27

Cat Forum: What is a Calico?

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

Kommando: Hey, Snoops. Why does Mom call you her favorite cali?

Snoops: It’s short for calico. That’s what they call the beautiful coloring of my fur.

Kommando: That’s strange. I looked up cali (with a c) in the dictionary, and they said it was a city in Colombia

Snoops: Hmm. That’s odd.

Image result for cat destroying things meme

Kommando: Yeah. That’s what I thought. So I looked it up with a “k”.

Snoops: What did it say?

Kommando: The Hindu goddess of death and destruction. That seemed a bit extreme, since you’re usually pretty laid back.

Snoops: Thanks. Like I said, it’s just short for Calico.

Kommando: OK, that makes more sense.

Pauses. Then looks up again.

Kommando: Uh, Snoops? This says that calico is a cotton material imported from India or some other type of cotton material

Image result for white calico catcalico cloth

Snoops: That’s not right. Keep looking.

Kommando: OK, OK. Let’s see. How about a blotched or spotted animal? One that is predominantly white with red and black patches.

Snoops: Good grief. What are you reading?

Kommando: It’s called Merriam-Webster.

Snoops: Well. I don’t know who that it, but they’re crazy.

Kommando: That sounds pretty ugly. Are you sure Mom means it as a compliment?

Snoops: Yes. I’m sure. I think that Miriam lady hates cats.

Image result for white calico cat

Kommando: Maybe. There are some strange people out there.

Snoops: Anyway. We do have three colors. And usually they’re white, black and orange. Some are predominantly white and some are predominantly black.

Kommando: So humans just go in and order a calico in the colors they want?

Snoops. Of course not. We’re not a breed. It’s a coat pattern.

Kommando: Oh. So you’re just a regular cat.

Image result for maneki neko calico

Snoops: Hmmph. Some people think we’re lucky.

Kommando: Really?

Snoops: Yep. Here and in England, male calico cats are lucky because they’re so rare.

Kommando: OK. So that lets you out. You’re a girl.

Snoops: True. But in Japan, Maneki neko (a cat talisman) is almost always a calico, and they think she brings good fortune and wealth. Not only that, traditionally Japanese sailors brought calicos on voyages to chase away storms and angry ancestral spirits.

Kommando: That’s pretty cool.

Image result for calico cat maryland

Snoops: And we’re the official state cat of Maryland. That’s kinda weird though. They didn’t pick us because we’re awesome. They picked us because we look like their state bird, the oriole.

Kommando: It says that sometimes humans confuse you guys with tortoiseshells.

Snoops: That’s weird. Torties don’t have white in their coats. Humans just don’t pay attention.

Kommando: That’s true enough.  Well, I guess being three colored is better than being a goddess of destruction.

Image result for calico cat memes

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

 

16

Cat Forum: Black Cats are Pawsome

Greetings. Snoops and Kommando Kitty here. We are sharing our post this month with our cousin, Onyx (see picture above). She requested that we talk about the specialness of black cats. Since Cat Forum is all cats, all the time, we agreed. But it doesn’t mean that we all aren’t pawsome.

As you know, the reason that black cats may need some extra love is that they have a bad reputation among some humans. They think that cats are bad luck.

Image result for black cat

Most of the trouble goes back a long, long time. But you know humans. Once they get an idea in their heads, sometimes it gets lost and can’t find its way out.

Many years ago, people believed black cats belonged to witches. (Probably because they could move around and not be seen at night.) Those cats were called “familiars”. A familiar is an animal-shaped demon serves a witch as a spy and companion.

Image result for black cat as witch

Or that black cats were witches themselves. In fact, if a witch became human, the black cat would leave them. Witches were blamed for a lot of the bad luck people had in those days.

There are a few lingering negative beliefs about black cats in various part of the world:

  • In Yorkshire, England, it is good luck to own a black cat, but bad luck to have one cross your path.
  • In North America, it is bad luck for a black cat to cross your path but good luck to have a white one cross your path.

Image result for black cat sleeping

  • Seeing a black cat in a dream means you are having trouble trusting your intuition.
  • A funeral procession with a black cat means another member of the family will die.
  • A black cat walking toward you is good luck. If she turns and walks away, she takes the good fortune with her.
  • If a black cat crosses your path while you’re driving, turn your hat backwards and make a cross on the windshield to prevent bad luck.

Image result for happy black cat

On the other hand, some humans believe good things:

  • In Japan, a single woman who owns a black cat will have many suitors.
  • In Germany, if a black cat crosses your path from right to left, good things are coming.
  • In England, giving a bride a black cat will bring her good luck.

Image result for black cat with bride

  • In Ireland and Scotland, it is good luck for a black cat to cross your path.
  • To dream of a black cat is lucky.
  • Finding a white hair on a black cat is lucky.
  • A strange black cat on the porch brings prosperity to the owner.
  • Traditionally, sailors and fishermen in Great Britain thought black cats would bring good luck and a safe return home.
  • In ancient Egypt, the cat goddess Bastet represented truth and prosperity.

Image result for cute black cat

Fun facts and information:

  • The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) celebrates Black Cat Appreciation Day on August 17 and October 27 is National Black Cat Day in Britain.
  • The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) recognizes 22 different breeds that can have solid black coats.
  • According to a recent survey by the ASPCA, the total number of adoptions of black cats is highest of any color.

Image result for fluffy black cat

  • There are three “black” fur genes: solid black, brown, and cinnamon. If a black cat has a tabby stripe gene, heavy exposure to the sun will make it look “rusty” brown.
  • There is a black cat café in Himeji, Japan named Nekobiyaka.
  • Professional photographers recommend that black cats be photographed on a plain background, angled toward a natural light source. On an iPhone you can tap on the cat’s face (in the picture), and use the sun icon to lighten up the picture.

Image result for cute black cat

Kitties, we recommend that you share this information with your human. Get the word out that black cats are just another furry addition to the family who’s a little harder to see in the dark.

 

Sources

http://mentalfloss.com/article/87226/8-hair-raising-facts-about-black-cats

https://www.dogtagart.com/blog/how-black-cat-stigmas-superstitions-still-effect-us

https://www.thesprucepets.com/black-cat-folklore-554444

Pictures courtesy of Google Images