The people who created wildcat hybrids such as Jean Mill (the Bengal cat) and Paul Casey (the California Spangled cat) did so in order to allow people to be closer to nature. These cat breeds allow people to see nature in their living room. The dream-like objective was to motivate people to become more concerned about the protection of wildlife. But people are going in the opposite direction despite the continuing popularity of wild cat hybrids as pets. They are missing the point.
People enjoy the company of wildcat hybrids provided they can cope with them because on occasions there is some doubt about that. That wildcat element in them can be a bit of a handful sometimes which is an interesting observation because perhaps it tells us that people do not want to be reminded of nature. They don’t want to be that close to nature because it is too uncomfortable.
There is an argument that humankind likes to distance itself from nature. This makes humankind an orphan from their origins which is of course nature. Perhaps this recognition reminds people of their animal instincts which they find uncomfortable.
One of the great taboo topics which touches upon the conflict between humankind and nature is the continuing human population growth leading to urban sprawl. This forces out wildlife from their areas of natural distribution and home ranges into areas where there are human settlements resulting in a conflict between those animals and humans, which in turn always results in the animal suffering or being killed. There are exceptions because the coyote, for example, is a great survivor and has learned to live with humans but ironically, for cat lovers, this results in them preying on domestic cats allowed to wander outside far more commonly.
I would argue that people need to take on board those lofty objectives of the founders of wild cat hybrids which is to generally embrace nature. The objectives can be achieved by discussing and doing the unthinkable which is controlling human population growth. Inline with that there should be a stabilisation of economic growth to the point where it is neutral i.e. neither retracting or increasing. It’ll require the impossible: world coordination.
That newfound stability in population and economic growth would then allow people to live much more successful in harmony with wildlife. It would allow them more space and permanent homes in reserves and large areas where they could live naturally. Rather than being pushed off, squeezed out, poached, exploited, persecuted, sold for their body parts or shot for the fun of it (sport and trophy hunting).
When we look at a wildcat hybrids we should look at nature, the natural world and the natural behaviour of wild animals and we should embrace it and allow it to thrive.
Inadvertently and in typical Donald Trump style, he has brought domestic cats into the presidential…