February 21, 2017
This Grumpy Cat Needs It’s Own Talk Show
- as seen by -Christina Manto
During the early days of my tenure working for the Wildlife Conservation Society, I poked around the Prospect Park Zoo (PPZ) website to acquaint myself better with our locations throughout the city, when a certain creature caught my eye. Sneaking across the bottom of my computer screen was a fluffy, mischievous looking cat. I learned it was Pallas’s Cat – a species I had never heard of. I wanted to find out more. Immediately, I set up a visit to PPZ and tracked down the creature in the Animal Lifestyles building. There was Nicholas, named for a Russian czar, an homage to the Pallas’s cats native range being in Central Asia. He was surly looking, tough, and stalking about his exhibit. In a word — he was magnificent. I remember being floored. Why don’t people know about this cat? He should have been given his own talk show or a featured role in a Harry Potter book!
That first encounter with a species I’d just discovered was a special moment for me, and it happened at a 12 acre zoo in Brooklyn. I continue to spread the gospel of Pallas’s cat to almost everyone I meet.
“Do you know they are the only cats with circular pupils?”
“They’re not actually fat, but have a unique build with a low-hanging belly to combat the cold of Siberia.”
WCS runs New York City’s four incredible zoos and one aquarium that foster these special moments, and I encourage you to seek them out. A heads up if you visit the PPZ and see me mesmerized in front of the Pallas’s cat exhibit, feel free to nudge me out of the way so you can get a look.