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Friday, November 11, 2016

Of human arrogance..... and genes.

Dear George, 
I’m fed up with human arrogance and here it is why! You see, when I was very young I adopted a human family who later betrayed me and dumped me into a ravine to live with a colony of feral cats. I was hurt and confused but soon I became the Alpha Cat of that colony. We were doing fairly well until this woman start feeding us daily and actually claiming ownership of the colony. She did register with a rescue group and soon after she started behaving like she was the Alpha Cat! I was fuming but I had to go into hiding since she started trapping us and taking us to be neutered and spayed. In most cases she did end up keeping most of the cats to live with her. All was good over the summer and I was able to come out of my hiding. But now I have this funny feeling that she is looking for me! George, why would she be looking for me? I heard her saying that out of the four kittens she had rescued one was mine and the other three were some other tomcat’s kitties. 
How can this be possible? All four came from the same litter! Maybe she wants to ask me for kitty support? I still don’t understand how can a short hair kitten be mine when I’m long hair and gorgeous (as you can see in the picture) and the other three (which happens to be long hair) be somebody else’s? It doesn’t make sense!
George, hope you have some knowledge about kitty genetics and you can explain this to me.
The Wild Alpha

Dear Alpha
My answer takes us into the jungle of cat sex and cat genes!  When our females are allowed to mate with whom they like, they often mate with more than one tom. This means that their litter of kittens may well have more than one father - which may explain why most of the kittens were short haired. (This happens with humans too, only they produce young one at a time!).
The other explanation is genetic. The gene for long hair in cats is a recessive gene, and can be carried by cats that have short hair (the dominant gene). This means that long hair will only show itself in kittens if both male and female parents carry the long hair recessive gene. The short haired gene always wins out otherwise. Only if you have a double dose of the long haired gene, you are long haired. Your female mate (if she is short haired) probably has one short haired dominant gene and one long haired recessive (hidden) gene. 
Some of her kittens will have inherited her short haired gene which will make them short haired. Some of the kittens, however, will have inherited her long haired recessive gene and together with your long haired gene - a double dose of long haired genes - this will make them long haired.
This IS complicated. If you want to know more you can find it here.
Yours George
PS. Think about getting the snip. Neutering will prolong your life and perhaps help you find a new human to adopt.

2 comments:

  1. Carla, the tuxedo catNovember 13, 2016

    Wild Alpha, you are so beautiful - you can be my father if you want :-)))
    You are beautiful but George is right; think of getting fixed!
    Maybe that's why that human Alpha is looking for you?
    Purrs,
    Carla, the tuxedo cat

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm sure that lady who took over the colony has most noble intentions and she's looking for your best interest!
    Tom

    ReplyDelete

Help for cats whose humans show behaviour problems.

This blog is devoted to the study of human behaviour. We cats, who live with this sometimes unpredictable and always feeble minded species, can benefit from seeing their behaviour in its proper scientific context. The study of feline dilemmas, training problems, and difficulties with humans, can only benefit all of us. All of us train our humans - to buy the right food, for instance, but many of us do not have knowledge of how to improve our training methods. The human species is obviously not as intelligent as the cat, but nevertheless can learn quite a lot - if properly managed. Topics of interest include the use of claw and order, purring as a human reward, rubbing your human up the right way, when to bite, spraying as a method of making our wishes known, ignoring the human, human harassment, human inattention and sheer human stupidity. I welcome your questions. Photos can be sent via my secretary's website, www.celiahaddon.com This blog has been chosen as one of the top 50 feline blogs by Online VetTechprogramms.org