Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I just couldn't believe it!

I go to for anything cat related. Sarah Hartwell is someone I respect and admire not just as a person who loves cats but because she has taken the time to record and keep important cat related info cataloged and available to the public.

Here I was at way too early in the morning trying to do some cat related research and found myself checking out Sarah's site and lo' & behold there is a neat blurb about the Helki. "The Helki (2009) developed from feral cats by Aubrey Anderson has a "semi-rex" coat that has a mix of wavy and straight guard hairs that can look unkempt. Helki, means "touch" in Miwok Indian (Northern California) and reflects the silky, fleecy texture of the coat. Early breedings to domestic cats show 50% semi-rexed kittens indicating a dominant gene mutation. Non-rexed kittens can display a mohawk (upright ridge of fur) along the spine when happy. As well as the texture, the fur has a high degree of rufousing, making some colours hard to distinguish. The colour can change during the cat's life; a cream kitten may turn blue and end up reddish-brown while a blue may turn black. The wavy, brittle whiskers are moulted in the first year and replaced by long drooping whiskers and there is a Laperm-like moult of wavy fur as the kittens grow. The breed was mainly developed from feral/semi-feral cats around South Sacramento (Northern California) and the mutation appears to have originated there with LaPerm-type cats also present among local feral colonies, however the Helki is smaller than the LaPerm. The local feline population includes descendants of various Asian cats that arrived with immigrants several decades previously."

I feel honored and I think its awesome to see it unexpectedly. ^_^

Of course there is the neat blurb written by my mentor Anthony N on his RareCatBreeds site "The Helki is an experimental cat breed still in its early developmental stages. It is based on cats with an unusual coat mutation found in Northern California. The name Helki is taken from the Miwok Native American tribe’s language and means ‘touch’. It was chosen to reflect the breed’s most significant feature: its unusual coat texture which can be likened to the feeling of a silky fleece blanket. The feature is caused by a dominant gene and is a semi-rex type coat with some light waving or crimping."

Very cool stuff indeed.

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