Photos of readers

Last September I did a reader’s photo feature on Divy Figueroa, who does veterinary care on exotic animals, and I’m devoting an unprecedented second feature to her because she’s recently sent me photos of one of her new patients. It’s the kitten of a Geoffroy’s cat (Leopardus geoffroyi), a small (house-cat sized) denizen of South America. One of her and her husband’s clients owns one of these, which is apparently legal if you get it the right way), and Divy participated in two visits when the kitten was examined and given its shots. It’s usually unwise to keep wild animals as pets, but I won’t go into that now. Instead, I’ll show the pictures that Divy sent of herself with the kitten.

Her words:

She [the cat] is a pet, but her owners may use her as a pet ambassador down the road, depending on her behavior. Like any normal house cat, she needs to be up to date on her shots, and be free of any intestinal parasites. She likes to be held for a short while, but does not like to be restrained and poked with needles (can’t say I blame her) so it will be interesting to see how she does next year when she is an adult. She also emits a little series of grunts when she is being held, perhaps a type of purr, I’m not sure.

Here’s Divy with the kitten, the latter four months old.

And a month later for the return visit and inoculations:


And here’s a photo of an adult from Wikipedia:



  1. Posted July 9, 2020 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Such a cute kitten. I would be very interested to see first-hand how its behavior differs from a house cat. The adult looks ready to rip someone’s face off though these things can be deceiving as we have a tendency to see facial expressions on animals where they don’t exist. Still, it’s not large so I’d be willing to risk my hand with a little pat on its head.

  2. jezgrove
    Posted July 9, 2020 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Lovely kitten – keep us posted!

  3. merilee
    Posted July 9, 2020 at 2:57 pm | Permalink


  4. rickflick
    Posted July 9, 2020 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Nice to see the little guy getting good care.

  5. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 9, 2020 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    A very rare cat to get your hands on.

    Another very rare and nearly instinct cat:

    • Mark R.
      Posted July 9, 2020 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      I read that Geoffroy’s cat is actually doing well in the wild across it’s large range.

      Not so much the Iriomote cat. Interesting, I hadn’t heard of that cat; thanks for the link

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted July 9, 2020 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

        Yes, the only reason we had heard about it was while living in Okinawa.

  6. Diana MacPherson
    Posted July 9, 2020 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    The adult picture seems like the cat is thinking, “Damn, I think I might be domesticated”.

    • Posted July 9, 2020 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      Yes… There is definitely some serious concern about some kind of inadequacy going on there.

  7. darrelle
    Posted July 9, 2020 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Oh my. She is just too damn cute. She also looks like she could be all kinds of trouble.

  8. Mark R.
    Posted July 9, 2020 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Wow, what a cutie. I’m interested to know what you meant by her becoming a pet ambassador “depending on her behavior”. Is this an indication of how “domesticated” she becomes; whether she becomes tame or not? I’m with darrelle above “looks like she could be all kinds of trouble”. 😼

    • Divy
      Posted July 9, 2020 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      If I understood correctly, the owner does educational talks (not exactly sure on the subject), but if she grows up friendly enough, he will bring her to said talks as a Pet Ambassador. So far she does seem to have a sweet disposition, just as long as she isn’t getting poked with needles 😳.

      • Mark R.
        Posted July 9, 2020 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

        I see. Thanks for the clarification. Hopefully the needles are few and far between…seems to be the case.

    • eric
      Posted July 10, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      From talking to some Zoo folk about their penguin ‘ambassadors’, they don’t try and domesticate the animals or train them; it’s more that they observe which ones already have tendencies to want to be around humans/feel less stress around humans, do some trial runs with them being around strangers, and if the animal doesn’t get anxious and seems to be okay with the experience, that’s one they select as an ambassador.

      I’m not sure this is the same given the penguin keepers had a large group to select from and penguins aren’t as high octane as kittens, however I’d bet the same principle applies: you’re not trying to foce a specific wild animal to behave well around humans, instead you look at the wild animals you have, and try and select the one or two that most naturally likes being around humans.

      • Mark R.
        Posted July 10, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        That makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the information.

  9. Frank Bath
    Posted July 9, 2020 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    I want one!

  10. Posted July 9, 2020 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    I love Geoffrey’s cat!

  11. Debra Coplan
    Posted July 9, 2020 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    I just can’t believe how cute that cat is.

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