Friday, January 07, 2005

Feline Friday XIII: Soft white throats 

I find genetics fascinating, and Sasha and Sergei are an interesting case study for me. Although they look little alike, Sasha and Sergei are littermates. When we adopted them as 12-week-old kittens, they had similar kittenish features. We were told that their feral mother was a short-haired tabby. There was no mention in their foster mom's description of her of the white markings - four paws, bellies and soft white throats - that Sasha and Sergei have in common. I assumed that their father was a long-haired black tomcat, and that either the mother or father had those white markings.

As the kittens matured, they looked less and less alike. Sergei is built for speed, with long legs, a slender body, and a pointed, slightly Egyptian looking face. Sasha is built for strength: square bodied, shorter legged, broad faced. Kittens in the same litter may have more than one father, and I now wonder whether the boys' feral mother might have gotten around a bit. If their mother had white markings like theirs, then the boys might be only half-brothers. If, however, she did not have white markings, then I believe the boys must've had the same father, as the shape of the white patches on their throats, chins and bellies is so similar. It's just one of those little puzzles for which I'll never have an answer.

The demon eyes in these photos have nothing to do with genetics, and everything to do with the flash on my camera. Had the camera not flashed bright light into their eyes, you could see that their eyes are dissimilar; Sergei's round and green, Sasha's almond shaped and golden.

As you can see from Lyra's photo, she has a small white patch on her throat. It is the only white on her furry smoke-colored body. Her foster mother called it a "locket," which we found charming, so her locket it is.

Note: If you don't see enough cat photos here, or want a little more variety, head on over to The Modulator, whose Friday Ark has links to pet blogging of more than the feline variety. My second favorite category is Didn't Make It, which links to blogging about the pets (other than Dino) that Pebbles and BamBam might've had. And every Sunday there's Carnival of the Cats, which this Sunday will be hosted by Leslie's Omnibus.