Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Mine's as big as a hat

A "Munchkin" cat in California has been declared the shortest housecat in the world.  Fizz Girl measures only 6 inches tall.

It never fails to amaze me what people will do to animals through breeding in order to fit some niche.  Maybe they'll breed a line of labradors for a certain build and color combination that they want, or they'll breed basset hounds for long ears to the point where the things look really cute as they trip over them.  Race horses have gone from normal horses that happen to be able to run a given distance really well to being specialized animals that are basically a huge set of lungs attached to really thin, yet very muscular legs.

In this case, cats have been bred to have short legs.  My guess is that a litter threw a couple with really short legs some time in the past, which the breeder or owner thought that was really neat, and then they bred for that trait until it became common enough to market.  Same thing with miniature dogs, or horses, or cows, or whatever.

As for me, I like a nice mutt of either the feline or canine persuasion.  Yes, I've had a Siamese cat as a pet as often as I can, but if anyone were to tell me that Koshka was a purebred, I'd laugh in their face.  Maybe it's a subconscious offshoot of me being such a mischling myself, or maybe it's because my mother had fantasies of being a breeder of Yorkshire terriers when I was a kid and I was scarred by that experience for life.  I'll just stay with the mixed breeds.

Just remember, that little yap dog some lady is carrying around in her purse is the descendant of a Eurasian timber wolf from a few thousand years ago.  Along the way, a line of people decided to twist, compress, and fluff up that wolf into Mr. Sparkles.


Laura said...

munchkin cats really upset me. the "foundation" animal for the "breed" was a found cat - essentially, a stray - that had short legs and apparently reliably threw short-legged offspring.

it's incredibly irresponsible, and ranks up there with the bullcrap "designer" mutt fad.

Drang said...

And Mr. Sparkles is still closer to a wolf genetically than, say, a coyote, to the point that it's easier to tell wolf or dag DNA from song dog...

All our kitties were strays who chose us, and we're happy with that. It'd be neat if kitteh DNA could be analyzed like that of a dag, so you could tell what breed they are, but... meh.

And, yeah, Munchkin cats are dumb. As is keeping wolves, wolf hybrids, or Bobcats as house pets.

Creative Commons License
DaddyBear's Den by DaddyBear is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at