I had originally planned to write a blog on “Cats in Canoes” which is how I came across this picture of George Bingham’s painting. I thought it would be the perfect starting point – a cat in a canoe as early as 1845. However after researching the painting I discovered that the animal in the boat is widely accepted as a bear cub and not a cat! I came across several blogs that questioned its identity and thought I would see what our readers thought. For many years the animal was believed to be a fox but is now officially identified as a black bear cub. I read a convincing argument that the animal was a raccoon as “raccoon tail” caps were popular during that era. As the pelt would be valuable to the fur trader it is feasible to believe that it is a black fox tethered to the bow. I couldn’t find any convincing arguments for the bear cub and I personally don’t think it looks like one. It does look like a cat from a distance but after a closer look you might change your mind. You can view a larger image here: http://www.artexpertswebsite.com/pages/artists/bingham.php
Although initially I agreed with the cat lovers I now think the animal is a black fox. What animal do you think it is?