One of our great pleasures here at Boxiecat is the cat pictures and cat art that we post and pin on our Facebook and Pinterest pages. This week we gained a Pinterest follower who had a curious picture as a board cover (this is the main picture representing a collection of images). It took our breath away. This is the image we saw:
We were almost certain that it was a cat, but we had never seen it before - with it's ears out on the sides of it's head, and such unusual and beautiful eyes. The caption said this:
"This is a Manul. About 12 million years ago the Manul was one of the first two modern cats to emerge, and it hasn’t changed since."
Ok, we were hooked. Since then, this beautiful cat has been all the talk here at Boxiecat. We had the impression from the pictures that it was about the size of a domestic cat, which it is, and we can't help how drawn we are to this beautiful furry wild cat who reminds us so much to our own domesticated cats.
According to Wikipedia's Manul page, it is also called "Pallas' Cat," after the German naturalist Peter Simon Pallas, who described the species to the western world in 1776 under the binomial Felis manul.
Wikipedia goes on to say the Manul is a small wild cat having a broad but patchy distribution in the grasslands and mountain steppes of Central Asia. The species is negatively impacted by habitat degradation, prey base decline, and hunting, and has therefore been classified as Near Threatened by IUCN since 2002.
We wish all the best for the Manul.