December 26, 2008

Malay Cats Have Strange Tails

There are lots of cats wandering around the island of Langkawi (and Malaysia in general). It's awesome. Many have shorter than normal tails with kinks or other strange mutations. I found this curious, so here is more information than you ever wanted to know about strange cat tails. An excerpt:

In 1783, Willian Marsden, Fellow of the Royal Society and late Secretary to the President and Council of Fort Marlborough wrote in "The History of Sumatra" of the Malay Cat: "All their tails imperfect and knobbed at the end." In 'The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication", Darwin wrote "throughout an immense area, namely, the Malayan Archipelago, Siam, Pequan, and Burmah, all the cats have truncated tails about half the proper length, often with a sort of knob at the end. […] The Madagascar cat is said to have a twisted tail." Another writer and traveller, Mivart, had corroborated the statement regarding the Malay cat, of which he said the tail "is only half the ordinary length, and often contorted into a sort of knot, so that it cannot be straightened […] Its contortion is due to deformity of the bones of the tail". Joseph Train had also mentioned th Malayan cats, comparing them with the Manx: "The Manks rumpy resembles some what in appearance the cats said by Sir Stamford Raffles to be peculiar to the Malayan Archipelago." Sir Stamford Raffles' name is closely associated with Singapore.

Also, most of them are quite lean. Doug wouldn't fit in.