Sunday, December 8, 2013

A is for ABYSSINIAN

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':

I won't go into a description of the cat as it is easy to see from the photographs it's general appearance except to say their coats are unusual enough to catch attention.  They owe their special coat to one dominant mutant gene known as Ta:  each hair has a base colour with three or four darker-coloured bands; the hair is the lighter colour at the root, and the darker "ticking" colour at the tip.  This ticking is found only in the Abyssinian, Somali and Singapura.  The first cat to have its entire genome published was an Abyssinian named Cinnamon.


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):


16 comments:

  1. Oh Mimi...I love cats. Miss mine so badly. The Abyssinians are gorgeous and you are right...those little babies have beautiful colouring.

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  2. Delores I am so happy I've chosen a subject you love as much as I (and EC) do. I doubt I could live without a cat in my home. I look forward to sharing lots more felines (and canines) with you.

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  3. A for adorable. Though I understand that they are Also Avaricious hunters. I am glad that you liked my suggestion.

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    1. Thank you so much for your suggestion. It certainly seems to have hit the right spot.
      I know they are hunters and one might hope that those that own them keep them in, especially at night.

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  4. Amazing looking animals aren't they? x

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    1. They truly are.....have a very aristocratic look about them don't they? x

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  5. Another great post, such lovely animals.

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    1. Thanks Denise. All cats are beautiful but I guess some more than others, except to their owners who think theirs are special.

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  6. As a cat lover as well although currently pestles, I enjoyed reading this information.

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    1. Thanks Beatrice. Life without a cat seems so lonely. I've seldom been without at least one right through my life. I am so glad you enjoyed this post and hope you will enjoy those that follow as well.

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  7. Those cats are beautiful, and the kittens irresistible. Our cats are spoiled rotten, but I wouldn't have it any other way. (Why have 'em if you aren't gonna spoil 'em?)

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    1. They are lovely aren't they? Our cat rules our house especially since her friend left this mortal coil 3 years ago. He bossed her around but now she has taken control over us and we don't mind one tiny bit.

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  8. They're quite striking cats, I like that chocolate kitten and the darker ones at the end are so cute! Cinnamon seems to be a very suitable name for that colour cat.

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  9. Cinnamon does fill the bill doesn't it? We've had pedigree cats and also moggies and they are all loveable in their own way. I hope you will be able to have your own before too long....or even two perhaps?

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  10. I'm hoping....the grey tabby has had her kittens, she showed up for food for the first time today after a couple of weeks absence. She is looking very hollow, so obviously feeding kittens, but we don't know where. Not anywhere in my daughter's yard. I may do a letterbox drop in that neighbourhood asking about the kittens.

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  11. Yes I'd do some enquiring in the vicinity of your daughter's home. It is worrying that the cat has not been seen for a week or two, especially if she is feeding kittens. I wish you luck and, when you find the litter, you are able to choose a kitten or two to have as your own for the New Year.

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