I am not optimistic about the future but I will be out of it if it all goes up with a bang in 20-30 years time!

    • Dusja the cat has been living at the zoo since 2007. She was adopted by yhem when they discovered her inside the lynx enclosure. Their friendship is amazing & they clearly have a special bond

  3. Wonderful to see such a thing but that is not something to rely on. In the wild that lynx has to catch food everyday and anything is fair game. In this case there was an empathy between the two for reasons we can only speculate about and live in wonderment.


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