Come away with me to Canada.
After teaching abroad in London, UK; Marrakech, Morocco; and Kaohsiung, Taiwan; I went back to Australia for a visit and a push of the personal 'refresh' button in my home country. But the adventure did not stop there. Now, I am in Ontario, Canada, on a new adventure.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Stumpy Tailed Cats in Indonesia
A friendly short tailed kitten
I know I am not the first tourist to ask a local What is up with the cats’ tails? on Gili Trawangan. If you have ever been to Gili Trawangan – a very small island off Lombok, Indonesia, you will have definitely noticed, and perhaps be bemused by, the strange tails that adorn the pleasant feral cats. Some are stumpy. Some are curly. Some are crooked. Some are just your average, run of the mill long and slender.
I thought about the different reasons for this. Torture? Accident? Mass accident? Diseased? Deformed? I really had no idea so asked a local.
Our Dive Master for the day, Adi, is from Lombok and lives on the island for work. I asked him about the curious cats. Yes, you are not the first to ask. Many tourists ask this. We do not cut off the tails. Cats are cute and fluffy. We do not want to harm them. They are just born that way.
So there it was. There were too many cats and kittens with deformed tails for it to be accidental. And Gili Trawangan’s small population is too polite and relaxed to cause any harm.
Possum like curl
I decided to take this further and did some research for myself.
It seems that the cats in Indonesia and elsewhere through Asia may have descended from the Japanese bobtail breed. This, mixed with interbreeding being that some islands are very small, has increased the chances that a cat will be born with a smaller tail. So rest assured that cats with stumpy or curly tails have not been harmed, but are the result of breeding.
These photos were taken of cats in Gili Trawangen, the largest (far east) of the Gilis off Lombok.