The chinchilla Persian is one of the cat fancy’s most glamorous cats. I’m referring to the traditional doll face variety. It appeared in 1882 and was first exhibited at a cat show in 1894. The Chinchilla Cat Club was created in 1901. And in the 1960s the chinchilla Persian became famous as the pet cat sitting on Blofeld’s lap being gently stroked and pampered. Often, we only see Blofeld’s hands stroking his glamorous cat. It is a nice juxtaposition of innocent beauty and evil ugliness.
The video below shows a behind the scenes moment when Donald Pleasance mistreats Solomon (in my opinion) by holding him too tightly to prevent him from escaping. It is not very pleasant (excuse the pun).
Perhaps the best known Blofeld with cat scenes are those of Donald Pleasance as Ernst Stavro Blofeld in You Only Live Twice (1967). The first appearance of Blofeld was in Thunderball in 1961.
Wikipedia and other websites say that Blofeld’s cat is a white Persian. I think that they are incorrect. Admittedly, this famous Persian cat does look white but it is not a typical white. It is a silvery translucent, special kind of white. This is the chinchilla coat.
Each individual hair strand is white with a black tip. It is a white cat ticked with black to use cat fancy language. And the eye colour which goes with this sort of cat is green or blue-green.
The name “chinchilla” is borrowed from a South American rodent called the Chinchilla. It has a silvery-grey coat as expected.
The first major cat show at which the chinchilla had its own class was at Crystal Palace in 1894. The Chinchilla Cat Club was created in 1901 in London as mentioned.
Breeders of this type of purebred cat moved away from a much darker version to its modern equivalent. There are other cat breeds with the chinchilla coat and these include the American Curl, American Shorthair, American Wirehair, Cornish Rex, Devon Rex, Exotic, Maine Coon, Manx, Norwegian Forest Cat, and Scottish Fold.
According to Dr. Desmond Morris, the well-known zoologist, the first recorded chinchilla was a female called Chinnie.
This cat was born at a vicarage near Wakefield, UK in 1882. She was sold to a breeder for £1.05 p or a guinea in old money. Frances Simpson, the godmother of the cat fancy in the early days called this cat “The Mother of Chinchillas”.
Solomon is perhaps the most famous of all Chinchillas. This is the Persian cat that was lovingly pampered by Blofeld in the James Bond films: You Only Live Twice (1967), on Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) and Diamonds Are Forever (1971).
Modern breeders have extended the range of colour variants of this silver coat to include for example the following: blue chinchilla silver and dilute chinchilla shaded tortoiseshell to name two variants.
Note: These videos are on YouTube and embedded here. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over the situation.
Below are some articles on celebrity cats.