New Giant Breed of Cat to be Imported to Australia
London Zoo houses some beautiful serval cats, a larger, sleeker version of the domestic cat. Now a hybrid has been bred, known as a SAVANNAH CAT, by crossing a serval with a domestic cat.
I should like to share a really amusing article which appears in today's Melbourne Times and is written by a stand up comedian, Michael Connell.
I'M really not a cat person. So I was horrified to hear that people are trying to import a new kind of giant cat.
Cat breeders have managed to cross a type of African wildcat called a serval with a regular house cat.
Apparently somebody watched a serval make a kill on the plains of Africa and thought; "Hey, that'd make a great pet!"
The new hybrid breed is called a "savannah cat". The name comes from its typical habitat.
Breeders were going to name them after their typical behaviour, but it seems nobody wants to buy a "can-bring-down-a-buffalo cat".
While there's laws against bringing big cats into Australia (something people always forget when they buy a cheap tiger in Bali), there are no laws against domestic/wild hybrid cats.
Or dog/wolf hybrids. Or even man/bat hybrids - yeah, Dracula could just walk in!
The Government is looking at this loophole, and I hope they close it.
I don't want to get eaten by a lion that got in because it's 1/18th tabby.
Much larger than regular cats, savannahs can jump two metres from a standing start. Naturally, people are worried about them eating our native wildlife.
Personally, I'm more worried about them eating me.
Conservationists and wildlife groups predict that once introduced the savannah will begin killing all the creatures that you find in the bush: bilbies, possums, Swedish backpackers, etc.
I think we should not allow people to import these tabby/serval hybrids, at least until we've crossbred our possums with rhinos. It'd give them a fighting chance.
Although, admittedly it'd make it harder to sleep when they get in your roof.
I just don't see the need for these giant cats. It might be good to have a cat if you've got pests like rats or mice, but who's going: "Let's get a savannah cat. That'll fix our antelope problem."
Owning one would just be a pain; hairballs the size of beachballs . . . trying to buy Whiskas in wildebeast flavour . . . when it's shedding your house would look like a barbershop floor.
Plus I'm sure it'd create tension with your neighbours; imagine how emasculated the bogan next door will feel when his rottweiler is torn to bits by your moggie: "Hi, Barry . . . really sorry about this but Cujo just got eaten by our Tiddles."
I can only think of one good reason to buy a giant cat: to put a saddle on it and ride it around like He-Man.
That would be fun, but I think it'd grow old fast.
I mean how long can you ride round in fur hot pants shouting; "BY THE POWER OF GREYSKULL!"?
Has anyone considered the elderly in all this? As we all know little old ladies always end up with thousands of cats.
For some reason when old ladies blow out the candles on their 70th birthday cake and the first thought through their head is: "Wow, I need another 30 cats. Twelve is just not enough!"
Can you imagine what that'd be like with these savannahs? Visiting Gran will be like going to Werribee's open range zoo.
What if they got loose and started breeding in the wild? After a couple of generations they'll have bred out the puss leaving only crazy feral African jungle cat genes.
Breeders say that all the savannahs will be neutered before they are imported.
They say this will not only stop them breeding, but also make them less aggressive.
I dunno, if some vet neutered me, I reckon I'd be more aggressive. I'd probably be more likely to go out and kill.
Michael Connell is a Melbourne stand-up comedian who performs on August 15 in One Night Stand Up at Gemco Theatre, Emerald
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