Himalayan

The Himalayan, Himalayan Persian (or Colourpoint Persian as it is commonly referred to in Europe), is a sub-breed of long-haired cat similar in type to the Persian, with the exception of its blue eyes and its point colouration which were derived from crossing the Persian with the Siamese.

The creation of the ‘Himmy’ took years of selective breeding as the two cats from which it is derived are totaly different. The Persian then: is short stocky and heavy-boned, with long fur, whereas the Siamese: is long slim, and fine-boned and with short fur!

Cat of the Month ~ October 2019
Himalayan
Himalayan ~ Eyes transfixed by ?

Photograph: © Robert and Eunice Pearcy

It was in 1924 that a swedish geneticist start the cross breed process, by crossing a Siamese, Birman and a Persian cat. These trials were not completed it seems, and, it took a jump across the pond (careful Oscar) to Harvard Medical School 1930, where two medical students crossed Siamese with Smoke, Silver Tabby and Black Persians, producing a large number of short-haired kittens. Two of these kittens were mated, resulting in the birth of the first long haired black female Himalayan. When breeding this animal with her father (look away now, Oscar!) the resulting cat was the first Himalayan, with both points and long hair.

Some registries may classify the Himalayan as a long-haired sub-breed of Siamese, or a Colourpoint sub-breed of Persian. The World Cat Federation has merged them with the Colourpoint Shorthair and Javanese into a single breed, known as the Colourpoint.

The Cat Fanciers’ Association considers the Himalayan Persian simply a colour variation of the Persian, rather than a separate breed, although they do compete at Cat Shows in their own colour divisions. It was for the colour (only) that the breed was named “Himalayan”: a reference to the coloration of Himalayan animals, and in particular the Himalayan rabbit.

A Seal Point Himalayan ~ ready for action

Photograph: © Robert and Eunice Pearcy

These cats are good natured, intelligent, and generally very social, but they have been known to be moody at times. Because of their heritage from the Siamese cats, they tend to be more active than Persians.

Himalayans are good indoor companion cats. They are gentle, calm and like most cats they are playful. Like the Siamese, most Himalayans love to stalk and chase balls of wool, mouse or fish toys and anything long and thin like string. Himalayans are devoted and dependent upon their humans for companionship and protection. They seem to really like the affection of a human and generally love to be petted and groomed.

Care for your Himalayan

If you want to bond with your Himalayan, why not spend half an hour grooming her a day/every day. She will love it if she is typical of her kind, and after all this grooming is though is essential to the wellbeing of a Himalayan.

if you’re serious about keeping a Himalayan. Because they have long, silky hair that tangles and mats easily, a Himalayan’s coat should be brushed daily. This will remove and prevent tangling and mats, and help remove any dirt and dust (after all the coat will act like a duster around your home). Professional grooming is also recommended every few months to ensure their coat is healthy and clean, but for most this may be a little expensive.

Like all cats Himalayan’s love to sharpen thier claws, and what better place than the legs of your favourite occasional table. Many advise trimming of claws but we wouldn’t advise it (would we Oscar, you like your scratching too much for that). How about finding some soft material and putting that around the legs of your precious furniture, then we will all get along just fine. (so, please for Oscars sake, leave them paws alone).

Examination of your cat weekly will uncover a multitiude of problems (well hopefully not). For example, Himalayans’ pointed ears are susceptible to capturing dirt and whatever else can fall from the sky or a hedge in your garden. This, if left undisturbed, can lead to irritation and later infection. So, if you see or find debris in your cat’s ears, use a pet ear cleaner and cotton ball to gently remove it. It is not advised to use cotton buds as the ears of all cats are so delicate and full of small capilliaries carrying blood (it can get messy and Oscar won’t thank you, no sir). If the ears are very red or inflamed, very dirty, or smell strongly, take her to the veterinarian as soon as possible, and get it checked out.

Fianlly, we’re glad to say that Himalayans are vary playful, but they will get into mischief if they become bored. So, the golden rule is – Get those cat toys out and Keep Playing. It’ll do you good too …..

Sources: Wikipedia.org, The Pictorial Encyclopedia of Cats by Britt Strader & others

Singhsth the Tiger

Cat of the Month ~ August 2019

Singhsth (aka Tiger 57)
caught on camera, sheltering in a cave in India

Photograph: © David Yarrow

After more than two hundred hours spent in the humid furnace that is the Ranthambore National Park, India, this image of the elusive tiger was finally captured.

