I made a post about the Aegean cat some time ago on my blogger site and I don’t think that I really did it justice. So this is a second attempt (note: this post was written in late 2015 and has been upgraded). This cat actually reminds me of the Bahraini Dilmun Cat (new window) not because it looks the same but because the development of the cat seems similar. What seems to happen is that a colony of feral cats breed and this colony is particular to a certain area and these cats remain in that area. That in effect makes them purebred cats. OK there are no papers or certificates to prove it but there is good evidence in terms of what can be observed.
I think that this is an interesting concept; that feral cats can be purebred cats. After a while these cats develop a certain appearance that is particular that area and become known for that. At this point a cat lover or someone in the cat fancy decides to formalise what is up to that point an informal situation and breeds the feral cat into a purebred cat that is registered with a cat association.
All the photos below are by Flickr photographer by ++zola++ and were taken on one or more of the Cyclades Islands, Greece, where this cat lives (see more below).
These are Mykonos and Aegean cats from the Greek Islands. The last one is Santorini Cat – Santorini is known to be a very laid back island and very beautiful:
That is what has happened with the Aegean cat as far as I can see. And it is exactly what happened to countless numbers of what are now well established purebred cats such as the British and American Shorthair cats. The Maine Coon is a classic example and probably the world’s most popular purebred cat.
It is just that this Greek cat, the Aegean cat is at a much earlier stage in its development. In fact it seems to be right at the beginning (at 2015) unless someone can point me in the direction of the Greek Cat Fancy who are developing this feral and semi-feral cat into a cat breed. I cannot find out anything about the Greek cat fancy by the way. Although I have a post on how the tourist industry in Greece rely on their street cats to entertain tourists but then poison them offseason.
The Greek cat fancy have been developing this cat since the 1990s. The area to which this cat is confined is the the Cycladic Islands of Greece. It would appear to be a cat that is specific to Greece although I am not sure about that.
The Wikipedia author Barc0de (a Wikipedia user name) uploaded a fine picture of his/her own cat, Areta, a juvenile male Aegean cat. I wonder if Barcode is Greek? The picture is on the right and it is published here under a license kindly granted by the photographer and human companion to Areta – thank you.
Well, this cat is a nice tabby and white cat (new window). Areta looks very alert and charming. This is a well known and commonly occurring mixed breed cat coat type. The cat body type is standard being neither foreign nor cobby, just nicely in the middle which is what I would expect. Although Areta is probably on the slender side which befits a cat living in a very hot climate. The pictures above taken by ++Zola++ includes a cat that is solid and white as well, although the more typical coat type of this cat would seem to be th e classic tabby and white.
Areta’s coat looks like a double coat judging by the way it breaks nicely on the forelimb and chest. It looks a dense coat which surprises me. I would have thought a cat living in Greece would have a single coat lying close to the body such as is the case with the Oriental Shorthair for example or the Havana Brown comes to mind. Many moggies have single coats. My former three legged cat had a single coat, for example.
So where are the Cycladic Islands of Greece? I think the better name or another name for these islands is the Cyclades Islands, Greece.
Here is a map:
The Aegean cat has been a cat companion for centuries on these islands. Is it fair to say that the situation regarding this cat is the same as for the British Shorthair cat just before the cat fancy took of in England in the late 1800s? That would seem to be the case. See History of the British Shorthair.
The Cyclades Islands are fabulous:
Santorini – photo by MarcelGermain
Photos are published here under a creative commons license: Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic.
I’d welcome input in comments from visitors especially people living on these Greek Islands.