Monday 20 September 2021

Picture of a calico American Curl with a blaze down the nose

The cat's name is Shiva. She is a calico cat; tortoiseshell-and-white, with a line down her nose demarking two colours (a blaze). She is also an American Curl. You can see the white on the cat's chest. The term "calico" is an Americanism. Like tortoiseshell cats the colour form is sex-linked and they are nearly always female. Males do sometimes occur but they are extremely rare. In 1989, at least one commentator said that calico cats should have a certain minimum amount of white fur: white feet, legs, underside chest and muzzle. This person thought that "once a cat has more than half of its body total in white, then it is a calico". On that basis this cat can either be a tortoiseshell cat or a calico cat. I think that is over complicating it and perhaps the best thing to do is to describe this cat as a tortoiseshell-and-white!

Picture of a calico American Curl with a blaze down the nose
Picture of a calico American Curl with a blaze down the nose. Photo: Pinterest.

There are a number of variant forms which had been developed over the years such as dilute calico which is white with unbridled blue and cream and a fawn-cream calico. There are others. The calico cat is not a cat breed but a colour type.

The American curl is a breed which appeared in 1981 in Lakewood California. A couple, John and Grace Ruga found 2 stray kittens on their doorstep. One of the cats had strangely shaped ears and they kept her. She gave birth to a litter of four kittens, two of which showed the same curled ears as their mother and they decided to use these cats as the foundation stock of a new breed.

Like a lot of other cat breeds the American Curl started with a spontaneous genetic mutation in the random bred cat population and which happened to be noticed by somebody leading to a cat breed through selective breeding.

You can read more about the American curl and the tortoiseshell coat by clicking on the links in this sentence.

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