By Franny Syufy
Domestic cats are rich in history, and there is no one-size-fits-all description of them. Domestic cats can be large, small, fat, or thin, depending on their lineage, diet, and degree of care.
Their colors and color patterns are myriad, with all the colors of the rainbow, including black, white, gray, red (aka "orange), with all the shades between. Color patterns include: tabby, calico, tortoiseshell,and tuxedo, to name a few.
Although named after the raccoon, contrary to popular folklore, the Maine Coon cat is not the result of a cat breeding with a raccoon; more likely is the story of a cross between an American domestic cat and a long-haired cat (possibly an Angora), brought by ship from Europe.
Equally at home with children, dogs, or older persons, the Maine Coon is an ideal pet, handily earning its status as the second most popular breed in America, as well as it's fond nickname, "The Gentle Giant." Who can resist?
Ragdolls are said to have been named for their proclivity to relax entirely when held. The Ragdoll adores its humans and would generally prefer to be wherever you are. Don't be surprised to have a Ragdoll shadow as you go from room to room, talking to you in her sweet musical voice.
Although the breed standard has changed significantly over the years, Siamese, fondly known as "Meezers," remain high in popularity for people looking for a pedigreed pet. Whether it be Classic, Traditional, or Modern, hundreds of thousands of cat lovers say, "Make mine Siamese, if you please."
With its glorious long-flowing coat and sweet face to match its disposition, it is no wonder the Persian is the favorite cat among all pedigreed breeds. Persians require a secure, serene environment, but once they feel safe, they will be a constant source of pleasure to the lucky household that is owned by a Persian. The Persian requires regular maintenance to keep the beauty of that coat, so consider carefully before making what should be a lifetime commitment to this glorious cat.
The Manx has been around for hundreds of years, and is believed to have originated on the Isle of Man, off the coast of England. Whether the original Manx was a ship's cat will never be known, but it is generally believed that island cats may also have been involved in the breed's background.
With its rakish lines, robust appearance, and sweet expression, a Manx of any color or tail length can be a fine companion for a single-person household or a large family. Manx love to be around people, and vice-versa it seems, judging by their immense popularity.
If Persians are the number one cat in popularity, the Himalayan color division has to play a large part in that favor. The Himalayan is a result of breeding Persian to Siamese, to retain the Persian type while adding the unique "pointed" coloration of the Siamese. A remarkable success, one would gather, from the large number of Himalayan breeders.
The tuxedo pattern is very formal, named by the attire human men wear for formal occasions. Nothing is so dramatic as seeing a "tuxie," as they are affectionately called, dressed in his best bib and tucker. Some tuxies also wear "spats," or white boots. Tuxedo cats are truly the gentlemen of cat color patterns. And of course, females can wear tuxedos too!
Calicoes share that personality trait of tortoiseshell cats commonly described as "tortitude." They are sassy, spunky, and very independent. On the other hand, calicoes are sweet, loving, and loyal cats. If you hunger for unconditional love, a colorful calico cat will willingly and enthusiastically fulfill that need.
Tabbies are so ubiquitous that many people think of them as a breed. Not so; the tabby is a color pattern - most often stripes, but sometimes stripes and whorls, or even spots and stripes. The tabby pattern is so popular that it can be found in many pedigreed cats today, and is accepted in a number of breeds by the most popular registries.
Black cats pose an enigma to people who have never been up close and personal with one. People who share their homes with one or more black cats love them beyond measure. Others who may or may not have crossed paths with a black cat sometimes fear them to the point of irrationality, no doubt due to ancient superstitions about black cat and witchcraft.
Today, lovers of black cats bear no resemblance to witches, but are normal men and women who happen to love the stark beauty of all-black cats, along with their personalities, which seem to vary from cat to cat.