Saturday, December 10, 2011

Egyptian Mau Picture

A glorious, spotted, silver cat of elegance and athleticism. Once again, this is a great photograph by professional photographer Helmi Flick of a stunning cat. The Egyptian Mau is a very popular purebred cat said to have descended from the African wild cat some 4,000 years ago. The spots are 'natural' as opposed to manufactured through selective breeding, it is said. This is a tabby cat, of course. When we think of tabby cats we most often think of random bred cats but many purebred cats are tabbies too.  "Tabby" refers to a cat coat type not a cat breed. They are just a little more refined in appearance. This cat breed has a body type that is described as "semi-foreign". This means somewhat slender. It is in the mid-range of purebred cat body shapes but towards the slender for elegance. It probably reflects the Africa wildcat, which is quite a rangy cat.

One of the most interesting aspects of this breed is that you will see feral Egytian Maus in Egypt that are sometimes persecuted and which are possibly, or even probably, more purebred than the cat you see in the picture. By "purebred" I mean nearer the original cat in terms of genotype. A colleague of mine, a student in Egypt, is doing work on this. The Egyptian feral cats look like this cat but much less refined as expected.  Read and see much more.

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