The Egyptian Mau - Small Cat with a Big History

Document Sample
The Egyptian Mau - Small Cat with a Big History Powered By Docstoc
					If there is any sort of valid claim to being the cat of ancient Egypt and the Pharaohs it
must go to the Mau. After all, the word "mau" means cat. What better credentials
could a fantastic feline have?

Well, what if the particular breed of cat can be clearly seen in ancient Egyptian
artwork? Even better, what if Hollywood itself has given its stamp of authenticity to
the breed? In the 2004 movie, "Catwoman", Halle Berry's character, Patience Phillips,
is killed, but is brought back to life by a Mau named "Midnight", which was actually
played by three different cats. It's not surprising that they turned out to be movie stars,
however, because they are known for not only their striking appearance, but for their
personality and charisma as well.

When you go as far back into history as the Egyptian Mau, you are bound to come in
contact with some wilder, less refined ancestors. The Mau is directly descended from
wild African spotted cats. These ancestors were domesticated, by the ancient
Egyptians and may be, as some believe, the starting point for all modern breeds of
domesticated felines, from the pretty Persian kitty to those backyard balladeers...the
alley cats.

Though many years removed from its ancestral strain, the Mau has retained the spots
which are one of its trademarks. In fact the spots are even more a part of the Mau than
just a hair color. Its skin is actually spotted as well! Another note on spots is that this
cat breed is the only naturally spotted breed. All other known spotted cats have been
bred to produce the spots in their fur.

The Mau is a smallish cat, only weighing in the vicinity of five to about eleven
pounds. However, don't let its size fool you. It still has the graceful hunter's moves of
its wild ancestors. It is also one of the fastest breeds of domesticated cats, and a
natural design in the skin which allows its long hind legs to take longer strides than
other cats is the same feature found in another cat relative...the cheetah. This small pet
cat has been clocked at 30 MPH! Even with its small size, however, the Mau
possesses a working cat's muscles in an overall sleek package that is topped, or
bottomed, off by a graceful tail which may be as much as two thirds of its total length.

A feature that particularly endears this breed to me is that it tends to chuckle or chortle
when happy, rather than mewling. It also becomes quite animated when happy and
expresses its pleasure with rapid tail movements and kneading with the feet while
chuckling to itself.

The Mau is a great family cat. It is friendly but protective, and is devoted to its family.
A possible drawback here is that they tend to like a lot of one-on-one companionship
and plenty of play. In the absence of a stay-at-home human, they are graciously
willing to play instead with other cat friends. So, if you cannot be at home as often as
your Mau would like, you may have to get him or her a pet!
Living with the Mau is the least of your problems, however. A Mau does not come
cheap, with one site I visited quoting a starting price of $400, and it goes up from
there, of course. The other issue is the scarcity of the breed. They are a popular breed
with a limited supply, so you may be on a waiting list for some time.

While any old Mau may come in several shades and variations of colors, the Cat
Fanciers' Association recognizes three acceptable colors for show - silver, bronze, and
smoke. Cats of other colors, such as black, blue-silver, blue spotted, blue smoke, and
solid blue, are still one hundred percent Mau, although they are not recognized for
show.

If you want a cheerful, playful family cat that can give you a taste of history, and a
touch of the wild, you might just be looking for an Egyptian Mau.

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Stats:
views:20
posted:1/26/2011
language:English
pages:2