|Purred: Wed Apr 16, '08 9:31pm PST |
|Ishtar, you are BEAUTIFUL! Yes, technically you are a torbie (="tortoiseshell tabby"), but you can also be called a "patched tabby." Regarding tri-colored cats being lucky...I've never heard of that in the U.S., but in Japan, a MALE calico (white with separated spots of red and black) is considered lucky because it is so rare, and traditionally, sailors would keep a male calico on board ship to keep it safe from storms and sinking. Despite what one of the posters has said, calico cats are quite common among Japanese domestic short hairs (moggies)--along with red tabbies, white cats with black or red spots, black cats, and grey tabbies, they are what make up the general population of Japanese moggies. I've seen tortoiseshells, too, but calicos seem to be more common. By the way, when I visited Hong Kong, I found that the alley cat population had the same color variation as in Japan, which surprised me, although the cats were smaller in size. Obviously, there must be some genetic connection between the two groups of cats--we can imagine that Japanese and Chinese cats traveled the seas on ships between the two countries and influenced each other's gene pools.
Japanese domestic shorthairs look very much like American ones (I don't know about Europe), but traditionally tend to have larger ears and more slender bodies, as they are Asian cats and related to Siamese and other Orientals. Japanese cats not infrequently have short tails, although nowadays most have tails that are just sort of half-length, rather than a bobtail shape, and long-tailed cats may be in the majority (all but one of my Japanese moggies have been long-tailed).
"Manekineko" (beckoning cat) figurines are always either calico or black, although I'm not sure why. Obviously, one reason is that these colors are ones which are traditional to Japan. Another reason could be that the red color in the calico suggests gold (money), but I'm too lazy to look it up on the Internet. I'm not sure why there are black cat manekineko, but assume that this color is also considered lucky (as Japan doesn't have a superstition about black cats being witches' familiars!). Furthermore, there may a simple aesthetic reason as well--calicos and black cats are lovely to look at, and look sensational in pairs (I had a calico and black sister and brother duo for many years, and they were lovely to look at when sitting or lying next to each other).
If I can find out why manekineko are usually calico, I'll write another post. I'm still curious as to why your cat is considered lucky in your country. But I think YOU'RE lucky to have such a pretty cat, and she's lucky to have you!
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