Saturday, 2 May 2015


It's half-past-ten at night and my almost unbroken working day began at half-past-five this morning. My batteries are proverbially flat already and tomorrow night my next six-night assault on Tabin begins. All the same, through my bleary eyes, and with my sleep-clumsied fingers, I must type to the world that tonight, from a muddy beach by the Kinabatangan, an exquisite ginger-and-white face stared at me. The face of a flat-headed cat.

Once this tiny, mud-pacing cat was lost among the dwarfing elephant grass we cruised on and - all too briefly - saw the painted face of a leopard cat peering from the same habitat. Two species of cat in one night and nine so far (plus two extra subspecies) on my Big Cat Quest. Flatness, tiredness and sleep can wait.

Cats seen in 2015
cheetah Acinonyx jubatus fearonii            3
serval Leptailurus serval serval                3
leopard Panthera pardus suahelicus        2
lion Panthera leo nubica                          78
snow leopard Panthera uncia                   3
jungle cat Felis chaus                               2
tiger Panthera tigris tigris                          13
leopard Panthera pardus fusca                4
lion Panthera leo persica                          7
leopard cat Prionailurus bengalensis       13
flat-headed cat Prionailurus planiceps     1

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