Two White Cats – Siblings – a Photograph

This is an interesting Helmi Flick studio photograph of two white cats. The central cat, a male named “Monk”, does not have blue eyes. He might not be deaf. He has a 19% chance of being deaf.  Up to 85% of white cats are deaf in both ears if both eyes are blue. The gene that makes a cat’s fur white also makes the eyes blue (and can affect hearing). Both lack pigmentation.

As I understand it, this photograph is photoshopped (edited on a computer) although you would have no idea that it was. Monk appears to be pushing another white cat who is female off the studio table. Her name is “Natalie”. They are siblings – littermates.

White Cat Siblings

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Helmi framed the picture quite tightly and Natalie was not completely in the frame when the photo was taken – part of her was cut off and out of the picture but the photo had potential from the point of view of composition and impact.

What Helmi did was to add whiskers and part of her chin from outtakes to complete Natalie’s image. That means adding material or parts of other photographs to this one.

The cats are moggies and they are polydactyl – extra toes – although you can’t tell from the photograph. They are handsome cats. The biggest problem with all white cats is deafness. Monk is shorthaired and Natalie is longhaired but the difference is not pronounced in this instance.

The photo is published with the express permission of Helmi Flick.

7 thoughts on “Two White Cats – Siblings – a Photograph”

  1. Hi Caroline
    There is also a critique tailored more specifically to the “Turkish Angora” The phylogenetic tree is very interesting as is is derived from Leslie Lyons’ own unrooted tree cunningly tucked away in the Tufts Canine and Feline Conference paper. It contradicts her claims in the 2012 Study so she would’t want cat breeders to see it, would she?

  2. Hi Carolone. I checked Cornell’s websites but I didn’t find anything new on deafness in white cats. I did find their FB page very interesting, and also the “Ask Elizabeth” site where anyone can ask questions about their cats and their health. I fired the first shot in getting them interested in Turkish cats by posting the link to Sarah Hartwell’s critique on feline DNA studies.
    Many thanks for the tip!

  3. Hi Caroline. No I never thought of that for the simple reason that if there were any useful new guidelines or new information that would soon be general knowledge on the cat breeders forums, but there is nothing. We also need a new study on Turkish cat breeds since the 2012 Turkish Cat Genetics Study by Leslie Lyons is just a joke. We are expected to swallow the fairy story that Turkish and Ankara Zoo cats are Cyprus cats!! I will see what I can find out on Cornell’s site(s).

  4. It does appear to Photoshopped, b/c if you look at the one “being shoved off of the table,” you cannot help noticing the whiskers on our right/cat’s left. No-o-t quite right, from my persepctive. And the toes are all wrong on the back kitty’s right paw. Too many of them. wow. This photo is really quite fun. I like it! 🙂

  5. Most of my white cats do not have 2 blue eyes but some are odd-eyed. Jasmine with both eyes blue seems to have perfect hearing but her half sister with odd-eyes has poor hearing. All of the recent kittens seem to have perfect hearing. I mate white to white/red cats to reduce these risks and so far it seems to be working. 2 of the recent white kittens have green eyes and good hearing. Note that Leslie Lyons at the recent WCC conference in Cambridge said that it is proving very difficult to locate any genetic evidence that would explain the occurrence of deafness. We cannot expect to learn of any new guide lines for breeders on this matter any time soon.


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