EUGENE M. MCCARTHY, PHD GENETICS
A diligent scholar is like a bee who takes honey from many different flowers and stores it in his hive.
—John Amos Comenius
Cat-kangaroo hybrids and wallaby-cat hybrids are occasionally described in old Australian news reports, some of which are quoted below (wallabies are small and medium-sized kangaroos).
One such report appeared on page 27 of the January 26, 1865, issue of Queanbeyan Age and General Advertiser, a newspaper published in Queanbeyan, New South Wales (source). It reads as follows:
The Empire, where this story originated, was a newspaper published in Sydney. Note that the direction of the cross is specified in this last report (male wallaby × female cat).
A longer report, with a good bit of detail, appears on page 2 of the July 31, 1920, issue of The Uralla Times and District Advocate a newspaper published in Uralla, New South Wales (source). It reads as follows:
The earlier article in Smith’s Weekly, referenced above, appeared on page 18 of the June 19, 1920, issue of that publication, a newspaper published in Sydney (source). It read as follows:
Two years later Kelly, the owner of the ostensible wallaby-cat hybrid described in the previous two transcripts wrote in to the Brisbane Daily Mail with further information about this strange creature, including its mode of demise. His communication appeared on page 9 of the November 4, 1922, issue of that publication (source). The relevant portion of his letter reads as follows:
Hodel is a small town about 44 kilometers southeast of Townsville.
On page 7 of the September 26, 1912, issue of the Bendigo Advertiser, an Australian newspaper published in Bendigo, Victoria (source), a description of the Bendigo Jubilee Show mentions that “A freak of nature, viz., an animal that is half kangaroo and half cat will be amongst the live stock exhibits.”
The next two reports and the picture at right, all from Queensland, were published in Brisbane newspapers, and were close enough together in time that they may all refer to the same animal.
One is a brief mention of a cat-kangaroo on page 2 of the April 28, 1940, issue of Brisbane’s Sunday Mail (source), a description of garden party held by the Catholic Youth Movement says that “On the lawns the ‘wobbegong’—an amazing animal, half cat and half kangaroo—attracted a large gathering.”
The other, much longer report appeared page 2 of the May 9, 1935, issue of The Telegraph (source). This is a transcript:
In the past, it was widely believed that the exposure of a mother to a particular animal, especially an exposure that frightened her, could result in a child within the womb taking on the characteristics of that animal. Thus, it was thought that a woman frightened by a dog stood an increased chance of giving birth to a dog-faced baby. This notion was applied also to animals that gave birth to strange offspring with mixed characteristics. But no scientist today would accept a psycho-spiritual explanation of this sort.
So again, the direction of the cross here is male wallaby × female cat. Maryborough is on the southern part of Queensland’s coast.
The following is a list of reported cat crosses. Some of these crosses are much better documented than others (as indicated by the reliability arrow). Indeed, some might seem completely impossible. But all have been reported at least once. The links below are to separate articles. Additional crosses, not listed here, are covered on the cat hybrids page.
By the same author: Handbook of Avian Hybrids of the World, Oxford University Press (2006).
Human Origins: Are we hybrids?
On the Origins of New Forms of Life
Cat-rabbit Hybrids: Fact or fiction?
Georges Cuvier: A Biography
Prothero: A Rebuttal
Branches of Biology