Everyone knows that orange cats rule. Just ask an orange cat. Or a ginger cat, a marmalade cat, a tangerine cat, a red cat.
But there may be some things you don't know about these kingly cats. For example, did you know that most orange cats are male?
Like humans, cats have one pair of sex chromosomes. These are the ones that make them male or female and they play an essential role in determining a cat’s colour. In females, both sex chromosomes are X making girl kitties XX. Males are XY, the Y making them male. A kitten gets one chromosome from Mom and one from Dad. Moms only have X’s so the variable is given by the Dad, if he gives his X, the kitten is a girl, if he gives his Y, it is a boy.
The gene which makes a cat ginger (orange) is located on the X chromosome. The gene for ginger will override all other colours. Since males have only one X, they either are or aren’t ginger - no halfway about it. Girl cats have two X’s in each cell. As far as the cells are concerned two X’s is one too many, so each cell deactivates one of the X chromosomes in a fairly random fashion . . .
Since males only need to have the orange gene on one chromosome to become ginger, and females have to have it on two, ginger males outnumber females 3 to 1.
And, from the same source, the explanation for why we have so many orange and white cats:
. . . Because white isn’t a colour but the absence of colour. The genes that cause the suppression of colour are stronger than the genes for any colour including the mighty orange. Since white isn’t a colour and is merely hiding the genes for colour, white cats often produce coloured kittens.
cat ti tude (cat' i-tood') n. 1. a state of mind or a feeling of superiority, which is highly annoying and endearing, simultaneously.
I've lived with Spike for twelve years now, and I have to agree. Humans owned by ginger cats tend to form support groups, like the Flickr Orange Cats Group, the Catster Orange Cats Club, or the previously mentioned Friends of Fat Orange Felines.
We also seek out badges of our servitude, which several businesses are happy to provide. We can decorate our walls with orange cat artworks from Best-Cat-Art.com; we can purchase orange cat mugs and t-shirts from cafepress (there is even an orange-cat t-shirt for dogs); and we can ornament ourselves with orange cat pins and earrings.
Orange cats are oddly inspirational. In addition to more than enough orange cat photographs (Webshots; Acclaim Images; Flickr) we have a handknitted orange cat coin purse (it's really quite charming); an Exceptionally Cute & Soft, Absolutely Adorable, Unbelievably Cuddly Plush orange cat stuffed toy; and a hybridized Angel's Trumpet cultivar named after: Orange Cat.
If you are owned by an orange cat, or any other cat or critter, you might enjoy:
Today's kitty animations are all from Lucy Rand. Winter is coming; curl up with your cat for the weekend and stay warm!