A Comprehensive Guide to Housecats

by Liz Colville

This here is but one little rectangular area of Joumana Medlej’s “Guide to Housecat Coat Colors and Patterns,” which is so big that you’ll need, like, size A0 paper to print it out. “Although there basically exists only two colors in cats,” Medlej explains, “their derivatives, added to a number of patterns can all combine, conspire to create a bewildering array of denominated coats.” Indeed. Apparently, a tabbie mixed with a tortoiseshell is called a torbie. I believe this is the type of cat I have on my hands. Looking at this is almost stressful, as if it’s a catalog of cats you could buy and you have to choose just one. Which would you choose? How would you choose? I like “Tortoiseshell smoke/Smoke tortie,” even though it sounds a bit like a Finnish delicacy, as does “Broken mackerel.” [Via]