Monday, April 30, 2012

Featured in May: Dilute Calico

Safe Harbor's  special for the month of May is the dilute calico. Ordinary calicos are orange, black and white, and dilute cailcos are cream, gray and white.

Safe Harbor is located at 359 Cree Lane (phone 573-243-9823) in Jackson.

Each month, the facility runs a "special" on a certain kind of cat. In May, dilute calicos will be $35 instead of $50. Declawed cats are $50, down from the regular $75.

Calico cats are usually female, because color is carried on the X chromosone. The two main color genes of a cat are red and black , so normally a male can be either black OR red (yellow). White comes from another gene, the Dominant White gene, that masks all the color on the parts of the cat it affects.
Calicos vary a great deal in their looks, because these three colors can combe in soany different ways.

In rare cases, a male cat may have two or more cell lines, and if one is for red color and another for black color, and the cat also has the white masking gene, then you can get a male calico. Such genetic abnormalities usually result in a sterile animal. To learn more about calico cats, check out Cats Are Not Peas, by Laura Gould, a very excellent and readable book on calico cats and genetics, available at Riverside Regional Library in Jackson.

None of these rare male animals have turned up at Safe Harbor. All the calicos, dilute or otherwise, are female.

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