Saturday 5 February 2022

What kind of Bengal cat wins cat show competitions?

If you want to know the kind of Bengal cat which wins cat show competitions, you need to look at the breed standard (CFA or TICA) and while reading that have a look at a couple of photographs of two Bengal cats who have won competitions. This is exactly what I've done for this page. I welcome the views of cat breeders and judges etc. Please comment as much as possible.

Importance of the coat

Below you will see two winners. When I look at these photographs the most outstanding aspect of the anatomy which catches my eye is the coat and the nature of the markings. This is a high contrast coat and the rosettes and doughnuts ('donuts' in American English), as they are called, are very pronounced and sharp. The patterns are interesting and exotic. I think a lot rests on the quality of the markings.

Overall appearance

A cat that wins Bengal cat shows is going to be medium-to-large in size with a sleek, muscular build. The hindquarters are slightly higher than the shoulders and the "boning is substantial". This cat has a thick tail with a rounded tip. The head is expressive with a "nocturnal look". The markings are stunning with a wild appearance. The cat should be alert and active with an air of inquisitiveness but at the same time have a dependable disposition. Males are usually larger than females.

CFA cat show winner. Image: CFA
CFA cat show winner. Image: CFA

Glittering

The quality of the Bengal cat coat is unique to the breed. It is close lying, soft, silky and luxurious. Ideally it should be glittered. I've discussed that on another page (see below). The coat genuinely looks as though it is glittering as if it's been sprinkled with stardust.

RELATED: Bengal cat glittering.

Bengal cat glittering
Bengal cat glittering. Image: PoC.

Coat types

The CFA standard mentions two types of Bengal cat patterns and colours: rosetted/spotted tabby pattern and marble tabby pattern. The former is a coat covered in rosettes and spots with a horizontal flow to their alignment. 

The contrast between the pattern and the ground colour or background should be 'extreme' in the words of the CFA. The rosettes can be of many different shapes such as a round doughnut, open doughnut, pancake, paw print, arrowhead or clustered. These are preferred to single spotting. 

Other markings

The markings around the eyes and on the face should be strong and bold. The backs of the ears have a thumbprint. The colour of the chest and belly should be lighter than the other parts of the coat. The CFA likes horizontal shoulder streaks, spotted legs or a rosetted tail. The belly must have spots on it.

Bengal cat that has won at CFA cat shows.
Bengal cat that has won at CFA cat shows. Image: CFA.

The marble pattern is sometimes called a blotched tabby pattern and is full of swirls. There should be high contrast between the markings and the background as for the rosetted coat. There should be sharp edges between the markings and the background. The markings are two toned. 

They say that there should be no resemblance to the classic tabby pattern and circular pattern or bull's-eye is undesirable. They are emphasising the fact that the tabby pattern of the Bengal cat is superior or different to the standard tabby pattern on a standard tabby cat. They prefer a random pattern and the more random it is the better. They like a stained-glass effect.

I've given you a flavour of how the survey relates to the coat pattern of the Bengal cat. It is complicated. There are lot of features to the coat that they are checking on. It is perhaps the most important aspect of the Bengal cat in terms of appearance.

There are many types of Bengal cat in terms of the coat type from blue mink smoke to black melanistic. I would recommend that you have a look at the CFA breed standard.

Negatives

On the negative side, the CFA disqualifies Bengal cats if the belly is not patterned when the cat is a rosetted/spotted tabby, marble tabby, charcoal tabby and snow tabby. They also disqualify when there is a distinct locket on the neck, chest, abdomen or anywhere else. If the tail is kinked or deformed the cat is disqualified. A cat with crossed eyes and 'cow hocking' with also qualify for qualification.

Just short of disqualification, Bengal cats will be penalised if the rosettes or spots run together vertically forming a mackerel tabby pattern. They'll be penalised if he or she has a circular bull's-eye pattern for the marble tabby. And if a snow tabby patterned Bengal cat has a "substantially darker point, as compared to colour of body markings" that cat will also be penalised.

