A Strange Birthing, A York Mutation
by Gilles Maltais
(Laterrière, Québec, Canada)
When I saw the picture above, I found nearly a close copy of my cat. If my comments can help on strange phenotypes appearing amongst a population of straycats, publish them please.
I live in a rural area where there are many farms and domestic cats wandering around. I estimate they have a 1,5-2km territorial radius maximum because they have much food and I have never seen one being smashed by a car. Otherwise said, it is a relatively isolated population.
25 years ago, I got Farfouille, a big (I call a 13-15 lbs lean cat big compared to what I was accustomed to), semi-long haired male that would look in-between angora, Norwegian and Maine Coon but none of these breeds are popular or available. Fancy races were mostly limited to Siamese and off course, they did not go outside, especially during winter, when tempreature drops below -30C.
The whole population was then short-haired and mostly, as we called them, yellow, black, striped and off course gray. Very few whites; I live in a relatively remote AND closed area where, while they did not conform to any racial standard, they shared a strong ressemblance to British shorthair.
On third generation, we saw many grey, longer haired, increase in size and then, something strange appeared:
On third generation, we saw many gray, longer haired (semi-long), bigger cats and then, something strange appeared:
-A female tabby (pure straycat must I add), short-haired gave birh to multicolored kittens, there was one gray, one striped, one PINK (yes, salmon in fact) and what would be mine for 17 years, a little brown female. Their father, Gros Gris had a phenotype comparable to its grandfather described above.
While impossible to characterize the type based on my cat (and be perfectly sure about her father), I could say that for this lineage, those cats (including her brothers, sisters and other siblings) were particularly affectionate (to the point of being dependent? When they saw someone, they came along like a dog and never ceased to “speak”) If you think Siamese are “talkers”, you would qualify these “two-toned” as mute… No whining, mine just wanted to have constant attention; a word, a sound that would may be interpreted as an answer (I must say this has nothing to do with the humanization of animals but she required constant retroaction such as when someone came home, people had to salute the cat or she would remind him until he has done it… and had to always be in the same room as me.) But that’s another story as Kipling would say…
These cats were smaller than the gray male ancestors (Farfouille and Gros Gris), had strong health (as for most non-pure specimens) and were very social and playful, lean yet muscular, average length-legged, had more triangular head and were not big-boned. Those who think of cats as independent animals have seen nothing yet. I have not seen since 17 years another brown cat aroud. ( Local population declined due partly to the abandon of dairy farming by many and agricultural laws forbiding other animals in stables are better enforced to reduce cross-contamination and epidemics. In short, cats were thrown out of their habitat.)
I must say I believe this kind of behaviour is not a genetic condition (or it may be a gene, or a cluster of genes triggered under certain circumstances) but the second ,third generation and fourth (from Cesar, the gray one out of the foursome) were particularily affectionate. A matter of behaviorism, education, perception?
Camille, my little brownie, did not have any undercoat. What was strange is that, even if I am very allergic to cats, I did not have much trouble but to complement what was said above, she was not hypoallergenic… Since she never had kittens, I cannot say much about her genotype. Cesar’s descendants were predominantly gray, black, with semi-long hair.
I’ll post some pictures later.