19

Celebrating Black Cats with Onyx

Greetings from Snoops and Kommando Kitty. Today we’d like to introduce you to our cousin Onyx, our favorite black cat.

Hello everyone, I’m Onyx. I’m usually not in the spotlight because my younger, more assertive, sister Thunder generally hogs the blog. However, in honor of Halloween and Black Cat Appreciation Month, I convinced her to let me write about black cats and how cool we are. Here are some interesting facts and information about black kitties to make your October a little more cat-tastic!

Melanism 

Black cats have a condition known as melanism. This accounts for our black furs, and in many cats, our yellow eyes. Melanism is an overabundance of pigmentation, making it the flip side of albinism. However, even though black cats have extra pigmentation, we are still prone to sunburn and outdoor cats should plan their sunscreen accordingly. 

Black Breeds

Although many breeds can have black coloring in their fur patterns, only 22 breeds of cats can be genetically defined as a “black cat”. The most common breed of black cats is the Bombay (I happen to be a Bombay). Other breeds include the Chantilly-Tiffany, the Cornish Rex, the American Curl, the Japanese Bobtail, the Sphynx, and several Short-haired cats (such as British, Exotic, Oriental and American). 

Genetics 

While black is considered a dominant trait for fur color, to be truly classified as a black cat, both parents need to have the black trait. Fun fact- tabby is the most common pattern of black fur! 

Color Changes 

Certain conditions can change the black coloring of the fur. As black cats age, their furs may fade to grey or white. Additionally, if black cats get enough sun, their fur will highlight to a brown or a red-rust color. However, the rust color will return to black when the exposure to sunlight stops. Once the fur ages to white, the change is permanent. 

Immune Systems 

Black cats are believed to have better immune systems than other cats. Although the reason why is unknown, research has indicated that black cats have a lower chance of developing feline leukemia and feline HIV. 

Pawsome Personalities 

Although all cats have wonderful personalities, some typical personality traits you’ll find in a black cat include playfulness, high intelligence, curiosity, and friendliness. Black cats also tend to be very loyal companions, and adapt easily to changes. We’re also quite aware of our surroundings, and keen to stress and emotions in our humans. Because of this, black cats are often sweet and compassionate- I happen to know when my human is about to have a panic attack, and make sure I cling extra close to her until I can get her calm. Black cats would make great therapy cats! 

Adoption Issues  

Every cat deserves a loving forever home, no matter what color fur they have. Unfortunately, black cats have the lowest adoption rating of any color out there- but we also have the highest surrender rate of any color. 30% of all shelter intakes are black furred creatures. Because of the high give-up rates and low take home rates, black cats are more likely to be euthanized when the shelter runs out of space or if they don’t adopt out quickly enough- how cruel! And while many shelters won’t adopt out black cats during the month of October (especially the later weeks near Halloween), that still leaves 11 months out of the year to consider making your new family member a furry black one- or, at the very least, encouraging your circle to adopt a black cat!

Celebrations 

There are four formal recognitions of black cats nationally in America; three days and a whole month! August 17th is Black Cat Appreciation Day, October 27th is National Black Cat Day, Black Cat Friday in November (typically the closest Friday to November 13th); and the whole month of October is Black Cat Appreciation Month. 

Myths

There are several myths surrounding black cats. The most common one is that black cats are unlucky (this is particularly common in America and Europe), although in Japan a black cat signifies good luck. In Germany, the luck of the black cat depends on which direction it is walking on their encounter with you- left to right indicates good luck is coming, but right to left means bad luck is ahead. The Italians believe if a black cat jumps next to someone while they’re ill, that person will soon pass away.

Some cultures tie myths of wealth into black cats- in Scotland, some believe if a black cat appears on your porch, money will be coming to you soon. On the other hand, in China, black cats are thought to bring poverty with them. An older myth is that black cats are witches, and that witches kept black cats to sneak around and cast spells. It was believed that witches could shape shift into black cats, and even in current culture, black cats are often pictured alongside witches. This may be why black cats are associated with Halloween so frequently. 

