I Kissed a Ginger

And I liked it!

Guess what today is? It’s National Kiss a Ginger Day. No really… a whole Facebook page says so.

So I did! Well, it’s very easy to smooch my kitty Nuala, but Oscar is another story. I didn’t want to push my luck, but someone was in a very loving mood and couldn’t get enough of cuddles (maybe because I didn’t have time for our morning coffee hour earlier?). So I just leaned over and gave him a kiss on the head. His reaction? Nothing different. Like girls kiss him every day.

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Oscar is a ginger – he has the same orange tabby genetics, but his colours are manifesting as dilute. His gorgeous colouring is sometimes called dilute orange tabby, buff, or cream. I’ve always called this colour variation ‘biscuit’ … because I love tea biscuits and he is that colour. Oscar is a very handsome ginger boy – even more gorgeous in person!

So how does Oscar get to be so beautiful? Well here’s what wiki had to say about the genes that control the dilution of the main coat pattern/colour: “The Dense pigment gene, D/d, codes for melanophilin, a protein involved in the transportation and deposition of pigment into a growing hair. When a cat has two of the recessive d alleles (Maltese dilution), black fur becomes “blue” (appearing gray), chocolate fur becomes “lilac” (appearing light brown), cinnamon fur becomes fawn, and orange fur becomes cream.”

Oh – and 4/5 of orange tabbies are male because you need a dominant red on both X chromosomes for the orange (red) tabby to manifest in girls but you only need the one X to have a dominant red in a boy. (I tried to explain this to Nuala considering that 4/6 kittens in her all-orange litter were female – but she was not suitably impressed with the stats on this)

 

PS Just found this cool article on cat colours.