The Arabian leopard

The Arabian leopard is native to the Arabian Peninsula, but fewer than 200 animals live in the wild. Fortunately, the Arabian Wildlife Centre has been breeding it for more than a decade in order to try to save this beautiful animal from extinction. Continue reading


In praise of the Russian Blue

“The Naming of Cats” in T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats (1939) might have been written for the Russian Blue. Such a unique cat demands a name that befits its character and reputation. Continue reading

“Cats” – no, not that one, the other one!

Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats is a delightful collection of poems by T. S. Eliot. Today, they are best known because of the Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical, but composer Alan Rawsthorne and actor Robert Donat gave us an earlier, equally splendid version. Continue reading


Agile acrobats of Africa up the ante

The smallest wild cat in Africa is the Black Footed Cat. Its sleek, tawny fur is marked with bold, black spots and black rings around the legs, which provide this diminutive hunter with perfect camouflage, especially on moonlit nights. Continue reading


Iberian lynx make a come back

The Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus), a native of Portugal and Spain, is the most endangered species of cat in the world. If it dies out, it will be the first feline extinction since the sabre-toothed cat 10,000 years ago. Recently, the future of one of the world’s rarest cats has improved, although it’s not good news for rabbits. Continue reading


“Tyger! Tyger! Burning bright” – but not for much longer

“The Tyger” is a poem by the English painter and poet William Blake, published in 1794 as part of his collection Songs of Experience. Blake may never have seen a tiger (London Zoo only opened the year after his death), but he would have deplored the callousness of a world that allowed them to become extinct. Continue reading