Friday 4 February 2022

Hong Kongers are struggling to get their cats and dogs out of Hong Kong in a mass exodus because of Beijing's crackdown

NEWS AND COMMENT-HONG KONG: The world has heard about Beijing's crackdown on Hong Kongers for being too democratic. China is in breach of the treaty with the UK to allow democracy to exist in Hong Kong until 2047. They unilaterally decided that the agreement was over and jumped the gun and imposed their version of democracy in Hong Kong much too soon which has forced many thousands of Hong Kongers to leave. They have to get out. Their freedoms including freedom of expression have been lost.

Hong Kongers struggle to get their cats and dogs out of Hong Kong in a mass exodus because of Beijing's crackdown
Hong Kongers are struggling to get their cats and dogs out of Hong Kong in a mass exodus because of Beijing's crackdown. Photo in public domain.

In fact, since January 2022, 2,500 Hong Kongers have arrived in the UK (or are applying to emigrate to the UK) every week. I think we can expect perhaps several hundred thousand Hong Kongers to be in the UK in due course. There appears to be a bit of a crisis in certain work sections of Hong Kong such as school teachers where they describe a brain drain. Hong Kong has changed massively thanks to Beijing's crackdown on freedom of expression.

That's the background and is causing real problems with companion animals. The problem, as I understand it, is that people are desperate to get out of Hong Kong but they are still in a Covid pandemic. This has placed, as we all know, severe restrictions on flights both incoming and outgoing into all countries including Hong Kong.

In addition, the Chinese authorities, apply a zero-Covid policy both in China and Hong Kong. They have a very strict set of rules in order to squash the transmission of the virus. This in addition, creates barriers to free movement including flight out of the country.

As a consequence, it is reported that some Hong Kongers have joined together, perhaps via social media, to fund private jets to fly them and their pets out of the former British colony. It was a dependent territory of the British Empire from 1841 to 1997.

Hong Kong's population declined by 1.2% in the first six months of 2021 according to a recent census. I believe this is been put down to this mass exodus. 

Businesses who arrange charter flights are busy. Chris Phillips, who works as a pet and medical charter manager for a private jet broker said that: "People want to get their pets back to their home countries and their dogs and their rabbits, and they just can't get them back via commercial routes". 

He is referring to expats in Hong Kong. It isn't just the native Hong Kongers who want to get out but foreigners working in the country too.

A company called Pet Holidays say that they arranged 18 private jets last year and expect to arrange 20 this year. The zero-policy against Covid had resulted in the culling of 2,000 hamsters in Hong Kong. Animal advocates were very much against this because the transmission from animals to people appears to be highly unlikely. It is said that it is not a genuine hazard and therefore there was no need to cull 2000 hamsters. Vets are calling for them to be quarantined. There have been reports that some hamsters where infected in The Netherlands before export to China. And a cluster of Covid infections in hamsters. Some owners have abandoned them.

Update: Feb 4th, 2022: 9 dogs and 10 cats had tested positive for the virus in Hong Kong.  Will this lead to some horrendous treatment by Bejing? They are not the best when it comes to animal welfare.

One company involved in arranging flights out of Hong Kong said that they have seen a 700% surge in business recently. Another private aviation company based in Hong Kong, Live Travel, told CNN that 90% of arrange flights are about relocation. People are on the move with their pets. The trouble is that Covid and Beijing are making it very difficult.

Cats fight over territory on slippery roof with unforeseen consequences

The location is Sula, Cortes, Honduras and this is a slippery roof.  It is early morning by the looks of it (crepuscular activity). I guess the roof is deliberately slippery to allow rain water to run off efficiently. The cats are unaware of this technical point obviously. The black one is patrolling his territory or has he entered the territory of the ginger cat? They meet and of course fight but are unable do so on the slippery surface. 

Two cats encounter each other on a Honduran roof
Two cats encounter each other on a Honduran roof. Screenshot.

One of the cats slides off the roof and drops to the ground; a fall of about 10 feet which is okay for a cat. He appears to have been unharmed and is likely to be unharmed. The video was caught on CCTV. It is just another day in the life of free-roaming cats. Millions of them do the same thing every day.

The roofing material interests me as much as the cats 😃! I'm going to guess and say that Honduras is quite wet in the rainy season. They don't have roof tiles like they have in the UK which are quite complicated to put up and it means that you have thousands of parts onto the roof. In this roof you have this great slab of material which is treated to be slippery so that the rainwater runs off very quickly. 

