At page 47 of Charles Darwin’s book, “The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication,” vol.1, he writes that throughout the area of the Malayan Archipelago, Siam (Thailand), Pequan (not sure where that is – it’s an outdated name) and ‘Burmah’ (Myanmar),
“all the cats have truncated tails about half the proper length, often with a sort of knob at the end”.
The kinked and stunted tail is very common in the pointed cats of Thailand.
When they were first imported to England, Mrs Vyvyan (the person who first imported Siamese cats from the king’s palace), says:
“most of the kittens have a kink in the tail”
You still see street Siamese in Thailand with short and kinked tails. Despite the kinked tail being part of the original Siamese cat, it was bred out. A defect. Too ugly. However, if you feel a Siamese cat’s tail you can feel the kink towards the end of the tail sometimes, perhaps often. There is a vestige of a kink still there.
My neighbor has two Siamese cats, one seal and one blue pointed. When stroking the seal point, I can feel the tiny, hidden kink at the tip of her tail.
It might have been a good idea if breeders had accepted the kink and made a feature of it. Why not? The Manx cat has no tail or a short one and that is a feature, while the Scottish Fold has flat ears, another “defect” so what is wrong with a kinked tail – a ‘feature defect”. Incidentally, Harrison Weir, the founder of the cat fancy, speculates that the Manx may have come from the same part of the world as the Siamese because of the tail defects.
Some breeders agree with me because they created the Siamese cat with the bobtail – the Mekong Bobtail. They say this is the true Siamese.
In fact many cat breeds developed from genetic mutations have mutations that have caused an anatomical defect. The hairless cats are another example as are dwarf cats.