Black Cats in Society 

Perhaps the most famous black cat in American society today would be Salem, the companion of Sabrina from “Sabrina the Teenage Witch”. Other televised black cats are Luna from “Sailor Moon”, Felix the Cat (an animated character from when animation was becoming popular) and Snowball II from “The Simpsons”. Black cats have also made companions to famous people, including India, the cat of former American president George W. Bush, and Gladstone, the official cat of the HM Treasury in the UK. There is also Hodge, the kitty of author Samuel Johnson.

There are cats famous from literature, such as Mr. Mistofflees from “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” by T.S Elliot (and the musical “Cats); Pluto from “The Black Cat” by Edgar Allen Poe; and Behemoth from “The Master and Margarita” by Mikhail Buglakov. Some other notable black cats are Blackie, the cat who inherited millions of dollars; Homer, the blind wonder cat; Trim, the first kitty to circumnavigate Australia and who saved his human during the journey; and Oscar the bionic cat, a double back leg amputee with prosthetic paws. 

I truly enjoyed writing this post, and I hope you enjoyed reading about the magnificent black cats of the world. Next time you encounter a black cat, please treat them with kindness (and soak in their good looks), and if you need a new furry member in your life, think about bringing one home!

Wishing you all a safe and fun Halloween, with furs and purrs, 

Onyx Katt

17

Our Pawsome Paws

Problems With Your Cat's Paws: Symptoms, Causes, and Prevention

Every once in a while, we like to try to educate our human readers. Today we are sharing some fun facts about our paws. We use them for walking, running, jumping, self-defense, and hunting. We have five toes on the front paws and four on the the back paws. (The extra toe in front functions as a sort of gripper or “thumb.”) They’re the most sensitive part of our bodies, but also the strongest.

Our paws may not be able to open tuna cans, but they are truly amazing. Check out all the things we can do with our furry little feet:

So Your Cat Thinks He's a Tiger - Catwatch Newsletter

Feel Sensations from the Ground

We have a huge number of nerve receptors in our paws. (Tickle them at your own peril!) These nerve receptors help us with our incredible balance. They also help us feel the ground for vibrations and gravity. Excellent aids for tracking prey. We use our paws to test temperature and the safety of a surface.

What Movement and Gait Tell You About Your Cat | Fear Free Happy Homes

Walk on our Toes

We are never caught flat-footed because we always walk on our toes. (That’s called digitigrade.) It keeps us extra-quiet when we move and lets us move faster when we choose. Very useful when pouncing and hunting.

Why Does My Cat Wave Its Paw at Me and Other Funny Cat Habits Explained •  IttyKitty.com

Dominant Front Paw

Know how you humans are usually left-handed or right-handed? Same for us. Almost all cats are either left-pawed or right-pawed. (Some studies show that males are right-pawed, while females are left-pawed.)

Fur Laughs: 7 Cats Who Tried To Make A Jump But Didn't Even Come Close  [VIDEOS] - CatTime

Built-In Shock Absorbers

Our paws are what let us land safely from high jumps. They also help us walk on rocks, weeds, and other rough stuff. They help us walk quietly so we can sneak up on prey (and humans). We don’t like to use them too roughly though, because of all of those nerve endings.

Hot Weather Precautions — Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon

Built-In Climate Control

We prefer to stay cool. But if we get out in the heat or are stressed, we can sweat through our paws. If you notice a trail of sweaty paw prints, please help us cool/calm down.

Why Do Cats Scratch? | CLAWGUARD

Communication Tools

We have scent glands between our paw pads that are activated when we scratch things. That way, we can let other kitties (and lesser creatures) know that we have been there. We also have scent glands on the pads of our rear paws that help spread the word.

Paw Reading Is Japan's Newest Cat Trend - PetGuide

Pawlm Reading (see more at https://kakato.com/blogs/learn-read-cats-paw-one-minute/)

Some humans believe that our paws tell a lot about our personalities. The markings and shape of the paw tell about our character. The dewclaw is the lifeline, the first digital pad on the right is luck, the second pad is intelligence, the third pad is love, and the fourth is appetite.

