One of the thorns in my side when leaving India was not having seen a rusty-spotted cat on my Big Cat Quest. In theory it would have been possible to see one either in Satpura or around Gir but luck and park regulations were against me and I saw none.
It is surprising, when one fails to see a relatively rarely-seen animal, how many friends and clients pipe up with tales of their own encounters with it. One is caused to smile and congratulate, all the while seething with ugly envy.
I do not seethe, however, for Helen and Chris who are lovely folks. They travelled with me around Madagascar a couple of years ago and loved the lemurs as I love them myself. Now they find themselves joining me in Borneo for the start of my second Sunda Clouded Leopard Quest tomorrow.
Perhaps they will have the same luck in Kinabatangan with the flat-headed cat, and in Tabin with the Sunda clouded leopard, as they had in Satpura with the rusty-spotted cat. Selfishly I hope so.
|Rusty-spotted cat by Helen Pinchin|