King Tut is a wild cat hybrid. Big Cat Rescue (BCR) have decided that King Tut is a Savannah cat but they weren’t sure and they still might not be sure because his appearance, to me, is not a classic high filial Savannah cat appearance. And King Tut looks a little bit like a high filial Chausie which is a cross between a jungle cat and a domestic cat. As you might know, the high filial Savannah cat is a cross between a serval and a domestic cat. And the phrase “high filial” in this instance refers to F1 or F2. It is perhaps fair to say that King Tut falls between a Chausie and a Savannah cat. Perhaps he is a Savannah crossed with a Chausie?
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With these high filial cats, you have more wild cat in them, obviously, and therefore their behaviour is more like a wild cat species. But the story of King Tut is interesting and sad I would say. The first problem is that it is not clear what kind of hybrid he is.
He started his life somewhere and BCR don’t have the history of this cat. All they know is that he was trapped by animal control because no one claimed him. He was with a Bengal cat. King Tut was driven to BCR by the Audubon Society to see what they thought.
BCR described King Tut as “an unknown mix but closely resembles a jungle cat”. They described his behaviour as “not as friendly” as the Bengal cat which meant it was difficult to home him.
And by “not as friendly” I would take that as meaning more wild and therefore more difficult to integrate into a human home as a domestic cat. This led me to believe that this is an F1 Chausie or F1 Savannah. Savannah cats are meant to have markings which are reminiscent of the serval which is a spotted coat. The jungle cat does not have a spotted coat but of course when you create a hybrid you incorporate within that cat the coat of the domestic cat who was chosen to mate with the jungle cat. And I suspect that in this instance it was a spotted tabby cat.
My gut feeling is (and I could well be wrong) that King Tut is a F1 Chausie. They can be very active. And quite difficult to live with. I remember Helmi Flick, the cat photographer, and her husband Ken, adopting a F1 Chausie some years ago and they found it impossible to live with the cat. Too active and too dynamic. Ken described the cat as if they were on crack cocaine!
A sad aspect of King Tut at BCR is that he was and is not well. In the video the veterinarian describes a neurologic condition to do with the central nervous system, which is causing clear symptoms. He has been through various examinations and tests including a test of the spinal fluid as far as I can tell. He’s been on steroids and vitamins.
I take these to be general treatments because the veterinarians don’t know what the problem is. Steroids and vitamins help to boost a feeling of well-being and general health. But they are unspecific.
As at the date of this post, May 5, 2022, I don’t have an update on King Tut’s health. I must say, judging by the report from BCR on November 20 30,019, that his prognosis did not look good. His health looked shaky.
Note: This is an embedded video from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source or the video is turned into a link which stops it working here. I have no control over this.
But perhaps the interesting aspect of King Tut’s life is that he was abandoned. We don’t know the name of owner who abandoned King Tut and the Bengal cat. He had to be rescued and he appears to have a serious health problem which may be an inherited condition. His behaviour is unsuitable for rehoming it seems. He will have to live at BCR has a wild cat. The point that I’m getting to is that King Tut should not have come into existence. He’s probably felt miserable and a lot of money has been spent on him. It’s been a mistake.
BCR have behaved impressively. The concern and money that goes into one cat is pretty inspiring. They must have enormous expenditure which is the reason why Carole Baskin is constantly raising money. And she does a wonderful job of it. She is enormously competent and a very good speaker. It takes someone like that to keep BCR afloat.
Carole Baskin has made it clear in previous pronouncements and interviews that she is very much against the creation of wild cat hybrids. The sad story of King Tut is a good example as to why.
Personally, I am with PETA on this. I think humankind needs a complete rejigging of their culture in relation to the possession and ownership of exotic creatures. It doesn’t matter whether they are cats or any other species. Humans are too obsessed with possession of the exotic and this extends to inanimate objects as well. I don’t like it. It is ultimately destructive and highly self-indulgent.