10 Facts About Tuxedo Cats – Waffles the Cat

Matching Pads and Fur

Our pads usually parallel our fur coats. For example, tuxies usually have black spots on their paw pads and light-colored cats usually have light-colored paw pads.

the Importance of climbing for indoor cats by cat behaviourist Anita Kelsey

Paws are Super Flexible

Our paws bend and turn on our “wrists.” Our front paws can turn inward to help us sink our claws into whatever we are climbing. (Unfortunately, it doesn’t work in reverse if we climb too high to jump down.) This flexibility also helps make us so well-balanced.

New Documentary Condemns Declawing of Cats; Who Is Right?

Humans can help us maintain our paws by checking them out once a week. Gunk can get trapped between our toes (especially if we’re long-haired), and cause irritation. We can also be allergic to things we walk through. Pads that are swollen, soft, bleeding, ulcerated, or scaly are all potential problems.

However, if there isn’t a problem, leave our feet alone!

The cat's meow | The Humane Society of the United States

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

16

Our Tongues are the Cat’s Meow

How cat tongues work—and can inspire biotechnology

The other day someone said that Snoops’ tongue was weird. We really like this person and know that we’re her first close cat friends. But it was still a little irksome. Everyone knows that cats have pawsome tongues.

Cat Hunting Behavior - When and How Cats Hunt

Our tongues evolved the way they did because we are such amazing hunters. They are covered with little spikes called papillae that are hooked at the end. The papillae are shorter on the the sides of our tongues than in the middle, and the hooks all face into the middle of our mouths.

A Cats Tongue by Wild-Soul on DeviantArt

Not everyone has an equally rough tongue. Mom says that our angel sister Rascal’s tongue was so rough that it would actually rub the skin off if she was too affectionate. On the other hand, Rascal’s sister Critter had a tongue that was almost smooth. Snoops’ tongue is the rougher between the two of us.

As you might have guessed, our tongues are central to our ability to survive. We use them for eating, drinking, and grooming. The details are below:

Protecting Your Nighttime Water Glass from Your Cat

Drinking – Our tongue is vital to our ability to drink. We curl it around to create a kind of funnel, then bend it back like a spoon. You have probably noticed that you only have to put the tip of your tongue in the water, then lift it up and suck in. It’s a fast process that allows for quick hydration. Some humans timed us and found that we can make approximately four licking actions in a second. That skill comes in pretty handy around the drinking hole when there might be predators lurking.

My Cat Is In Pain When He Eats" | Resorptive Lesions May Be Too  BlameCherished Companions Animal Clinic

Eating – Since we are predators, we need a way to get the meat off of the prey and into our tummies. Our tongues are perfect for this task. Those little hooks are meant to get meat off of the bones and broken down into digestible pieces. They work wonders on pate and other forms of canned cat food as well. Just how good are they? Good enough that the same design is used by our wild cousins, the lions and tigers. (Wow. Wonder if Rascal confused Mom with dinner one time?)

cats-eating-ice-cream-cone |

We don’t have as many taste buds as humans do. That might be because we aren’t programmed to eat sweets in the wild. Our natural palate runs strongly to the savory side. However, as Snoops will attest, our tongues can be trained to appreciate sweet flavors. And many cats have discovered that those little hooks work really well on ice cream.

Cat Grooming: Understanding Why Cats Groom Themselves

Grooming – The little hooks are good for more than eating. When we lick our coats, we remove the loose furs. It keeps us looking gorgeous. It also removes the scent of anything we might have eaten. We don’t want to smell like our food because we don’t want other animals thinking that we might make a good snack.

The downside is that some of those furs might stick on the the hooks. If you swallow too many of your loose furs, you will end up with a hairball. And most of us know how unpleasant that is.

188 Cats Who Love Sun More Than Anything | Bored Panda

Climate Control – As you may recall from our post about beating the heat, the tongue also has a role in keeping us cool in the summer. When we groom, we wet our fur. As the saliva dries, it has a cooling effect. Cleanliness is vital to comfort in the summer months.

