Egyptian Mau Myths Exposed!
Sinbad, squirrel hunting
OK, this isn't exactly a scientific expose, just a couple of observations based on my two Maus, who turned two a couple of weeks ago.
A lot of common facts are stated about Maus, and they seem to be reproduced, sometimes verbatim, in online articles about them. Some I have found to be true, others rather more dubious - so here are the ones I would like to take issue with:
Maus have gooseberry green eyes.
- Well, yes and no. Yes, they are most definitely green, but it depends a lot on the light. The weaker the light, the more green they appear - indoors, or on cloudy/gloomy days, absolutely. But in direct sunlight, they are most definitely amber! I noticed this with my moggie as well - green indoors, but outside in bright sunlight, a definite amber colour. Since most (or many, at least) keep their Maus indoors, perhaps the 'gooseberry green fact' has been reinforced.
Maus hate the cold.
- We had a pretty cold and prolonged winter here in the UK, by our standards, anyway. Didn't stop 'the boys' spending up to a couple of hours out on the cold snowy days, though. Perhaps they knew that a warm sanctuary (ie, home) was nearby, which meant that they didn't mind getting a bit cold? Not sure. But they certainly didn't turn tail as soon as they encountered snow and ice!
Maus are the fastest breed (31mph).
- This statement is often presented with the phrase '..Maus have been clocked running at over 30mph..'. Well, this brings me to what prompted to write all of this. On a couple of walks outside my flat today with the boys, each on separate occasions suddenly went into stalk and pounce mode. I couldn't see anything, until a chase suddenly exploded, with one of the Maus chasing a squirrel, cat and rodent both at full speed. A quick search shows that squirrels can run at about 12-14mph - half the supposed speed of a Mau. Did they catch the squirrel? No, each time. They pretty much kept up with it, but didn't manage to overrun it before it made it up a tree. (The photo at the top is of Sinbad, after missing his target, waiting patiently at the base of the tree the squirrel had just escaped into, hoping to catch it on the way back down!)
This is hardly scientific, as I said, and my test group of just two Maus can hardly be called representative, but even if they were slow Maus, you would expect them to catch an animal that can only manage 14mph! Anyway, I take issue with the 'has been clocked' part of the statement, as I cannot see how anyone could set up equipment for this, and then get a Mau to run on demand...
However, the other statements about Maus I have found to be true - they are loyal, highly intelligent, very active and playful, mischievous, and have musical voices which produce lots of different vocalisations!