|Saber toothed cat|
In my early post we talked about some common facts that are shared by the whole cat family. Now let’s talk about domestic cats. These Cats have a long history; their prehistoric member was SABRE TOOTHED CAT which is very much similar to the tiger and about the same size. This Saber toothed cat developed six inch long canine tooth extending from its upper jaw. scientists believed this development of over sized tooth led to extinction of these unusual cats where as they could not open their mouth wide enough to bite well.
While Saber toothed cat is the prehistoric member of the cat family KAFFHYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaffir_cat"IR CAT an African wild cat was probably an ancestor of the domestic cat. They still live in North Africa and look very much like Tabbies (domestic cat breed). Egyptians were the first to tame and domesticate these small wild cats and it is thought that Phoenician ships calling at Egyptian ports traded them and carried cats to Greece and Italy. And Roman armies marching in to Spain and Northern Europe took cats with them as pets. Probably some of these cats may have mated with European wild cats, which still exist in wild in Scotland and in wooded Northern Europe. These domesticated cats became the most sacred of the Egyptians and this may be the reason for the Egyptian moon goddess to have a cat’s face. In Egypt some cats were mummified and buried with their owners when they died. And it was a crime to kill or steal a cat. And they were the inspiration for statues, jewelry and many other forms of decorative arts. Not only in Egypt, in China cats have been valued for many years. Their job was to protect the cocoons of silkworms from being destroyed by rats.
The varieties of domestic cat that we know today are all of one species, differing only in length of hair and in colour. The first long haired cat imported in to America was the ANGORA. One type of Angora, now called the MAINE COON CAT, is still found in Maine. Very much like the Angora is the PERSIANHYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persian_cats". The Persian is one of most popular show cats. These Persian cats are long haired cats that have more compact body, smaller ears, a round head, and shorter legs than the Angora. Persian cats also have a pronounced ruff around its neck and a bushy tail. White Persians have blue eyes and black ones have deep copper or orange eyes.
Another common breed is TABBIES. Tabby cats have either long or short hair. These cats are with all kinds of markings that can appear in tabby’s litter. These makings can be strips or spots. For show purpose there are definite types. Most common Tabby is striped tabby often called the tiger cat, which may has a grey coat with black vertical stripes. And the latter “M” on its forehead; the Brown Tabby, with black strips on its tawny body; the Silver Tabby with tabby marking on silver ground. Sometimes we can find pure Black or White Tabbies without ant tabby markings. Another interesting short haired cat is the Blue cat or Maltese. Which may vary in colour from slated blue to pale lavender. And TORTOISESHELL CATS (there coat is like tortoise-shell) are produce by cross breeding as male tortoiseshells are extremely and cannot reproduce as they are sterile. Cat breeders are always trying to produce improved strains in the different varieties of cats.
Other famous breed is MANX CATS which can be black, white or any colour, come from the Isle of Man, off the North West coast of England. It normally has no tail and has especially long back legs. It is not known how these unusual cats got developed from ordinary cats, nor do we know how they come to live on the Isle of Man. Some Manx cats do have a very short tail, but for show purpose they must have a hollow at the end of the backbone where the tail should be.
SIAMESE CATS are also common domestic cats that come from Thailand. They have a pale fawn coloured body, with either dark brown or grey-blue feet ear tips, tail and muzzle. According to the colour of these darker portions, the cats are called seal points or blue points. Kittens are born white and acquire their adult markings within a year. Siamese cats tend to grow darker coats if they are kept in cold climate. BURMESE CATS are very like Siamese with a rich, dark brown coat, lighter on the underside and darker where Siamese are tipped. Siamese cat have deep, hoarse voices. These are only few cat breeds but in the world there can be so many cat breeds which I or for that matter nobody has ever talked about.