Inspecting belly button lint

Monday is a day I dread. Not Monday per se. Just this Monday. It is periodic inspection day. I hate rental inspections. It’s not that I have anything to hide; there are no stains on the carpet, or chunks missing from walls or broken appliances. It’s that a stranger comes, walks around my home and then looks down on me. Last time it was that I hadn’t cleaned the track on my sliding doors. The time before that it was that the top of my kitchen cupboards were dusty. I’m surprised that they haven’t said I’ve deposited too much belly button lint in the shower recess.

And to avoid these comments, which really seem inevitable as they always find SOMETHING to complain about, I run around for several days beforehand madly cleaning. It does not make for a relaxing weekend. The much hated rental inspection is one of the reasons I dream of owning my own place one day; or at least paying a bank a ridiculously large sum of money for it over decades of my life. Wouldn’t it be lovely if no one sneered at my dust every six months? If I could put those wave style cat beds in the walls for the girls to lounge in as they see fit? If I could hang my pictures with something more secure than a sticky hook or blutac?
Chilly cat

At least this time, the girls will be spared inspection. They are staying at Andrew’s place until Monday afternoon. I’m letting him enjoy the experience of 4 cats in a small space for a while. I’m hoping that he will no longer tell me that he’d love a black cat to go with the white cat and the ginger cat, as he will realise more than two is chaos. At any rate, his one cat of each colour just won’t cut it as I think there are at least 6 ‘colours’ of cat. Moggy cats that is. I’m not talking your fancy schmancy cats. Just the garden variety. It must be at least 6: Black, White, Ginger, Grey, Tabby and, the magnificent, tortoise shells. (I’m not at all biased). I’ve been carefully doing a stocktake of cats in my life. I think there have been:

  • 2 gingers
  • 1 tabby
  • 2 black
  • 1 black & white
  • 1 grey & white
  • 1 deaf and white
  • 1 calico
  • 4 torties – 1 grey tortie; 1 tortie plus white (chilli pictured) and 2 dark torties

Mum, what was streisand? (Besides a cat with a bad nose) Anyway, the purpose behind this cat stocktake is I’ve started to wonder whether ginger ninjas aren’t the most social of cats? I was about to say that I’ve never had a ginger cat before Pickle but then I realised, there was another (not called Skywalker). Yet I have no memory of the other ginger. Mum and Dad got him with the house. Buy a house, get a cat.

Hmm… I wonder if I ever manage to own a place – and avoid inspections – whether I too will get a property complete with bonus cat? I hope not. If I did that, I’d have to let Andrew have a black one. My mantra at the moment is 2 ‘children’ each!

If this post wasn’t incoherent enough, I have one last tangent. Why is the tagging helper suggesting I add “race and ethnicity in the United States census”?

a) I’m not in the United states

b) I said I was doing a stocktake; not a census

c) I’m not sure cat colours qualify as race or ethnicity

d) yes, I’m avoiding writing that blog post with 42 words in it. Combobulate has me stumped. Not to mention anthropomorphism.

What say you?


Posted on January 27, 2012, in Cats, Life, Waffle and Nonsense and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Do you mean you think ginger ninjas are the most sociable, or that that reputation is wrong? I got a bit confused.
    Love the name Steisand for a cat with a wonky nose.
    If anyone climbed up to inspect the top of my kitchen cupboards they’d have a fit.
    Thank goodness I am an owner occupier!

    • Pickle has strange social habits. He bounds up as if he wants to be friends but he doesn’t seem to read the cues from the other cats. I also have a friend who has a ginger boy who struggles to get on with the other cats in the household.

      Pickle and Gesso certainly have a bond but it’s a bit peculiar. They play extremely rough and then they cuddle up and groom each other. Guess I’m not sure I ‘get’ ginger cats. Torties on the other hand… after 4 of those plus a calico; I think I get them. Despite their often skitty nature I adore them.

      • Cat, ginger and white, or suppressed ginger a I am now thinking of it, loathed other cats, and certainly had no problems conveying his feelings. Not Cat, ginger and only a teeny bit suppressed, is friendly towards other cats but has learned to fear Minstrel who bullies him. My sister used to have forties, all characters. I somehow thought.the ginger boys and tortie girls just both had big personalities.
        Maybe Pickle’s mother idn’t have enough input?

  2. Well, as mister genetics I’d say that there are 2 colors of cats – black and orange. Those are the only 2 ‘inks’. Black comes in three variants but that is a difference in the shape of the color grains – full black, chocolate, and cinnamon. These are rare.

    White is a supression of the color, and a white cat can be white for four differernt genetic reasons – full spotting, Dominant White, and 2 kinds of albino. Two of these whites are associated with deafness, the other two are not.

    All of the blacks and orange shades can be ‘diluted’ by another gene. This changes the clustering of the color grains and forms the ‘blue’ grey cat from a black one, and creme from an orange one.

    Tabbyism is a pattern on top of the base color. Black colors can be suppressed to for a ‘solid’ look, but orange cats can’t suppress the tabby look.

    You didn’t mention ‘pointed’, where another gene bleaches the regular color dependent on temperature. There are 3 flavors of pointing.

    Torties and calicos come because the orange color gene is on the X sex gene pair. If the girl has a gene for Orange and one for not orange, during development each cell picks one X to use. If it picks the Orange gene, the hair will be orange, if not then the spot will be black. Hence the mottled appearance.

    • I am slowly pursuing, but may need this spelled out in Janet and John stages. If I have understood what you say, white is an expression of a suppressed colour, so your bib is suppressed black? Or as black isn’t really a colour either…?

      • I have some pages in the menu bar of my blog with some expanded words on cat coat genetics – the “Fun with Genetics” and a ‘self help’ Analyze your cat page set that may help.

        Black is a true color (in my view) because that gene controls one of the two ‘inks’ that all cats have – one is black and the other orange. All other variants of color are changes not in the ink, but in the ink grain shape and arrangement on the hair. Think of how a cartoonist can make shades of grey not by changing the pen, but by varying the amount and placement of black in an area.

        The genes that make a cat white block the production of any pigment, black or orange. (in fact, I saw a picture of a tortie with a mutation where just the orange was blocked, so it was black and white in a tortie pattern.

        So a black cat with a white bib is genetically the same as a all black cat with the exception of one gene – a ‘White Spotting gene’ that adds spots. Other genes control the amount – from a bit on the feet to a 100 percent white cat. Think of them as a volume knob, while the White Spotting gene is an on off switch.

        An all white cat is be genetically ‘black’ or ‘orange’ or ‘tortie’ underneath and can pass this on to kittens despite the white ‘coverup’

      • Thanks for all the gene info. I think it’s really fascinating. I did a bit of reading when we got Gesso into white cats and deafness. I should have just asked you!

        He doesn’t have blue or albino eyes; just the regular gold although when we first got him his eyes were still changing so we were sure what colour they’d end up.

        I also did reading on torties a while ago as I wanted to know why they are always female.

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