My sight isn’t great, and this mysterious photo shocked me—despite the fact that I took the photo myself. Does this photo show a cat investigating a bathroom cupboard? Or a rare cat chimera combining the DNA of cat and meerkat? Or did I catch Ursula in mid-metamorphosis to her superhero alter ego, from mere cat to Superkat?? None of the above, as it happens.
I’m thinking of chimera in the mythological sense, a mishmash of two species in one creature. Mermaids, Pegasus, and the Minotaur spring to mind.
Chimera do exist naturally in real life, especially in cats, apparently. (I trust this information from National Geographic.) And unnaturally, in laboratories. Fictionally, chimera are abundant, especially on the internet.
After a few days I finally decoded the photo.
The body of the creature in the photograph is Ursula’s usual beautiful self. DNA is strictly feline, British Shorthair, chocolate tabby. Got that sorted.
What about the top half? At first I leapt to a paranormal conclusion. (That’s reasonable, as I do live in Wellington.) If you thought it was a visiting phantom preparing to spook me and my cat, I understand. I was mistaken too, initially.
At last the penny dropped! I was looking at the reflection of an alien sniffing around in my bathroom, considering whether a domestic animal was worth the effort of abduction. Not a chimera at all. A mere cat juxtaposed with a common or garden alien. Nothing worth our attention. Nothing to see here.