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The Blue Cat

This is shown often under a number of names. It was at first shown as
the Archangel cat, then Russian blue, Spanish blue, Chartreuse blue,
and, lastly, and I know not why, the American blue. It is not, in my
belief, a distinct breed, but merely a light-coloured form of the black
cat. In fact, I have ascertained that one shown at the Crystal Palace,
and which won many prizes on account of its beautiful blue colour
slightly tinged with purple, was the offspring of a tabby and white
she-cat and a black-and-white he-cat, and I have seen the same colour
occur when bred from the cats usually kept about a farmhouse as a
protection from rats and mice, though none of the parents had any blue

Being so beautiful, and as it is possible in some places abroad it may
be bred in numbers, I deemed it advisable, when making out the prize
schedule, to give special prizes for this colour; the fur being used for
various purposes on account of its hue. A fine specimen should be even
in colour, of a bluish-lilac tint, with no sootiness or black, and
though light be firm and rich in tone, the nose and pads dark, and the
eyes orange-yellow. If of a very light blue-gray, the nose and pads may
be of a deep chocolate colour and the eyes deep yellow, not green. If it
is a foreign variety, I can only say that I see no distinction in form,
temper, or habit; and, as I have before mentioned, it is sometimes bred
here in England from cats bearing no resemblance to the bluish-lilac
colour, nor of foreign extraction or pedigree. I feel bound, however, to
admit that those that came from Archangel were of a deeper, purer tint
than the English cross-breeds; and on reference to my notes, I find they
had larger ears and eyes, and were larger and longer in the head and
legs, also the coat or fur was excessively short, rather inclined to
woolliness, but bright and glossy, the hair inside the ears being
shorter than is usual in the English cat.

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