We were talking about big cats in the shop during the week, specifically the definition of “big cat”. The current TV programme is called Big Cats but includes a lot of small cats. Specifically, it includes the Rusty Spotted Cat, which is a very cute cat (which is something you can’t say about a lion or tiger) and rather on the small side. In fact, at 14 to 19 inches long (excluding tail) it is Asia’s smallest cat and a contender for being the world’s smallest cat. (The rival is Africa’s Black-footed cat).
The dictionary tells me that the Big Cats are Tigers, Lions, Jaguars and Leopards. These are all able to roar (apart from Snow Leopards). Sometimes Pumas/Cougars and Cheetahs are allowed in. Unless, as we have seen, you are producing a documentary titled “Big Cats”, when you allow everything in.
It’s a relief to find it’s just sloppy journalism, because I was beginning to think I was going mad.
By coincidence the Sunday repeat came on as I started to write this. They have just shown pumas in Patagonia that prey on penguins. I don’t like their choice of prey, but you have to admire their instinct for alliteration.
There is probably a joke in there somewhere, but it may fall flat in countries where a Penguin isn’t an easily available chocolate biscuit.
Now they are trekking in the Himalayas, tracking a Snow Leopard. Despite the snow and altitude it seems to lead a life that, just like a domestic cat, involves a lot of sleeping. However, as we’ve already established, I’m not one to take the moral high ground in matters related to sleeping.
I had been wondering what you needed to do at school to end up as a wildlife photographer. However, having seen what they had to do in the Himalayas I’m finding that my enthusiasm is fading. I really don’t like all that snow.
Given a choice I would like to specialise in wildlife that lives around the Mediterranean within easy reach of shops.
Though after reading this article I may well settle for life as a travel journalist, as you only have to go for a few weeks.