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Saturday, September 11, 2010

MUIRHEAD'S MYSTERIES: Manx Cats Part One



Recently my friend Simon returned from a holiday on the Isle of Man with his girlfriend and gave me an interesting booklet (1) about the famous Manx cat, the cat with no tail. The booklet has a rather nice cover (see left). Today`s blog is a part of a summary of the contents of this booklet. Part two will conclude.

What is, and is not, a Manx Cat?

“Most people think that the Manx Cat is one without a tail, and any cat with a tail cannot be a Manx Cat. This is not true: it is possible, although unusual, for a Manx Cat to have a tail, and there are other cats without tails (apart from those which have been docked!) The essential point about a Manx Cat is that it has a genetic mutation resulting in kittens being born without a vertebrae at the end of the spine from which the tail forms….

Breeding Problems

A Manx kitten, which receives two of the dominant genes - one from each parent - is very unlikely to survive, so breeding is usually between a tailed Manxie (affectionate name for a Manx cat) and a tailless one.

It is possible to breed two tailless Manxies, because they may still carry a copy of the recessive gene, but it is also possible that they both have only the dominant gene, and this will automatically give rise to `weak` and usually fatal gene combination mentioned above….

Take Care If Buying A Manx Cat

There are many reputable cat breeders in countries all over the world who breed Manx cats, and it is better to buy from a quality breeder than from an unknown or doubtful source. Just because you are offered a cat with no tail (and obviously not docked), don`t be tempted to part with good money.

Physical Appearance of Manx Cats

Manx cats are usually categorised as one of four types - all referring to the tail:

RUMPY (or Dimple Rumpy) – no tail at all. (The Dimple version has a small indentation where the tail would be – a sort of `negative` tail.)
RISER ( or Rumpy Riser) – few vertebrae under the fur, which show as a `rise` in situations where a tailed cat would raise its tail. There are low risers and high risers denoting degrees of `rise`.
STUMPY – a short tail like a stump.
TAILED (or Longy) –normal, or nearly normal, tail.

Kittens in the same litter can have different tail types from each other. Apart from these obvious characteristics of tails, Manx cats are also identifiable from the hind legs being longer than the front legs, and the back being consequently arched. This also can produce a kind of hopping, almost rabbit-like action in motion, although Manxies can, and usually do, walk normally.

Coats.

There are two coat types: short-haired and long-haired. Both types have a thick double-layer coat. In the short-haired variety, the under layer is thick and short, and the over-layer is longer and coarse. In the long-haired variety, both layers are of medium length and have a silk-like texture, and there may be tufts around ears and between toes, and ruffs on belly, neck, and britches.

1. RF and ER Sibthorpe Manx Cats nd

YOUR LOVE ALONE (IS NOT ENOUGH) MANIC STREET PREACHERS

Your love alone- is not enough not enough not enough
When times get tough they get tough they get tough they get tough
Trade all your heroes in for ghosts in for ghosts
They`re always the ones that love you most love you most love you most
Your love alone-is not enough not enough not enough
It`s what you felt what you said what you said what you said…….

1 comment:

manxkiwi said...

There is no such thing as a Manx cat. I was born and raised in the Isle of Man, and had many cats with less than a full tail.
The mutation that causes varying degrees of tailessness, can occur anywhere in any breed of cat. When it occurred on the Isle of Man, and English visitors saw tailess cats for the first time, they referred to them as the Manx cats, and the name has stuck. A tailed cat that has accidently lost its tail will arch its back to compensate, and adopt the classical "Manx" posture. Here endeth the lesson.