Warning – mild cat-related rant follows:
I think I’ve seen it all now. A news clip from National Geographic says there’s a woman who is creating a new kind of cat, modeled after Bengal tigers – called a toyger.
According to this article, this woman thinks she’s helping wild tigers by creating a small housecat in their image and donating part of the sales of kittens to tiger conservation. She says people will possibly remember wild tigers by having toygers.
Photo from National Geographic newsletter
What is wrong with this picture? First, the world does NOT need another kind of cat, tiger-striped or otherwise. What – the standard “tiger cat” isn’t pretty enough? The breeder admits the toygers have absolutely no tiger genes (thank God!) and that she is striving for a look-alike. I have one more question: Why? OK, two more questions: Are you insane?
The world is overrun with unwanted cats and kittens. Controlling feral cats is a huge, huge problem with no workable solution as yet. Cats are responsible for the deaths of literally millions – millions in the big plural – of birds and small animals every day. And we need to ‘create’ (where are the ethics in that?) another breed to remind us of wild tigers which we have allowed to become nearly extinct? This will ease our consciousness about how we treat the creatures of Planet Earth?
The toyger creator seems to think toygers will “make up for the loss of these species [tigers] on Earth due to our stupidity.” Huh? How is a look-similar domesticated artificially bred housecat on velvet pillows going to make up for wild tigers – Bengal or otherwise? Gasp.
The article also mentions Bengal cats – similarly created years ago by breeders to resemble another wild cat – ocelot, I think – that are now “overwhelming” shelters. Fashion gone bad at the expense of the cats.
I like cats. I like cats that are fat and lazy and sleep on the windowsill. I don’t like cats that roam free and kill just because they can. And there’s something just wrong with artificially creating a cat for money and ego using the very real and very serious threat to wild tigers as an excuse. If I were a tiger, I think I’d really be insulted.
It would seem to me that much more would be accomplished for saving tigers if people would gain some common sense; if government would create and enforce environmental laws that work – and if those willing to plunk down $3,000 or more for a tiger-lookalike to impress their egotistical friends just donated the money to tiger conservation organizations instead.
Sometimes – life is ridiculous.