The wild cat of Crete
Felis Sylvestris Cretensis
The existence of the animal was conjectured by zoologist Dorothea Bate in
1905, upon purchasing three hides in Chania. No less than 88 years later,
Greek and Italian researchers managed to catch an aging individual in the
Platanos Amoriou region after electronic stalking that lasted for several
months. More recently, this cat was captured in one of many photo-traps set
for this purpose on Rouvas mountain by the researchers of the National
History Museum of Crete.
[And yet all this was no news to the locals, who knew "fourokatos" ("furious
cat") as a solitary mountainous hunter of birds and hares ... who at times
upgrades to small sheep, too: an act unthinkable for an ordinary cat,
punishable by death -- after which the surviving sheep are coated in
fourokatos broth in the hope of discouraging further attacks.
Folk opinion varies on the fourokatos' size: some think that he is "four
times as big as a house cat", others dispute that to the point of refusing
him the right to a separate species -- could he be the descendant of house
cats who chose the freedom of the mountain?]
Back to the "garden"