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The Angora








The Angora cat, as its name indicates, comes from Angora, in Western
Asia, a province that is also celebrated for its goats with long hair,
which is of extremely fine quality. It is said that this deteriorates
when the animal leaves that locality. This may be so, but that I have no
means of proving; yet, if so, do the Angora cats also deteriorate in the
silky qualities of their fur? Or does it get shorter? Certain it is that
many of the imported cats have finer and longer hair than those bred in
this country; but when are the latter true bred? Even some a little
cross-bred will often have long hair, but not of the texture as regards
length and silkiness which is to be noted in the pure breed. The Angora
cats, I am told, are great favourites with the Turks and Armenians, and
the best are of high value, a pure white, with blue eyes, being thought
the perfection of cats, all other points being good, and its hearing by
no means defective. The points are a small head, with not too long a
nose, large full eyes of a colour in harmony with that of its fur, ears
rather large than small and pointed, with a tuft of hair at the apex,
the size not showing, as they are deeply set in the long hair on the
forehead, with a very full flowing mane about the head and neck; this
latter should not be short, neither the body, which should be long,
graceful, and elegant, and covered with long, silky hair, with a slight
admixture of woolliness; in this it differs from the Persian, and the
longer the better. In texture it should be as fine as possible, and also
not so woolly as that of the Russian; still it is more inclined to be so
than the Persian. The legs to be of moderate length, and in proportion
to the body; the tail long, and slightly curving upward towards the end.
The hair should be very long at the base, less so toward the tip. When
perfect, it is an extremely beautiful and elegant object, and no wonder
that it has become a pet among the Orientals. The colours are varied;
but the black which should have orange eyes, as should also the slate
colours, and blues, and the white are the most esteemed, though the soft
slates, blues, and the light fawns, deep reds, and mottled grays are
shades of colour that blend well with the Eastern furniture and other
surroundings. There are also light grays, and what is termed smoke
colour; a beauty was shown at Brighton which was white with black tips
to the hair, the white being scarcely visible, unless the hair was
parted; this tinting had a marvellous effect. I have never seen imported
strong-coloured tabbies of this breed, nor do I believe such are true
Angoras. Fine specimens are even now rare in this country, and are
extremely valuable. In manners and temper they are quiet, sociable, and
docile, though given to roaming, especially in the country, where I have
seen them far from their homes, hunting the hedgerows more like dogs
than cats; nor do they appear to possess the keen intelligence of the
short-haired European cat. They are not new to us, being mentioned by
writers nearly a hundred years ago, if not more. I well remember white
specimens of uncommon size on sale in Leadenhall Market, more than forty
years since; the price usually was five guineas, though some of rare
excellence would realise double that sum.





Next: The Persian Cat

Previous: Long-haired Cats



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