Monday, February 20, 2012

Picture of a Puma in Brazil

Here is a beautiful puma (AKA cougar or mountain lion) in Brazil, specifically the Pantanal. It was taken in 2009 by photographer: Greg S. Garrett and is published on Flickr also.

Puma - Brazil - Photo by Greg S. Garrett

I find the photo very interesting. It has nice composition and a painterly quality. This is probably deliberate but Greg can explain why if he wants to in a comment!

The puma has the widest distribution of all the world's wildcats in the Western Hemisphere. The range extends in the north from well into Alaska.  In the south it extends to the southern areas of South America. The one wild cat with a larger range on the planet is the common leopard. These cats are very adaptable. The puma can live in jungle and more open areas.

The puma is probably in the top three of the world's best feline jumpers. They have great skill and power in that department. Their hind legs are unusually long providing extra leverage.

Personally I find it sad that people are still allowed to hunt this animal in the USA. No doubt the gun lobby and right wingers prevent any change to national or regional legislation.

See more about the Puma: Puma Range -- Puma Cat -- Wild Cats of the World Map.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Feline Symmetry and Grace

Feline Grace by fofurasfelinas
Feline Grace, a photo by fofurasfelinas on Flickr.
This photograph by Giane Portal has a nice symmetry. I don't mean a symmetry in composition but a symmetry between the dark swirls of the classic tabby pattern and the swirling curling movement of this cat, whose name is Maru.

As Giane says the photograph shows us the typical graceful feline movement.

Maru has a very nice, show cat style, classic tabby pattern with a clean center.

Maru looks very alert and alive. Nice picture Giane as always. Please note that the photograph is copyright protected. If you would like to use it, please ask Giane.

Goku - the cat with an inky face

Goku by fofurasfelinas
Goku, a photo by fofurasfelinas on Flickr.
This handsome cat has what I have described as an inky face. It looks like someone has spilt some black ink over his face but in an attractive manner.

Goku is a black and white bicolor cat. I think the ink spillage effect comes because the black pattern is irregular.

Fairly often in bicolor cats like Goku you can see a fairly regular pattern and sometimes a symmetrical pattern.

Apparently he has a heart shaped patch of fur as well. Goku lives in Brazil and was photographed by the famous Giane Portal, Flickr name: foforasfelinas.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Maine Coon Slide Show

The best Maine Coon pictures on the internet in a large format slide show. Most of the pictures are of course by the celebrated Helmi Flick. The cats that Helmi photographs are nearly always show cats and some are really high class award winners at the top of the show cat tree. Some of the other pictures are by Dani who lives in the Netherlands. She is an amateur photographer and breeds cats including traditional Persians, Ragdolls and Maine Coons. All the photos have credits.

Fine photos by Helmi Flick, Dani and others

The Maine Coon has a very distinguished appearance I think. It is what cuts them out from other purebred cats.

You will see "pretty" Maine Coons registered with the CFA and more shaggy, natural Maine Coons registered with TICA. You will see a slight difference between the US Maine Coons and the Dutch cats.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Kung-Fu Cat Picture

A genuine kung-fu cat photographed by Barry Primrose published on Flickr. Of course we are only kidding because cats don't do kung-fu but this is a nice picture of what I presume to be cats at play. Cat play is a form fighting or attacking prey which is why the ginger tabby bicolor cat (Bob) has his mouth open about to bite the upper back or neck of the cowering brown tabby. I don't think the brown tabby is submissive to Bob, just playing the attacked cat at that moment.

Kung-Fu cat - Photo copyright Barry Primrose - published here with his permission

I think Barry did a really nice job of capturing the action both in terms of timing and freezing the action. This requires a fast shutter speed and a good eye. I have a feeling, though, that these two cats like some rough and tumble routinely (social play) which makes it easier for Barry to get his shot.

A bit about cat play

The picture might have captured the pounce following the face-off. These are two postures/actions in the social play of cats.

In the development of kittens social play is physical interaction between kittens. The series of behavior patterns that describe social play are modified and restricted versions of the sort of behavior we see in aggressive encounters between adult cats or when preying on other animals.

I was informed that kittens learn how hard to bite during play. Facial expressions apparently give a signal that this is play and not for real. Play between kittens takes place most often at age 9 - 14 weeks. Social play stops at about 14 weeks of age. Cats then play with objects like balls etc.

The two cats in the picture seem to be adults. Why are they play fighting? If they are indeed play fighting it is because as is the case for all domestic cats, they have been kept in a state kittenhood by their human caretaker.

See an F2 Savannah cat at play in a cat play tunnel. And some more detail on cat play.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Picture of Sad Siamese and Sleepy Persian

This little collage of two purebred cats These cats represent the extremes.
Sad Siamese - Sleepy Persian

It is odd looking at them and to think that they are domestic cats. You can see that this a due to selective breeding. In the wild you do not see this sort of variation.

The top cat is a modern Siamese and the bottom an ultra typed Persian (contemporary Persian).

Ragdoll cat photo by Giane Portal

Giane takes lots of brilliant cat photographs so I have chosen this one more or less at random. They are all great photos. You can see some more of her Ragdoll photos on this Flickr page.

You know what they say about Ragdoll in relation to the eyes. Well this cat has the Ragdoll eyes: clear, crystal China-blue. The face looks perfect Ragdoll to me. It is a pointed face like the Siamese but interrupted by the white spotting gene producing a very symmetrical inverted, white "V". This is the way I visualise the Ragdoll face.

Anne Baker the creator of the breed also created a ton of mystery around the creation. This has proved very effective, actually. It was no doubt done deliberate to create interest while seeking recognition for the breed.

It is all fiction, of course! We just have a very attractive long haired that tends to be docile. Do you live with a hyperactive Ragdoll cat?!

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