Today we have a wild kitty known as the Pallas’s cat (suggested by Guest Doodlewasher Ros Jenke). Named after German naturalist Peter Pallas, it was first called a Felis manul and it’s scientific name is Otocolobus, which comes from the Greek and can be translated as the somewhat insulting term of “ugly-eared.” These creatures are wildcats and built to look larger than they actually are, due to their unusually fluffy and dense fur (the longest and densest of any cat species). But in reality, their bodies are about the size as a domestic cat.
The pupils of their eyes contract into circles rather than vertical slits like other cats. This combined with their flat face, gives them a variety of unique and sometimes comical expressions. They prefer to live at high elevations and can be found throughout central Asia, from western Iran to western China. A Pallas’s Cat will scent mark a territory for up to three miles to keep other cats away from them. So, yeah, they’re pretty much loners and don’t like to mingle much. It helps that the breeding period is only 26 to 42 hours so they can simply have a quick little mating session and return to their solitary lifestyle.
When excited, they sort of yelp or growl like a tiny dog, although they can also make a more traditional purring sound. The fluffy and compact body of Pallas’s cats make them terribly poor runners, so when faced with adversity, they will simply run into a small crevasse in some rocks and hide. For hunting, they like to ambush their prey, which includes mainly pikas, small rodents, birds and if they get really desperate, even insects. If you have an idea for an uncommon creature to see doodlewashed next, be sure to shout it out in the comments!
About the Doodlewash
M. Graham watercolors: Azo Yellow, Permanent Green Pale, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Neutral Tint and Titanium White Gouache. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal
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Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!