Brown Classic Torbie Siberian Cat

This is ‘Gemma’ photographed by Helmi Flick. The photos have the Helmi stamp all over them. You can recognise a Helmi Flick photo very easily. Below the photographs I add some words; the source of the information is the Pendraig Siberians cattery.

Gemma: Torbie Siberian Cat. Photo copyright Helmi Flick
Gemma: Torbie Siberian Cat. Photo copyright Helmi Flick
Gemma: Torbie Siberian Cat. Photo copyright Helmi Flick
Gemma: Torbie Siberian Cat. Photo copyright Helmi Flick
Gemma: Torbie Siberian Cat. Photo copyright Helmi Flick
Gemma: Torbie Siberian Cat. Photo copyright Helmi Flick
Gemma: Torbie Siberian Cat
Gemma: Torbie Siberian Cat. Photo copyright Helmi Flick

Gemma is a classic torbie Siberian cat. Her full name is: Forestwind Gemma Sultanovna. The word ‘classic’ refers to the type of tabby markings which are swirls and blotches rather than spots and stripes. You can bundle the Siberian, the Maine Coon and the Norwegian Forest cat together in terms of ancestry as they may have a common ancestor. I say ‘may’. We don’t know.

Gemma is at the Pendraig Siberians cattery. Her parents come from European breeders.

Gemma is ‘sweet, affectionate and friendly’. She looks it, I have to say. She plays the role of peacemaker in being friendly with cats who are in dispute with each other.

Pendraig describe her as having ‘great size’. Her coat is very high quality. They also write of traditional and non-traditional lines. Pendraig deliberately acquired a Siberian cat with European breeding behind her as it appears the Europeans breed traditional Siberians and Americans in general don’t. I am not sure of the difference in terms of appearance between traditional and modern except that Pendraig describe her “strong characteristics which we found lacking in non-traditional lines…’

It seems that non-traditional Siberians are smaller and less cobby (stocky and thick-set). I’ll guess and presume that the original Siberian cats which are still farm cats in Russia will be very robust and natural looking strong farm cats while breeders in America may have decided to ‘refine’ that natural appearance and in doing so lost their rugged, natural appearance. I could be wrong. Perhaps Pendraig will comment.

The Siberian is known to throw up what is called ‘bimetallic cats‘. Bimetallic cats look a bit like torbie cats. Gemma is said to be a ‘golden carrier’. Is this a reference to bimetallic cats? Gemma is a breeding cat.

In 2009-10 She was awarded the Best Siberian cat in the South Central Region (TICA) and best brown classic torbie Siberian.

A page on how Helmi takes cat photos.

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East Valley Competes With West Valley Animal Shelter, LA, For Best Looking Rescue Cat

This is a bit of news from two animal shelters in Los Angeles, USA. They both have a rescue cat that is particularly attractive. They are both featured in the Los Angeles Daily News.

At the West Valley Animal Shelter, 20655 Plummer Street, Chatsworth, there is beautiful female feline whose name is Beauty. She is 2 years old and she is looking for a new home.

Beautiful rescue cat Los Angeles
Beautiful rescue cat, Beauty at Los Angeles shelter

Apparently, she may be shy at first. She may be a little timid, actually, but that is not a bad thing because it means she will worry her human caretaker less because she will be less adventurous if she is allowed out. She is spayed.

For me, an interesting aspect of this beautiful rescue cat is her coat. It appears to be a very special example of a calico coat because if you look at the coat carefully you can see orange over grey and of course some white on the chest and chin. It is the orange colour over the grey background which interests me.

If the coat is not a calico, which as you know is tortoiseshell and white, then it might be an example of a bimetallic cat. This refers to a unique coat coloration. Bimetallic cats have golden patches over their coat. The term originally applied to Siberian bimetallic cats.

If she is bimetallic then you have a very rare cat if you wish to adopt her, so hurry along!

At the East Valley Animal Shelter, 14409 Vanowen Street, Van Nuys, LA, there is (or was!) a sweet looking kitten whose name is Gia. She is described as a Ragdoll kitten. The Ragdoll cat is a very popular pedigree cat. They are meant to have beautiful temperaments and of course they look superb. The Ragdoll is a pointed cat with deep luxurious, long fur and exquisite blue eyes.

Beautiful rescue cat at Los Angeles shelter
Gia, a beautiful rescue cat at a Los Angeles shelter

Gia has excellent manners and likes to play. Nobody, anywhere could do better than providing a home to this beautiful kitten. It had better be a good home and a loving home because she deserves it as do all rescue cats.

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Bimetallic Cats

Bimetallic cats
Photo via Thank you and thanks as well to Lesley Morgan.

The description bimetallic cats refers to a unique coat coloration. Bimetallic cats are flesh and blood not metal. The term currently relates mainly to Siberian cats, which are a pedigree cat that looks like a Maine Coon or Norwegian Forest Cat. All three may have the same ancestors. However, I think there are lots of random bred cats that are also bimetallic. At least they look it. Perhaps there has been little focus on moggies or perhaps I am wrong and Sarah Hartwell will scold me for writing that ;).

I am informed by Sarah Hartwell (thanks Sarah) that within some SIberian cat breeding programmes (lines) cats are popping up that have a golden-like “stain” of colour that appears to be laid over the existing tabby coat. When the tabby is a silver tabby, the effect is silver contrasted with gold, hence bimetallic Siberian cats. “Bimetallic” means two metals.

On certain occasions when the coat is suitable, adding golden blobs of colour can make the cat look like a tortoiseshell cat. Because tortoiseshell cats are almost always female, when a lot of male tortoiseshells turned up someone scratched their heads and asked questions.

It has now been decided that the bimetallic coat is due to a genetic mutation that was perhaps introduced into Siberian cat lines by a random bred (freeborn) foundation cat with which the pedigree cats were outcrossed perhaps to avoid inbreeding while improving the cat’s appearance.

What I mean by a “random bred foundation cat” is that all Siberian cats, Maine Coon cats and Norwegian Forest Cats are refined versions of the natural and original random bred cat (the moggie foundation cat) from Northeastern Europe and Russia (I suppose).

Within the current population of original Siberian cats there appears to be mutated gene that found its way to the cat fancy in America. I am not sure if the gene is recessive or dominant. I don’t think the experts know for sure but it seems to be a recessive gene brought out through line breeding. Recessive genes are often hidden and have no effect on the cat.

Here is photo of Lexus, a bi-metal Siberian cat of 11 weeks of age, from Facebook:

Bimetallic Siberian Kitten
Bimetallic Siberian Kitten

Below is a photo of a random bred tabby cat on Flickr. It looks to me like he is a bimetallic cat but no doubt there is some reason why he is not. Perhaps this is an example of rufinism, which is described as “the degree of expression of orange/yellow pigment”³.

Bimetallic cat
Bimetallic cat?

With respect to bimetallic cats, the genetic effect called “rufism” (also called “rufinism”) has been ruled out because of the “degree and intensity” of the colour¹.

At the level of each hair strand the golden colour is due to a broader band of phaeomelanin which is yellow/red/orange pigment in the hair strands. Melanin (eumelanin) is dark brown and the other banded pigment. This how a classic tabby hair strand might appear:

Tabby Hair Srand
Tabby Hair Srand

If the phaeomelanin band is wider the hair will look more orange/yellow hence the golden colour of these bimetallic cats.

Refs:  (1) (2) Original photo of tabby random bred cat on Flickr (3) Robinson’s Genetics 4th edition.

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