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"