Yes, we have a cat. A pleasant little female calico named Patches. The folks who lived behind us moved and left her here. Currently, she is an "outside" cat. She is going to visit the vet this week. The girls love her and are so happy they finally have a pet.
Here is something interesting to share with your girls. Did you know that almost all calico cats are female? By the way, one of my most beloved cats was "Patches." AND, did yoou know cats can be trained to do things like "fetch" or "come" on command? It's true!
Calico is a mix of orange, black, and white fur found on certain cats. Not all calico cats are female, but the vast majority are. Why? Like a lot of life's mysteries, it has to do with genetics.
PetPlace.com gives a surprisingly detailed explanation. Half a cat's chromosomes come from the mother, and half come from the father. The gene that determines a cat's coloring is found on the X chromosome.
Female cats have two X chromosomes, and each one can carry a different color. "In calicos...one X has the black gene; the other X has the orange gene." At some point in the female cat's development, one X chromosome becomes inactive. The timing of this determines the amount of calico patches.
So calico coloring isn't that uncommon among female cats. It's just a matter of the right chromosomal combination. In males, things are more complicated because they only have one X chromosome and "it's never inactivated."
A male cat can be calico if it's created with "two X chromosomes and a Y, allowing one X to be inactivated." This is a genetic defect known as XXY, and it's very rare. In fact, only one out of every 3,000 calicos is male.
How cute and wonderful, just in time for St. Francis' day, too!
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