Photographer's Note

African Wild Cat (Felis Lybica)

Once upon a time the cat did not live in the houses of men. She lived only in the bush or in the jungle.

One cat became friendly with a rabbit. She went everywhere with the rabbit and was astonished at the craftiness of her friend. One day a duiker (small African antelope), fought with the rabbit and killed it with its horns. As her friend was dead the cat lived with the duiker. Then the duiker was killed by a leopard, so the cat decided to live with the leopard. A few days later they met with a lion. The lion fought the leopard and killed it. The poor cat then made friends with the lion and lived with him until one day they met a herd of elephant. A huge bull fought with the lion and killed it.

The cat thought to herself, "I must make friends with an animal as large and strong as this elephant - surely nothing can defeat it!" But her troubles were not yet over, for one day a hunter shot the elephant with a poisoned arrow and the elephant died.

Now the cat did not know what to do, for she had never seen a two-legged animal such as this. She thought hard and said to herself, "if this man can kill a huge animal like an elephant, I had better make friends with him so that I can live in safety." She followed the hunter back to his home, and when the hunter entered his hut the cat crept up on to the veranda. She heard sounds of quarrelling in the hut and saw the man in flight from a woman who was beating him with a stick for stirring porridge.

The cat said to herself, "Now I have seen the strongest of all creatures - a woman!"

Ever after this the cat has lived in the huts with the women, because it is they who are all-powerful.

With Genetic Science scientists are now certain that the domestic cats are descended from the African wild cat shown in this photo. These cats are becoming increasingly rare in South Africa due to their ability to breed with domestic cats and from the diseases transmitted to them from their domestic cousins.

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Additional Photos by Gerhard Theron (GerhardT) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 13 W: 0 N: 25] (76)
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