Our new cat Ultraviolet has been with us since around the end of August 2017. Rescued from the streets, she took some time to settle in. Now she is one of the sweetest kitties we’ve ever had! She sits with us, adds necessary purrs, and helps with all our activities.
In a previous post I noted that she makes a meow movement with her mouth but we don’t hear anything. We’ve found she actually can meow! But only a series of deeper, calling meows, from the distance of another room, when she wants company or food. Of course we answer, “Kitty,” when we hear this, and give her whatever she wants. When she’s within visual range, looks up at us and opens her mouth in a greeting meow, there’s no sound.
I think she has some Persian ancestry. Looking at the shape of her face and her noggin with it’s smoothly rounded dome like you see on the roof of the Smithsonian, a little googling, and some study of pictures of Persian cats convinced me. Her facial structure, wide-set ears, deep-set eyes, short muzzle, high cresting cranium, and the appearance of her profile is unlike the morphology of any other cats we’ve had and so much more like that of the Persians. She’s nowhere near purebred, but I suspect some part of her heritage came from Persian cats.
The vet thinks she has food allergies. I didn’t believe she’d like hydrolyzed food, but she devours it. So much that we may have to control her portions. That’s not going to sit well with her. Although she has a pretty good grasp of electromagnetic radiation, she just can’t compute “empty food bowl”.
She’s really hard to photograph; if she’s awake, she’s moving. Because she’s a black and red cat, she’s also hard to photo edit. If I saturate to make the black deep enough, the red looks too red. If I adjust towards blue to counter that, the black goes too blue. It’s fun to experiment though, while I slowly learn(?) photo editing from the ground up.
She does look blacker than she did in the summer, maybe because she now has her winter pelage, or maybe the ruddy color was partly caused by sun exposure and has faded under indoor light. But look close and you can still see red tones in her fur. I don’t think she’s a variety of tortoiseshell; her reds are darker, like clay earth and dried pine needles, unlike the sunny orangey-red I see in tortoiseshells. Here’s a picture of Shelley, my friend’s tortie, for comparison. “Phhsssst!” says UV, “A strange cat in my post, that is so not cool!”
I’ve learned from this article by Franny Syufy that some long-haired black cats may be genetically predisposed to sun “rusting”.
The genetic mechanism described in the article appears to differ from the one that causes tortoiseshell coloration, which involves the pairing of a red X chromosome and a black X chromosome. In my opinion UV is not a tortie.
I’m also seeing more and more photos of long-furred black cats who appear to have red “frosted” areas like Ultraviolet, on the internet. There was even one found wandering downtown on the streets. Kind people placed him in a home. So reddish floof over black is in the local gene pool?!
Domestic long-haired cats are only about a tenth of the random-bred cat population in the US, so maybe it’s not so strange that I didn’t know this color configuration existed. I had never seen a basically black cat with so much ruddy fur. However there’s also this: I haven’t seen enough cats! I so need to get out more!
Ultraviolet’s take on cat scholarship is that I need see no other cats, only her. She’s the one cat I need to study. I’m trying to convince her that although her wise, mature presence has taught me more than a universe of other cats and kittens ever could, I can still glean useful cat facts from observing other felids. If I know my cats, it may work to her benefit, I tell her. “Puuurrrrrrr.” She’s content with that answer, for now.
Here is the link to the quick announcement when Ultraviolet arrived.