Categories: Dwarf Cats

What is a Minuet cat?

Minuet ‘Snowflake’. Photo: copyright Helmi Flick.

A Minuet cat is a Napoleon cat and a Napoleon cat is a dwarf cat, a cross between the founding dwarf cat, the Munchkin and a Persian. I have a full page with good photographs of the Napoleon cat so I won’t go over the same ground here. Please click on this link if you’d like to read about the Minuet.

So why did TICA decide to change the name?

I ask because the word ‘Minuet’ means ‘a slow, stately ballroom dance for two in triple time, popular especially in the 18th century’. There is nothing there which is remotely linked to domestic cats unless there is a funny cat video on YouTube of cats dancing the minuet 🙂 . The only connection that I can detect is in the sound of the word. It harks at the word ‘minute’ meaning very small. In fact the same letters are formed to create the word ‘minute’ to mean small and ‘minuet’ to mean a dance.

And I therefore wonder if the TICA directors who decided to change the name were encouraged by that obtuse connection.

Minuet Longhair – aka Napoleon. Photo: Helmi Flick

This brings me to the original name: Napoleon. Once again there is no connection between ‘Napoleon’ and cats except that Napoleon was 5 feet 5 inches (1.68 meters) tall. He was a short guy and probably quite dumpy by the look of the pictures of him. Napoleon Bonaparte was a rumbustious man and his character may have been a factor too. That’s probably the reason why the creators of this dwarf cat breed selected ‘Napoleon’ in the first instance.

Minuet aka Napoleon. Photo: Helmi Flick

Of course I am indulging in pure speculation but it is a slightly amusing pastime. Initially I found the new name curious because it is not the sort of name you’d normally select for a domestic cat.


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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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