Why Do Cats Groom Each Other? (the Answer Will Surprise You!) – TheCatSite  Articles

Socialization – Mother cats lick their kittens to clean them and train them in self-care, but they also do it because they love them. Grooming is a sign of affection.

If you really love your human, you may have attempted to groom them. A lot of humans think that we are kissing them, and in a way we are. However, some of them really can use the extra help in the cleanliness department. (Hint: How often does your human bathe compared with how often you bathe?) Either way, we do it because we love them.

So if a human complains that your tongue is too rough, tell them you like it just the way it is. It is cat-astic.

Cute Cats and Kittens Tongue Sticking Out Pictures - Love Meow

Belated Happy Dominion Day to our Canadian friends. And Happy Independence Day to those in the US.

Have a Safe & Happy 4th of July! | East Harding Construction

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

 

21

Cat Forum: The Original Cool Cats

Back To School Quiz: Weekly Challenge

Greetings from Snoops and Kommando Kitty and welcome to Cat Forum. It appears that the humans have a holiday coming up called Indigenous People Day. As you know, we would never care about a holiday with “People” in its name, so we won’t be celebrating. However, it did make us wonder when cats first graced North America with their presence. So we sent the Cheeseland interns on a hunt. And wouldn’t you know it, some of the best information came from Purr and Roar, one of our favorite blogs about all types of cats.

Saber-tooth Kittens Were Big-boned | HowStuffWorks

First is the fearsome saber-tooth tiger (Smilodon). If you’d been around 10,000 years ago, you might have seen one of these guys roaming around. We would have been looking from a distance, because they were seriously scary. It appears that they lived in packs, but no one was brave enough to tell them that cats don’t do that. They could roar too. Pretty cool.

Homotherium - Wikipedia

We also have the scimitar cat (Homotherium). They were found pretty much everywhere, in all climates. It appears that they were fast runners, and big. Skeletons suggest they weighed up to 800 pounds. Because of their size and speed, they could eat whatever they wanted (even mammoths). They were around long enough that they might even have hunted humans. Very cool.

American lion - the largest lion in history | DinoAnimals.com

Next is the true king of cats, the American lion. They may have been the largest cat of all time, weighing over 1,000 pounds. The humans aren’t sure if they were related to modern lions; they might be related to jaguars. It doesn’t really matter. Obviously, these cats ruled.

Lynx Cubs … | Lynx kitten, Animals, Cats

So who’s left? Unfortunately, none of the big guys are still around. However, North America still has six wild cats roaming around. They are bobcats, lynx, ocelots, cougars, jaguars, and jaguarundis. They are relatives to the earlier cats, and are definitely not domesticated. We recommend you stay in your own social circle.

We see the gental cat hunting its pray AND THEN SNEAK ATTACK - Annoying Squirrel - quickmeme

Where are we in this timeline? Actually, we are all descended from Middle Eastern wildcats (Felis sylvestris). Over 10,000 years ago, cats started saving grain from rodents and humans (finally) saw what awesome creatures we are. The rest is history.

Working from Home Memes That Are Hilariously Accurate | Reader's Digest

Of course, our ancestors didn’t swim over here. The settlers brought cats to protect their supplies from rodents on their ships from Europe. Once cats were here, we were basically just work animals. Can you believe it? Humans are so slow sometimes.

Why Cats Rule the Internet

Finally humans realized how truly great we are. There are over 85 million of us in the United States. (Don’t forget ferals and shelter cats.) We rule the Internet and some of us even write blogs.

Rex The Cat on Twitter | Cats, Funny cats, Funny cat memes

We come in all sorts of colors and patterns. Some of us talk a lot and some of us are strong, silent types. Some are social, and some prefer their own company. But we can all take pride in our powerful ancestors. Remember, we train humans; they don’t train us.

bucket list...to adopt a large number of cats. haha. | Crazy cats, Christmas cats, Cats and kittens

All pictures courtesy of Google Images.

 

23

Snoops and Kommando: Famous British Kitties

Image result for successful cat memes

Hello. Snoops and Kommando Kitty here. Mom says she has something called a writer’s block. We really don’t know what she’s talking about since we haven’t seen any new blocks.

