Hi everyone! My name is Scott Kayser and I’m a zookeeper who has had the privilege of working with fishing cats for the past 5 years. If you have visited the Urban Fishing Cat website (and I’m assuming you have if you are reading this post), you have seen photos of the two handsome cats that I work with. They are brothers and litter-mates named Tegas and Broucek. Through this blog post, I hope to give a little insight into these cats beyond the photos you’ve seen.
I had just finished a pleasant—no, horrible—5k on the most hated machine of any oarswoman/man, the erg, when my phone started lighting up like a malfunctioning Christmas light.
It was fellow GWC associate conservation scientist and Small Cat Advocacy & Research (SCAR) co-founder Ashan on the other end, informing me about a kitten that was found by someone in Colombo, and that the individual in question was asking the Facebook community for advice. Oh, God! He said that judging by the photographs posted online, it seemed to be a Fishing Cat kitten.
I pulled into the driveway, gazing up at the beautiful redwoods through my bug splattered windshield as I parked my car. It’s a year later as I nervously climb the steps to Wild Cat Education and Conservation Fund (WCE&CF) as a new volunteer. As I enter, I hear a warning from inside as Rob moves toward the door to the hallway where the new black leopard kitten is scampering about. Walking in on exotic kittens seems to be in my cards, a déjà vu moment that reminds me of Bandhu. I can’t help but hope that he still has his unique smile, a symphony of soft pink and fluffy white. I am certain that by now all of his kitten fur is gone, replaced by a thick, water repellent coat. Will he recognize me? Definitely not. Kittens forget people and their faces just as easily as we do when we are babies. No, he won’t remember a single thing about me. He won’t remember me gazing down at his heavy eye lids and gaping yawn. He won’t remember the uneven texture of my old jacket, nor will he remember the sound of my voice.