This is a nice picture of three beautifully spotted, street cats of Cyprus. Their coats are very high quality spotted tabby. They are a “a spotted male and some of his family”. The three are, no doubt, looking for food from the person in the chair that I have covered with the map.
Despite being community cats, DNA tests establish that they are:
78% Turkish Ankara kedisi, and 28% mixed bag which UC Davis strangely calls Turkish Van (Harvey Harrison).
“Turkish Ankara kedisi” is the Turkish Angora.
These are the real spotted cats, descendants of the African/Asian Wildcat as far as I am concerned (Harvey can correct me if I am wrong). Harvey makes the point that there is no need to breed wild cat hybrids when these cats are available.
It is interesting that genetically they are Turkish Angoras. People think of the Turkish Angora as a white cat with odd coloured eyes, one blue and one yellow, that looks a but like the traditional Persian.
At the present time the earliest known domestic cat was one unearthed from a grave with his human companion in Cyrus dated at about 9,500 years ago.
As we know that the domestic cat is a domesticated African/Asian Wildcat, I think it is fair to guess that the cats in the picture are quite possibly descendants of the wildcat and similar to the first domestic cats. They are similar to the Egyptian Mau street cats in Egypt – see below. The Eyptian Mau is said to be the descendant of the first domesticated African Wildcats and the only naturally spotted cats (whatever that means!).
I’d like to mention that in Suffolk and Norfolk, England in the 1880s and earlier (in fact, going back to at least the late 1600s) tabby cats were called Cyprus cats. The name was based on a cloth called “Cyprus” made of silk and hair with wavy lines that came from Cyprus. I wonder if the cloth was inspired by the tabby cats of Cyprus. It seems Cyprus is a important place in the cat world.