Image result for cat at computer

At any rate, we looked through our files and thought that maybe you would like to hear about some famous kitties. There were quite a few to choose from, but somehow this list ended up being all British. (Mainly because some of the other kitties came to a sad end or were actually TV or Internet stars.) Or maybe the Brits keep better records of their cats.)

Some of these kitties lived a long time ago. Since we couldn’t get pictures of everyone, we decided that it would only be fair to not show anyone. (Besides, some of the pictures are licensed and we found out we can’t pay with mice.)

Image result for cat on stage meme

Beerbohm – Beerbohm was the resident cat at the Globe Theatre in London (now the Gielgud Theatre). He loved to walk into dressing rooms and attack whatever props he could find. He also made himself at home on the stage, walking through many productions. As a sign of his popularity, he is the only cat to be given an obituary on the front page of the industry magazine The Stage.

Image result for cat with human food

Crimean Tom – During the Crimean War, Sevastopol was under siege for a year. When the British and French troops finally liberated the city, the residents were starving. Tom had survived the war, looking well-fed and healthy. The soldiers followed Tom one day to a store room full of food. Tom had saved the food by eating the mice and rats that tried to eat it. The store of food kept the soldiers from starving. Tom returned to Britain with one of the soldiers.

Image result for cat carrying kitten

Faith – Faith had been adopted by the rector of St. Augustine church. During the London Blitz, she took her kitten, Panda, to the church basement. Every time Panda would go upstairs, Faith would bring him back to the basement. St. Augustine was near St. Paul’s Cathedral, which was destroyed (except the tower) by the Germans. The only creatures that survived the bombing were Faith and Panda. She was awarded a medal for courage by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Image result for cat on a ship

Simon – Simon was a British kitty who lived on the HMs Amethyst during the Chinese Civil War. In 1949, the ship ran aground and was stuck for three months. Simon has been wounded by a shell blast, but continued to protect the human food by killing rats trying to eat it. He also kept morale up. He was awarded the PDSA Dickin medal for bravery. He is the only cat to have received this medal.

Image result for cat swimming meme

Unsinkable Sam – When the German Battleship, Bismarck, was sunk by the British Navy, only 100+ men and one cat survived. The British HMS Cossack rescued the cat and named him Oscar. Unfortunately, the Cossack was torpedoed near Gibraltar. Oscar survived again and was renamed Unsinkable Sam. He was rescued by the HMS Ark Royal, which was torpedoed near Malta. After surviving three shipwrecks in six months, he was taken to Britain to live out his life on dry land in a seaman’s home.

Image result for cat chasing mouse meme

Wilberforce – Wilberforce was the Chief Mouser at No. 10 Downing St., the home of the British Prime Minister. No. 10 Downing St., is almost 300 years old, and has a number of resident rats and mice. The Chief Mouser is responsible for keeping the vermin under control. Wilberforce was considered to be a top-notch mouser. He has had the longest tenure to this point, serving every PM from Edward Heath to Margaret Thatcher.

Image result for cat waiter

Wyatt’s Caterer – Sir Henry Wyatt was imprisoned by King Richard III. He made friends with a cat who brought him food (mainly birds, not rodents). Eventually Sir Henry was released by King Henry VII (who defeated Richard III in battle and took the throne). A memorial to Sir Henry credits the Caterer with his survival during his imprisonment.

These cats are pretty impressive. There are many other cats who have saved humans from fires, medical emergencies, and gas leaks in their homes. Cat are also emotional and therapy support animals. Our purrs are therapeutic. You can see why cats rule. (And we’re beautiful too.)

Image result for beautiful cat meme

 

20

Cat Forum: What’s Your Sign?

Snoops and Kommando here. Welcome to another edition of Cat Forum.

Kommando: Did you know that humans have something called a horrorscope?

Snoops: What’s that?

Kommando: I’m not sure. I think it tells them when something horrible is going to happen to them.

Snoops: I think you mean a horoscope. That tells them what’s going to happen based on when they were born. It also tells them what type of personality people have. It’s based on where all the stuff in the sky is when they’re born.

