Aby-a-Day – May 30: “Red” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

This week’s Photo Hunt subject is “Red.”

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This is an easy one! Angel is a red Aby!

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But it’s not at simple as that, because Angel isn’t really red. Her colour, genetically, is cinnamon, a dilute of the brown gene. True, sex-linked red in cats is a completely different gene.

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You see, in non-Abyssinians, the red gene in cats is sex-linked, and only carried on the X chromosome. Females are XX, and males are XY, of course, so the Y doesn’t contribute to a cat’s colour. Red is also dominant, so if it’s present, no other colour can manifest…unless it’s on the other X in a female. So, a female can either be red-red, red-not red, or not red-not red. Males can only be either red or not-red. Red females, contrary to popular belief, aren’t “rare,” they’re just statistically less likely, since the chances to have a red female are shared with the chances to have a red-not red, or tortoiseshell, female. It’s a bit confusing, I know. Maybe that’s why the “red” in red Abyssinians isn’t really red. It’s definitely easier that way.

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True sex-linked red does exist in Abys, but it’s not recognised by all registries; the CFA does not recognise it all. The true sex-linked red Abyssinian is bright orange with a red tail tip. It is important for breeders to know whether they have sex-linked red or non-sex-linked red as this will affect the breeding program. Where there is sex-linked red, there can also be tortoiseshells. Tortie Abyssinians do occur, but since the breed does not permit white, these are always brindled rather than “calico.” The combination of brindling and ticking can make it almost impossible to determine whether a female is tortie or not just from a visual inspection. Sometimes a female Abyssinian is only known to be a genetic tortie when she produces a mix of red and ruddy kittens!

Aby-a-Day – August 26: Cats can’t see shades of red

Currently, we have our dining room chairs lined up against a wall (the table they go with is in storage). On these chairs, we have a row of cat beds. There’s an old Siamese print bed that used to belong to Harri, there’s Kylie’s pretty pink princess bed, and there’s the leopard-print bed that’s large enough to hold all the cats, along with a blanket and a retired memory-foam bathmat.

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It never fails to make me laugh when Jacoby chooses, of all the possible places we have for cats to sleep, the tiny pink princess bed. It’s nice to see a cat who isn’t afraid to embrace his feminine side.

Aby-a-Day – February 27: Bright and colourful (Hipstamatic Monday)

I love how bright and oversaturated these photos are.

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They seem so cheerful for the end of February, don’t they?

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They say Abyssinians are “the colourful cat,” and, well, I guess Jacoby lives up to that.

Aby-a-Day – January 31: Beauty in detail

Before I got Angel, I hadn’t ever really seen a red Abyssinian close up. Based pretty much just on photos in books, I believed they were just sort of faded ruddy Abys.

So not true. Their colour is described as “warm, glowing red, distinctly ticked with chocolate-brown,” and there should not be any black hairs at all. It’s subtle, but beautiful.

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As you can see, even the back of Angel’s head is fascinating.

Other People’s Abys – Interesting Photo

Gun-Hee’s mother Amber was Danish; she came from Marica Cattery in Store Heddinge, Denmark.

Even though Jacoby isn’t at all related to Gun-Hee’s European side of the family, sometimes I still check to see what’s going on. And I found this photo of Ars Amandi Alicia of Marica.

It’s a little geeky, but it’s something that kind of jumps out at any Aby person…her chin isn’t white! I don’t think I’ve ever seen an Aby without a white chin.

And I just wanted to share that with everyone.