Beauty Sleep

I never get tired of looking at Calpurnia’s fur.  The variety of color from the near-blackness of the seal point shading down to very pale creme. The ghost tabby markings that can’t quite be suppressed — see the two cheek stripes meeting under her right ear just where they would be on a tabby like Julius.  There are also faint parallel lines between the ears where the “M” stripes are. These may be more from the texture of the fur than a shade difference.

And you can never learn the entire pattern, because the temperature sensitive gene means that the shade can change with the weather or with age. When she was a tiny kitten, she would have been very pale all over, if not as white as her blaze.  When I shaved her belly last year, the fur that grew out was quite dark because of the exposure of her skin to the air.  Her second trim cut some of that dark hair away and lightened those areas quite a bit. She looked very different from what I remembered when I saw her right after the appointment. These days she’s a darker in the small of her back and on the back quarters.  Looking at her now, that’s exactly where her back legs are when she is sitting in a “Sphinx” position.  The fluffed out fur cools the skin and darkens the hair.

Think of what a money saver having that gene would be to human ladies. You could go from brunette to blonde or add streaks just by warming or cooling parts of the scalp, no chemicals required.

About Oldcat

Engineer with Cats
This entry was posted in Calpurnia, Cats, Gustavus Adolphus. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Beauty Sleep

  1. nadbugs says:

    Fascinating facts. Just lifting my hair up off my neck, in an apparently casual gesture, would . . . . like, wow! And what boggling beauty in your little one. Man, I spend a long time looking at Bugs’s fur — and he’s nothing like as complexly fabulous as Calpurnia. Do you get any work done ever?


    • Oldcat says:

      Well, not a lot, but I found ways to do that before Calla came here to live.

      Your mention of changing the color in an instant reminded me of a story by Stanley Weinbaum called “The Adaptive Ultimate”. There’s a radio adaptation here:

      Its about some scientists who try and save a woman’s life by increasing her adaptabiltiy. It works too well, and at one point she gets away with a crime because the witness say she was dark haired and skinned and in the courtroom she has adapted to be a fair skinned platinum blonde.


      • nadbugs says:

        Hah. Crime always has to be at the bottom of everything. It seems. Who dun it? Dun wut. I don’t know. I’ll ask Bugs. No wait. Probably better not. Radio thing sounds grand — my web-minutes are costing me more until the contract rolls over so when that happens, I want to remember to get back here and check out the radio thing. Sounds like a lot of fun.


  2. kimkiminy says:

    I’ve heard tell of evil children shaving a word or design into a Siamese cat, for the same reason: the fur grows back in darker.


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