Image result for kitty zodiac

Kommando: Ooh. Cats need something like that. It could tell us whether we’re going to get good food or something yucky tomorrow.

Snoops: That’s not the kind of thing they use it for. They use to see if they’re going to fall in love or get a better job. Stuff like that.

Kommando: Oh. That’s too bad. Cats don’t need that.

Snoops: Cats do have certain traits based on when they were born.

Kommando: We don’t know when we were born, so it won’t work for us.

Snoops: Maybe we can look at the personalities and tell from that. Let’s see what it says.

Image result for aries kitty

Aries (March 21 – April 19)

These kitties have a lot of energy. They are the ones who race around all the time and want to play with anything they find. They are the most prone to bringing their human a paw-caught gift.

Image result for taurus kitty

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

These cats love to be indulged. They can’t get too much attention. They generally will eat whatever is put before them (and maybe even something that’s in someone else’s bowl). Many of them beg human food as well.

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Gemini (May 21 – June 20)

Gemini is the sign for twins, and Gemini kitties have twice the personality in one cat. They have no problem communicating what they want and may have a whole vocabulary for getting it. These are the kitties who race around, get into things, then look innocent about the whole thing.

Image result for cancer kitty

Cancer (June 21 – July 22)

Cancer kitties are usually quiet and cuddly. And they want a quiet, cuddly environment. They are family-oriented and like to give affection as well as get it. Sometimes they look for their own quiet space to get away from things.

Image result for leo kitty

Leo (July 23 – August 22)

These cats demand the most attention of any cat you will meet. They want to be the center of attention and get the most affection. They love playing with toys. They want lots of cuddles and love, and if they don’t get enough, they’ll come looking for it.

Image result for virgo kitty

Virgo (August 23 – September 22)

Virgos are the ones who give cats their finnicky reputation. They want what they want and would prefer to have it now. They also want an extra clean bowl and litter box. Virgo cats are clean themselves, so don’t mess up the fur.

Image result for libra kitty

Libra (September 23 – October 22)

Libra cats know they are the prettiest kitties around. They like to be noticed by humans and other cats. They are social, and want to be in the middle of everything. They pair well with Gemini kitties.

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Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)

Scorpio cats are intense and mysterious. They do not like their humans petting another cat. They are moody, changing from loving to aloof like a switch has been flipped. They like to hide and also to hide things. (Most likely cat to leave a dead mouse in a slipper.)

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Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)

These cats love a good adventure, and might even disappear for a day or two trying to find it. They are always on the lookout for something exciting to do or see. It’s best to keep breakable things and nervous humans out of their way.

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Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)

Capricorn cats prefer a one-on-one relationship with their human. They are used to getting what they want and like it that way. A favorite trick is to “persuade” their human that everyone will get a lot more sleep if kitty gets to sleep in the bedroom.

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Aquarius (January 20 – February 18)

Aquarius kitties are the ones with the unique tastes. That’s because they hate being bored. They want lots of entertainment all the time. Humans like them because they are the most likely to perform on command.

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Pieces (February 19 – March 20)

These cats are calm and affectionate. When they sleep, they look like they’re dreaming about catching mice and moths. These kitties know when their human isn’t feeling well and will give extra cuddles to make up for it.

Kommando: That was interesting, but I can’t figure out which one I am.

Snoops: That’s because you’re in a category of your own.

Image result for cat horoscope meme

Information is courtesy of Tarot.com: https://www.tarot.com/astrology/astrology-cats-zodiac

Pictures courtesy of Google Images

17

Cat Forum: Fur, Beautiful Fur

 

Darlin’ give me a body with fur, long beautiful fur

Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen

Fur, fur. Fur, fur, fur, fur, fur, fur

Flow it, show it, long as I can grow it, my fur.

Fur, fur, fur, fur, fur, fur, fur, fur

Flow it, show it, long as I can grow it, my fur.

Fur, fur, fur, fur, fur, fur, fur, fur

Flow it, show it, long as I can grow it, my fur.

