EGYPTIAN MAU: the mystery that is...cat
Close to one hundred cat breeds exist according to Wikipedia. Some are old, some new, but all stunning and awesome in their own rights. Let’s take a few weeks and look into the history of several breeds; we may demystify the sometimes strange reputations attributed to cats as well as better understand the connection we humans embrace with the mysterious and sometimes elusive Felis Catus.
The Egyptian Mau seems to be the oldest domestic cat in history, originating in Egypt 2000 to 4000 years ago. "In fact, the breed is so ancient that its name is the Egyptian word for “cat.”"
Listed as one of only two domesticated spotted felines, the breed sports unique gooseberry greenish eyes, high intelligence and speed and agility. Clocked at about 30 miles per hour, their speed is attributed in part to the extra fold of skin over their hind quarters and adjacent underbelly, similar to the Cheetah, allowing for greater freedom of movement. This breed shows other ‘signs of antiquity’ such as the continuous line along its back and higher hind legs than front ones.
It is believed the Egyptians worshiped this breed as gods and held them in such high esteem that Egyptian females used eye makeup to simulate the cat-look. As well, they were honored in death with mummification and entombment.
The Mau breed is sensitive to loud noises, is more sensitive than other cat breeds to medicines and anesthesia, and is not readily social to any species including their own. Maus are highly loyal to their owners and do not blend well with strangers. They are also known to be highly adaptable to the wild and to be excellent mousers.
Exiled Russian princess Natalie Troubetskaya is credited with saving the Mau from extinction around 1958. Several other importations along the years have expanded the gene pool but this breed remains a rare one; less than 7000 cats were registered with the Cat Fancier’s Association in 2006.
Egyptian Maus come in three acceptable colors, Bronze, Silver and Smoke.
Enjoy the mystery that is...cat.
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