Letter to the Editor

'Tig' the service cat, and his relatives

Monday, September 18, 2017

Dear Editor,

El Dorado Manor has a “service cat” named “Tig.”

He has a new forever home that other felines only dream of having.

In Egypt, cats were buried with the pharaohs in their tombs so they could live with them in the afterlife.

The February 2017 National Geographic magazine features a story about small cats and tracing the lineage of the domestic cat. It is written by Christine Dell’ Amore and has photographs by Nebraska’s own Joel Sartore.

One of the world’s rarest cats is the Iberian Lynx. Scientists have increased its numbers by feeding captive ones and boosting the population of rabbits, the lynx’s staple food. During the 20th century, the lynx became a victim of disease and loss of habitat in Portugal and Spain.

Small domestic cats are a subspecies of the wild cats. They evolved in the Fertile Crescent 10,000 years ago.

Of the five continents where wild cats roam, Asia has the most to lose. It is the home of 14 species of small cats. Much of Southeast Asia’s forestland has been turned into plantations for palm oil. The flat-headed cat and the fishing cat rely on the lowland wetlands for the fish they eat. In Paris, France, the LeParc des Felins, a zoological park, has the most species of small cats in the world.

They have put shopping carts on display. One is filled with palm oil. The other has products that don’t contain it. Both carts contain ice cream, cookies and cereal.

Small cats are quite different from our house cats.

For instance, the black-footed cat an walk nearly 20 miles and eat one-fifth of its body weight in food every night.

A special long-term conservation program in Japan has increased the numbers of the Irionmote cat, a critically endangered sub-species of the leopard.

Tig the cat residing at El Dorado Manor is a lucky fellow. He has been altered, declawed and is not a threat to the finches living in a special glassed-in cage in that facility.

Unlike big cats, he does not roar. Big cats have flexible neckbone called the hyoid, which allows their larynx to roar. In small cats, this is hardened.

Tig has an electronic collar that keeps him out of the dining area. Tig is short for Tigger.

Helen Ruth Arnold,

Trenton, Neb.

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