Native Cat

There are two native cats, both carnivores and both uncommon – the native cat (or quoll) and the tiger cat. Both are tenacious, ferocious predators. The native cat especially, has been known to become so over-excited by killing, that he will hang onto his victims and risk being caught rather than making a run for it.

Native cats are about the size of a domestic cat and are said to better them in any fight. Not very intelligent creatures, they are known for their heedless daring. Stories such as springing into a tree (they are very good climbers) to catch a bird, then falling to its death as the limb breaks, reveals how they act in the moment. Perhaps their ability to risk death so easily is not a sign of their lack of intelligence, but related to their Dreaming origins. When one knows they will be reborn as who they are after death, dying is nothing to be feared and there are no risks! The only thing with this premise is the hope that the native cat does not become extinct! In the western tradition (or superstition), cats have nine lives, and this ties in quite aptly with Dreamings about the native cat.

There are many Dreamings about the Native Cat and most of them centre on the subject of eternal life or reincarnation.  In one Dreaming, the Native Cat and Dingo get into an argument about the possibility of eternal life, so the cat challenges the Dingo to kill him. The Dingo severs his head, thinking the cat finished. A few days later, Native Cat returns and kills Dingo, telling him he had better believe in life after death. The Dingo does not, so he does not get reborn when he dies, whereas the Native Cat does.[1]

In some Dreamings, the spots on the Native Cat’s fur are said to have been made by spears striking him, or sores developing upon his body. In one Dreaming, Native Cat (or Bandicoot, in some versions) argues with the Moon over reincarnation, so Moon tosses dirt at him, creating the spots. In this Dreaming, it is the Moon who dies and is reborn every month. Because he disbelieved, Native Cat and all other creatures now have only one life.

As a native symbol, the Native Cat will highlight similar issues that the domestic cat does. Cats are ‘natural born killers’, so something may have to be destroyed in your life to save it. Being ruthless and persistent may be appropriate for you right now – with the cautionary warning to not get too carried away in the hunt that you leap onto a limb which cannot support you! Exploring past lives or an interest in the spirituality of different cultures may be influencing you, or perhaps you are in a state of disbelief regarding some spiritual truth.  This creature will certainly highlight your personal spiritual beliefs in some way, so take notice of your dreams and especially any encounter with any cat, whether the Native Cat or a domestic one.

[1]               Reed, A.W.  “Aboriginal Myths, Legends & Fables.”