Ranthambore Park is a wildlife sanctuary containing a huge variety of animals, birds and reptiles within it. These include Tigers, Leopards, Striped Hyenas, Sambar Deer, Hanuman Langurs, Macaques, Jackals, Jungle cats, Caracals, Common Palm Civets and Desert Cats.

The well known 4 year old ‘Singhsth’ had retreated out of the heat of the day into the cool, dark recess of a cave. Vipul Jain could just see the tiger in the cave mouth and he then passed the message on to his companion, photographer David Yarrow. Luckily the sunlight was just strong enough to light up the tigers face in the shadow of the cave…. “if it was a foot further back in the cave, there would have been no shot” recalled Mr Yarrow.

Tiger 57 image
Singhsth prowling in his usual domain

Photograph: © Amit Vyas

Credits

Image 1: David Yarrow

Image 2: Amit Vyas

Ranthambore National Park, India

Original Article is here

The good news is that, after many years of decline, the Indian Tiger census is showing rapid population growth. BBC ‘Tigers in India’ News

Fluffy the Miracle Moggy

Cat of the Month ~ February 2019

They brought her in like she was a snowball!

Fluffy’s fur was matted with snow when her owners found her in a frozen ball and unmoving in a field in northern Montana, USA. Fearing the worst, they called the local animal hospital.

The veterinary team arrived soon after, and the poor creature was rushed to an emergency room in the local Animal Clinic of Kalispell. Here, the skilled vets used warm blankets and a hairdryer to slowly bring the feline back to life from her frozen slumbers.

Fluffy is hardly recognisable as a Cat

Photograph: © Animal Clinic of Kalispell

At long last, after a few tentative hours, Fluffy started showing signs of recovery. The clinic then made a Facebook post about Fluffy’s recovery, which subsequently went viral….and it’s no wonder! The post explained the story of this poor but lucky feline.

“…in an amazing success and survival story from this week. Some clients found their injured cat buried in snow.” “They brought her to us essentially frozen and unresponsive. Her temperature was very low but after many hours she recovered and is now completely normal. “Fluffy is amazing!”

The story was posted alongside pictures of Fluffy’s incredible recovery, including the image below of a vet using a hairdryer on the cat’s fur.
Fluffy is starting to dry out with the help of that hair dryer

Photograph: © Animal Clinic of Kalispell

Many hundreds of well-wishers commented on the Facebook post, which has had thousands of likes & shares since it was posted.

The final image showed Fluffy looking the picture of health with a completely snow-free coat.

Fluffy comes fully back to life, ready for some more adventures no doubt

Photograph: © Animal Clinic of Kalispell

Oscar and I concur that Fluffy is indeed one heck of a miracle moggy,..and a beauty too. We’re sending our love to her and to her family, on the other side of the pond.

Oscar’s Appeal

I hope all the new year resolutions to be kinder to yourself, to cats (of course) and all other animals too, are going well. It’s on that topic that I am appealing today.

Three years ago my humans got me from ‘The Animal House’ a small animal charity in Birmingham, England, who did fabulous work for me all my cat and dog acquaintances there.

You see, I had fallen on hard times, and my old keepers couldn’t keep me any longer — but ‘The Animal House’ came to the rescue and fostered me to a kind carer called Lyn.

Of course I am now the love of my humans’ life, the moon in their June the light of their darkness, etc. etc. ,but not all cats (or dogs) are so fortunate.

Cat of the Month ~ January 2019
Oscar the cat needs attention
Oscar at his most appealing, …well done for making this appeal Oscar, you champ! Ed.

Photograph: Ed.

 

When I saw ‘The Animal House’ website recently I knew that I just had to raise awareness for them as they were once so kind to me, just when I needed it. So if you can do anything to help the wonderful work they do for animals at all, as their vets’ bills are through the roof, please look at their website, adopt an animal (a cat, preferably of course), volunteer or make a donation – however small, it will be appreciated I’m sure. Let’s spread the good karma for cats and to all other animals in 2019. hey, enough already about the cats Osc, I think your’re biased somehow) Ed.

Lots of Love Oscar x x x

https://www.theanimalhouserescue.co.uk/

The Animal House Rescue doesn’t have a rescue centre, instead of using kennelling facilities we have a network of local foster carers. Our foster carers open up their hearts and homes to animals, that are homeless through no fault of their own.