Personally, I prefer the Honduras method to the UK method. It looks far more durable to me and far more sensible. And a lot cheaper to install. I could go on for hours about builders in the UK and the building methods which I question.

Another thing worth mentioning about the cats is that they are, expectedly, on a roof. A lot of their time is spent high up off the ground. They prefer to be up there where it is safer. Until they meet each other and feel compelled to fight over their overlapping home ranges. The must be quite a few stray or free-roaming domestic cat in Honduras and I suspect that the home ranges of male cats overlap because of the high population which leads to encounters like this one.

Note
: This is a video from another website which is embedded here. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.

Wednesday 2 February 2022

Nine-year-old girl was terrified that her cat Buddy would die stuck up a tree

NEWS AND COMMENT-MOTTINGHAM, LONDON: This is a slightly different version of the classic "cat-stuck-up-a-tree" story. It was New Year's Day and very cold. It was in the evening and dark. Buddy a large, white domestic cat, had been frightened by a dog and the fireworks and had raced up a tree near his home. He refused to come down. He's the cat companion of Zoe, the daughter of Alison Miles.

Buddy safely back on terra firma
Buddy safely back on terra firma. Photo: Alison Miles.

Miles called both the RSPCA and the fire service. Both refused to help. She was disgusted. She said that the RSPCA "didn't even bother coming up".

The fire brigade did turn up but according to her one of the fireman said: "I don't like cats". That was an excuse for not helping, it seems. Another fireman said that the ladder was not tall enough. And therefore, they were unable to help. Another firefighter said that they weren't going to waste water after Miles suggested that they jetted some water at Buddy to force him to jump onto a nearby roof.

The end result was that both the RSPCA and the fire service decided that they couldn't help. In defence, the RSPCA said that they were very busy on that night and the fire service said that they do have people who like cats. They didn't press on and help because they decided that others could do the job.

And others did do the job because the community rallied around and they managed to find a tree surgeon to assist them. He chopped off the branch on which Buddy was huddled. This forced him to fall to the ground where a group of people held a sheet to break his fall. He survived and is now safe.

It was an ordeal for both Alison and her daughter Zoe. Zoe went through a very tough time according to her mother. She couldn't sleep and when Buddy finally made it after three days, she stayed up all night to feed and water him. She was terrified that he would die of a lack of water.

And it was a really cold night. Both Zoe and her mother thought that he wouldn't make it. His meows had become very faint.

Alison said: 

"We thought he was going to be dead by the time we got to him. Even when he was down, we didn't think he'd make it through the night. It was horrendous because he's not my cat, it's my little girl's cat. I had three nights with her crying that he's going to die in the tree – especially with all the fireworks. The fourth night was the worst one; she wouldn't sleep. She stayed up all night cuddling him, making sure he ate and drank. It was heart-wrenching. It's been freezing, really cold, so we were all worried. Thankfully, he's all right now.

A fire service spokesperson said:

“A crew from Eltham attended on Monday and the officer in charge looked at all options. The cat was higher than the traditional ladders carried on fire engines and an aerial ladder would not have been able to pitch close enough to effect a rescue. Firefighters explained the situation to the residents, suggested a tree surgeon might be able to help and left so that they were available for another emergency call. Firefighters are animal lovers and two of the five firefighters who attended the scene are cat owners themselves."

Tuesday 1 February 2022

Picture of soldier on rifle range with cat across his legs

This is a very strange picture about which I know little. All I know is what I can garner from the image. I don't know if it is linked to the Ukraine invasion. It is a first for me and I've seen hundreds of thousands of cat pictures. This is a soldier apparently on a rifle range practicing. He has a box of cartridges to his left. Judging by the sights on the rifle it looks like he has a Kalashnikov. 

RELATED: Ukrainian citizens flee or shelter with their cats (pictures).

His cat friend is a grey tabby-and-white. He is quite stocky and well fed. He jumps slightly each time the rifle is fired which is to be expected at least. Can somewhat tell me more ❓

Note: This is an embedded tweet. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.


Picture of soldier on firing range with cat across his legs
Picture of soldier on firing range with cat across his legs. Screenshot.

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