Having Kittens

African Black-Footed Cat

I don’t usually hold with Caturday traditions, but I ran across a new article on science rock-star Betsy Dresser, and her gene bank operations, which I thought was worth mentioning.

(The felines in this post’s photos are African Black-Footed cats, but are not of the litter discussed below.)

The latest rare wildcat kittens at a New Orleans conservation center were born from embryos frozen before Hurricane Katrina.

The two male African black-footed cats are among the world’s smallest felines. They’ll grow to about one-third the size of the average housecat.


What caught my eye was the combination of easy transportation/storage, and the fact that these mini-leopards are 1/3rd the size of most housecats.

Fact: people love things that are tiny.

Will the African Black-Footed Cat be the boutique pet of tomorrow? Is this the next step towards genetic engineering for the masses?

Scientists in Omaha, Neb., collected and froze the father’s sperm in 2003. At the Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species, it was combined in March 2005 with eggs from a black-footed cat in the center’s collection.

The embryos were kept frozen until December. On Dec. 7, the thawed embryo was implanted into a second female black-footed cat. The kittens, which don’t yet have names, were born Feb. 13.


Male African Black-Footed Cat sharpens his claws - http://www.wildcatconservation.org/Black-footed-Cats.html