 

German Rex

Though the details are uncertain it is widely agreed that the  curly coated German Rex is one of the oldest of the Rex cats. In around 1930 an ancestor of the modern German Rex breed was kept by a woman called Frau Erna Schneider in Konigsberg, Germany (Kaliningrad, Russia).

The name of this cat was Kater Munk and he was said to be the offspring of a Russian Blue and a mahogany coloured Angora.

Our cat Kater was then, the earliest recorded example of a Rex cat, and was referred to at the time as a Prussian Rex.

Cat of the Month ~ October 2018
Kater Munk, One for the ladies it appears.
Photograph: © Schneider

It is accepted that the German Rex of today is a direct descendent of Kater Munk. Many cats of this type were bred from Munk in and around Konigsberg, until his death in 1945, but interestingly none of these offspring would have had curly fur – as the allele (genes) of Munk’s straight-haired mates would always dominate. The Schneiders nevertheless valued this strong tom cat with a talent for catching fish from the family’s garden pond.

Feline researchers do not generally consider Kater Munk to be related to the German Rex breed, and state that he was never bred from (this seems at odds with the other stories that he was a prolific breeder, Ed). Anyway, it was reported that in the summer of 1951 a black curly coated cat was noticed and taken in by Dr. Rose Scheuer-Karpin from the grounds of Hufeland Hospital in Berlin. The cat, was renamed Lammchen (little lamb) and subsequently went on to have several litters of kittens.

It was in 1956 that Dr Rose decided to mate Lammchen to one of her sons (Fridolin). This resulted in a litter of curly coated kittens. Some people have speculated that Lammchen is a descendant of Kater Munk, but we will never know the truth for certain. However Dr. Rose’ supposition that Lammchen must have been the result of a mutation, was shown to be correct. Thus, Lämmchen was the first breeder-owned Rex-type cat and the maternal ancestor of all the current German Rex cats.

German Rex
German Rex Cat with claws well sunk in!

Photograph: © catza.net

Today the descendants of Lammchen and Fridolin are the founders of the German Rex breed, though further cross breeding to other mixed breed cats has increased the gene pool considerably.

The German Rex is a medium-sized breed with slender legs of a medium length. The head is round with well-developed cheeks and large, open ears. The eyes are of medium size set in colours often related to the coat colour. The coat is silky and short with a tendency to curl of course. The whiskers also curl though less strongly than in the Cornish Rex. All colours of coat, including white, are allowed. The body development is also much sturdier than in the Cornish Rex. On the whole German Rex are friendly creatures. They are lively, playful, and intelligent and bond with people well.

As already stated, it is not known how Lämmchen relates to Munk, only that the German Rex mutation (on the same gene as in the Cornish Rex) – is recessive, meaning it will only show when both alleles are “Rex”, and that Munk is the first thoroughly documented Rex cat. So Munk is almost certainly related to all German Rex cats in the world today.

Incidentally, there are four types of Rex breeds in existence, these are the German Rex, the Cornish Rex, the Devon and the Selkirk Rex.

References: Wikimedia Commons & Others

Maya finds a home

The story goes that Maya the Cat was found behind a Chinese food restaurant and then taken to an animal shelter to be put down. The reason being that Maya doesn’t look like other cats and it was thought she would never find a real home and never be adopted by anyone.
Maya has a chromosomal abnormality that has caused her features to have been changed so she can look strange to those who are used to seeing cats in a particular way.
Cat of the Month ~ May 2018
Maya enjoying a soft rug
Photograph: © @meetmayacat
The good news is that with the help of an organisatiopn called ‘The Odd Cat Sanctuary’ Maya was not only saved from being euthanized but was eventually found a permanant home too.
Lauren showing Maya for the camera
Photograph: © @meetmayacat
Lauren and Harrison have now given Maya a new home. When questioned in a media interview Lauren said “Maya is pretty tiny (8 lbs tops), but she’s got huge feet and whiskers.” “Maya’s just like any cat,” says Harrison. “She’s of smaller stature, and some think she will be more kitten-like forever. She has slight vision issues (she is cross-eyed, after all), and due to her nasal structure, she tends to get stuffy a lot. It’s actually adorable. Every time she gets out-of-breath, she sneezes like 15 times in a row.”
The Odd Cat Sanctuary Website home page
Photograph: © theoddcatsanctuary.com
See all the cats currently listed on the Odd Cat Sanctuary website. So best wishes to Maya (Lauren & Harrison) and may the great work of ‘The Odd Cat Sanctuary continue.