The Color of Cats

Do No Harm

The Color of Cats
Lone Cat

Imagine being born and encompassed by your mother's warmth. Feeling her love, as she touched you and pulled you closer to her to keep you safe. Imagine hearing the sound of her voice and knowing that you can rest comfortably in her arms. Surrounded by the security of a mother's love and the fact that nothing would hurt you. Waking up each day to her feeding you and teaching you the things that you needed to know to survive in this great big world. Such a big world and you are so small. Everything is new to you. Everyday there are new things to see and smell and touch. The experience of finding the smallest thing is elating. Chasing after grasshoppers or being scared of them is your greatest accomplishment or greatest fear. Being born into this ever-changing and wonderful world. Full of adventures and hopes and dreams. Happiness throughout your being at just the sight of your mom looking at you. Joy as the rays of the sun touch your little body. These days should never end for the little creatures of our world. Day after day of happiness without ever being thrust into being alone, scared, hurt, or hungry.

Imagine being a tiny kitten and being snatched up and out of your mother's arms. Thrown into a box and put into a car. Hearing the roar of the engine. Scared of the sounds. Terrified of why the human had grabbed you so hard. Trembling with fear and confusion as that same unfriendly hand grasps your tiny body and slings you from the window of a moving car. Bam! You hit the pavement. Dazed from the impact. Your head hurts. Your leg hurts. There's blood in your mouth. It's dark outside. There are strange and unfamiliar sounds and smells in the air. The weather is turning cold so you start to shake either from the cold or from the shock of your injuries. You are alone. You begin crying for your mother but she can't hear you cry. Her smell is still on you but her smell isn't in the air around you. Standing up you feel the sharpness of the pain in your leg as you try to walk and wonder why you hurt. You are tired and hungry. Mostly, you are scared because you are alone and have never known pain until now. What would you do if this happened to you?

The cat is the only animal on earth that can lead a solitary life. Being taken from a domesticated setting and thrown away into the wild, if not found within seven weeks, the cat will become feral. Without being spayed or neutered a female cat can give two to three litters per year. Producing one to eight kittens per litter. During her lifespan, if she lives seven years, she can give this world around 100 kittens. With her kittens also producing unwanted litters that can total around 400,000 in their lifetimes. Non-pedigree cats as well as pedigree cats are abandoned everyday by their owners. Cats are being left to fend for themselves on a mass scale, creating colonies of stray cat communities that continue to grow in number. Without human interception, these colonies of stray cats will continue to give offspring and become more of a nuisance. This causes more of an annoyance than the joy that we cat lovers associate with our cats and their beautiful, charming, fur rubbing against you, demanding to be fed, I love you half-closed-eyelid cat bedroom eyes look. What is not to love about a cat? Who could bring harm to these ancient creatures? Only the heartless could inflict pain on an animal whose only need is to be loved. In that love all other needs are met.

In our history as the human race, we have upheld the cat sometimes to a degree to which it cannot stand. Yet, that is our failing as imperfect beings ever evolving as the decades pass. For example, in ancient times cats were thought to be a type of guardian spirit for the home, with multi-colored cats being a safeguard against house fires. The Egyptians even injected a few drops of the cats blood into their children as a defense against diseases. That they worshiped cats is a well known fact. But the latter isn't well known. Yet, is a fact. Another lesser known fact is that in the early 1300s people would bury cats in the foundations of their homes, with the thought process being that the buried cat would then become a spirit that protected the home. I do not see the logic in that. As if the cat appreciated being murdered and decided to protect the home? It would have better suited had they kept the cat alive to keep the rat population dwindled to prevent diseases caused by rat infestation. Then there are the black cat theories because it is a black cat that it is bad luck. In England, it is said that a black cat in the house can "save" a sailor at sea. Yet, still to this day in parts of the United States, black cats are considered to be consorts of Satan, and so, are bad luck to have around. When really the poor black cat is just as loving as any other color of cat and deserves to be cared for and spoiled as its counterparts. It has been my experience in rescuing feral cats and kittens that every single color of cat and every single breed of cat all have the same needs and wants — to be loved. If you can't help them, definitely do not hurt them.

Cat Facts

Agouti: Hairs with alternate bands of light and dark color.

Albinism: The total lack of pigmentation.

Alopecia: Hair falls out in patches.

Anurous: A cat without a tail.

Bicolored: Cat having one of different markings formed with other colors.

Blaze: Having a marking coming down the center of the forehead and onto the nose.

Blotched Tabby: Broad lines on the back legs and solid patterns on other sections.

Bracelet: The rings on the legs marking the Tabby pattern.

Breeches: Having longer hair on the upper hind legs.

Brindled: Having a strong different color in the tail.

Brown: Being a brown cat, genetically though, it is considered to be black. Cats are sneaky like that.

Cameo: White or silver colored hair tipped in red.

Chinchilla: White hair tipped in black.

Chocolate: Rich shade of deep brown. remember though, genetically this is black.

Cinnamon: Reddish brown.

Classic tabby: Blotched coloring.

Color Point: Colored only at extremities. Eyes are always blue.

Curling: Crimping of the fur.

Depigmentation: No color in the skin.

Dilute Calico: Patches of blue, cream, and white in the fur.

Domestic Cat: Non-Pedigreed.

Donkey Ears: Ears set close together.

Double Coat: Bottom layer and top layer of fur that are the same length.

Down Hairs: Located around the ears and toes slight wavy hairs.

Fawn: A very soft brown color.

Frill: A tuft of fur on the chest of the cat.

Ghost Markings: Faded colors on a kitten that fade out as they age.

Gold: Apricot-shaded fur of the cat.

Guard Hairs: Gives the fur it's shine and is the outer layer of fur.

Harlequin: A solid color of cat that is mostly white cats.

Lilac: Pale beige shade that seems pinkish in color of fur.

Marbled: Used to describe the Bengal cat.

Mask: A darker region on the face.

Mittens: The white feet of some cats.

Paw Pads: The padded area under the cats foot.

Pedigree: What every person owning a cat should have. This is a certificate showing the names and breeds of cats. Except for humans there should be a registry of how many cats they have and if the cats are spay and neutered or not taken care of in that fashion.

The story of cats comes in all shapes, colors, and sizes. Just like humans.

What would you do if thrown away and left for dead?

You would do your best to survive. Cats will survive. They choose to be domesticated. They choose to allow humans the privilege of having them in their houses. No matter how well-spoiled a cat can be, if left alone it will revert back to it's basic instincts, which is procreation to ensure that it's species survives for the art of surviving. They see, hear, smell, feel, care, far more than any human. We are obligated to do our best for these animals.

I found my Sparta underneath an abandoned car with his face ripped up and a hole in his tongue. He was my first rescue. Since then, Four years past, I have tamed, rescued, re-homed hundreds of cats. Before Sparta, I was not a cat person and loved larger breeds of dogs. This cat has changed my life and my perception of how cats are. They don't need humans to survive. They choose us to live a better life. If you can't help them then, at least, do no harm. And donate to local no-kill shelters to help keep the population of cats down.

Read next: Calling All Wannabe Pet Owners
LG Reagon
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