There may be those among you not fond of insects and as I love to always keep everyone content I was wondering what other critters I could write about when my brilliant friend EC came up with the idea of CATS. If people don't like cats then don't read the cat posts. I also feel kindly towards dogs, well some of the breeds anyway, so have decided to do insects, cats and dogs in tandem. Or does tandem only stand for two??? Well, who cares anyway. There will now be 3 different subjects so you can take your pick.
The ABYSSINIAN is a breed of domesticated cat with a distinctive ticked coat. There are many stories about its origins, often revolving around Ethiopa, but the actual origins are uncertain. The Abyssinian has become one of the most popular breeds of shorthair cat in the USA (there are a number of them in Australia too and of course in other countries around the world).
The name "Abyssinian" refers to Ethiopa, but most of the stories about the origins of Abyssinians refer to Egypt. Genetic research suggests the breed originated near the coast of the Indian ocean, where colonists may have purchased animals from wild animal traders. The breed was developed in Great Britain.
The breed is sometimes believed to have originated from one Egyptian kitten named Zula, who was taken from a port in Alexandria by a British soldier and brought to England in 1868. This theory is not established because there is no solid link between Zula and the cat first listed as an Abyssinian in 1882. This is Zula, the so-called 'first Abyssinian':
Over the years, various other colours have been developed from the original form, but the markings on the coat have remained the same. The back of the hind legs and the pads of the paws are always darker than the rest of the coat. A popular colour is sorrel which has a cinnamon (yellowish-brown) base, with chocolate brown ticking, paw pads and backs of the legs. Blue Abyssians have become increasingly popular in recent years and there is also the rare fawn colour as well. This picture shows a 6-month old chocolate kitten with his sorrel father.
These cats are extroverted, extremely playful, wilful and intelligent. They are usually not "lap cats" because they are usually too preoccupied with exploring and playing. They are popular among breeders and owners, and can be very successful show cats. Not all are shown however as the colour and type standards are very exacting, and also because some are shy towards strangers and timid in public, They have quiet, engaging voices. They need a great deal of love and interaction with the family to keep them happy and can get depressed without daily activity and attention. They generally get along with other cats. They are known for their curiosity and enjoy exploring their surroundings, including heights. They are sensible cats that don't take unnecessary risks. As one might epect from such an intelligent and physically capable breed, they are known to be formidable hunters. They adore toys and can play for hours with a favourite ball. Some even play fetch.
Just to end the story of this delightful animal there are a couple of Abyssinian kittens at play (I really like the colouring of these two babies):