Flow it, show it, long as I can grow it, my fur.

Flow it, show it, long as I can grow it, my fur.

Flow it, show it, long as I can grow it, my fur.

With apologies to “Hair”. You can hear the original Broadway version here.

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Kommando: Why does it say “Apologies to Hair?” It’s about fur.

Snoops: It was originally about human hair.

Kommando: Why would anyone write a song about that? It’s disgusting.

Snoops: They wrote a whole play about it according to Mom.

Kommando: Humans are so weird. It’s not like it even covers their whole bodies. You have to look at all that disgusting skin.

Snoops: Seriously. Those pores and bumps. And those marks when they fall down.

Kommando: Yeah. And when they bleed. Ugh. Revolting.

Snoops: That’s why we’re talking about fur today.

Kommando: Pawsome!

Image result for peterbald cats

First, we are identified by the type of coat we have. There are hairless, short-haired, and long-haired.

Hairless – Hairless cats are not hairless (but they are cats). They are covered with very fine hair that feels like suede. Hairless cats are actually quite a bit of work. They have to be bathed regularly to remove some of the oil from their skin (the rest of us have fur to do it). Also, these cats shouldn’t be outside in cold weather (no coat). And they sunburn (Don’t put aloe on it; it’s poison to cats). Examples include the Sphynx and Peterbald.

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Short-haired – These cats are low-maintenance. The fur is no more than 1.5 inches long and requires very little brushing. Examples are the British Shorthair, the Burmese, the Manx, the Bengal, and the Savannah.

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Long-haired – These cats are furballs with feet. Their fur is longer than 1.5 inches, but it can grow up to 5 inches long. They require a lot of brushing, and they shed year-round. They are also prone to coughing up hairballs. Examples are the Maine Coon, the Ragdoll, and the Persian.

Now we move on to colors and patterns. As many varieties of patterns there are, cats are limited to 8 colors: white, black, red/ginger, bluish/gray, cream, brown, cinnamon, fawn. If cats were good at math, we’d tell you how many combinations that is; we’re not, so it’s lots.

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Solid/Self Color – These cats are easy to spot, if you can find one. If there are furs of other color (any furs), they are not a solid.

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Bi-Color – a base of white with patches of color. There are many variations: random, random with colored tail, colored head and back, and between the ears and a colored tail.

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Tabby – the most common patter in domestic cats; they are striped or marbled. The markings trace back to the ancestral wild cats. There are four sub-groups:

Striped or Mackerel – vertical stripes running from spine to belly.

Classic or Blotched – no distinct stripes, but a marbled effect.

Spotted – Spots instead of stripes.

Ticked – Each hair is more than one color, often with striped legs and tail.

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Tortoiseshell – they come in a variety of shades. The most common is gingery-red and black; the lightest is blue-grey and cream (diluted). Sometimes the colors are mixed/brindled and sometimes they are in patches.

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Torbie – a mixture of tabby and tortie. The markings are a mix a blend of tabby and tortoiseshell.

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Tri-Color/Calico – a mixture of gingery red, black, and white in any variation. They dilute down to grey, cream and white.

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Color Point – one color, but darker on the face, paws, and tail; the parts that are the coolest.

Kommando: Gee. I had no idea that fur was so complicated. Imagine if we each got to pick out our own coat. The line would go on forever while cats looked at samples.

Snoops: That is a very strange idea. Even from you. But there’s more. Some cats only have a top coat. That’s the longer guard hair. Others have that and an undercoat. The undercoat is very fine and cottony; excellent insulation. Those are the cats that don’t mind being outside in the winter.

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Kommando: We have double coats, and we don’t like cold weather.

Snoops: Good point. I guess fur is only part of it.

Kommando: These cats are all beautiful. I guess that’s the advantage of being a cat.

Snoops: Very true. We’re all gorgeous.

Kommando: Of course, the best looking are the bi-color with random black spots.

Snoops: Not even close. It’s the classic calico.

Kommando: Bi-color!

Snoops: Tri-color!

Kommando & Snoops: Mom! We need you!

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Pictures courtesy of Google Images.