Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Manx Cat Picture

Manx Cat. I think his name is "Sur". Photo is copyright Helmi Flick - Please respect it.

Another beautiful cat photo by Helmi Flick. This time it is a classic tabby and white "rumpy" Manx cat. Rumpies are tailless. This cat is not always completely tailless. There is a range and all conditions have a unique name. This is an interesting cat breed for its history - there are some myths! People probably know that before this cat breed was created these cats were feral or semi-feral (non-purebred in the formal sense) and perhaps household cats on the Isle of Man. Where is the Isle of Man? Answer: just off the east coast of England in the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and the coast of Lancashire. This is a map I made using Google Maps:

There are a lot of stories about how this tailless cat became to be on this island, which by the way is not a part of the UK. The answer is probably that a genetic mutation occurred amongst the cats on the island centuries ago (or perhaps they were imported from the Far East?). On a relatively small island there is a greater chance of it happening and expanding as the colony of cats is confined and isolated. The gene that mutated is dominant. There are potential health issues associated with the shortened tail. Like all cat breeds that came about due to a mutation causing an unusual appearance there are cat breed standards relating to the tail and its length.

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