Selection of Siamese cats
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The origin of Siamese cats leaves the roots deeply in the antiquity. The history of occurrence of this amazingly beautiful animal is fanned by legends and covered by "dust of centuries”. This breed exists hundreds of years, and disputes on an exact origin of Siameses till now are conducted. The most probable theory - occurrence of this breed in southwest of Asia – in the area of Indochina, Burma or the Himalayas. This hypothesis proves it is really true that Siamese cats are externally very similar to cats of this region.
History of breed
In ancient Siam cats were the property of the king and were jealously protected from strangers in his palace in Bangkok. They had the status of royal cats, probably for this reason we so poorly know about real origin of Siameses. The present royal cats in Siam were dark colour with yellow eyes, but during centuries there were numerous mixtures and mutations which have led to occurrence of Siamese cats with spotty colour and amazing blue eyes which so distinguish these cats from the other ones. Unfortunately, there are no any records how cultivation of these cats has been organized and who was responsible for preservation of breed at the royal court yard. That’s why the secret of these changes in colour has remained secret for us till our days.
In 1884 the pair of Siamese cats has been taken out to England by Mr. Owen Good from the British consulate in Bangkok. These cats have been presented to Mrs. Velay, Mr. Good’s sister who later became one of the founders of the Club of Siamese Cats in 1901. The cats have been shown in the well-known Crystal Palace in 1885. The next year a new pair of Siamese cats and two kittens have been imported into Britain. The owners of these cats were sisters Vivian. These cats also became the founders of breed of Siamese cats in Britain, so, its cultivation has begun. It is possible to tell with confidence that the background of all modern Siamese cats goes back to the family trees from those Siameses delivered to England in the19th century.
Interesting development was received with the selection of Siamese cats in Western Europe and America. They tried to create a prototype of the ancient Egyptian cat that was extraordinarily graceful and elegant. As a result of long and hard-working activities nowadays modern and standard appearance of Siamese cats appeared in the world. In this appearance there is nothing from their great grandparents’ appearance besides the colour.
In republics of the former Soviet Union there was no selection of cats. There were very few thoroughbred animals, there were no phelinological organizations at all.
As a result of uncontrolled cultivation to the beginning of the 90s the livestock of pets represented the company of animals of different coats which were difficult to rank to the well-known breeds in the West. There were very many cats with Siamese color but they were so different phenotipically that from the point of view of experts they were represented only by the variants of breed less house cat. When the phelinological organizations in the countries of the Commonwealth appeared, stock-breeding of Siamese cats began to develop and to develop in a new level. In this selection the animals from the best foreign nurseries began to be used. But factory owners didn’t forget about «their», homebred pussies:: on the basis of domestic cats with Siamese colors the standards of new breeds - Thai and Neva Fancy were developed.
Siamese cats are extraordinary elegant, graceful, slim. They have long legs, a body, a tail. An extended muzzle, a straight nose, small almond-shaped eyes of dark blue color. Ears of Siamese cats deserve special attention. They should be very much larger, should be put lower, forming an equipotential triangle with a tip of a nose if you look at the cat in a fullface.
Peculiar feature of thoroughbred Siamese cats is a smiling expression of the muzzle, even when the kitty is «not up to laughter », - it is reached due to the dimples under the cheekbones. Here is such an interesting cat has turned out to be thanks to the efforts of selectors.
Modern image of Siamese cats
Thus, the basic breed features of a Siamese cat have concentrated not only on the color but on the structure of the body, head, length of the wool, the tail. These features made the phelinologists selecting Siamese cats into a separate group in which oriental cats exist too. They have the same phenotype, but they have continuous color. While selecting the oriental cat (eastern short-haired breed) selectors crossed breeds of Siamese cats with European and American cats. That’s why therefore the copies with the diverse color appeared. Now it is known about 60 color variations of Siamese-oriental cats.
There are many different legends about Siamese cats. Two of them concern a broken line of the tail. They say that a very long- long time ago in Siam there was a princess who was very afraid that somebody would steal her precious rings which she removed before bathing in the pool. Once, having come to the pool, the princess began to look for somebody who could guard the jewelers during her bathing. Then her favourite cat came up to her and bent the tail that princess could hang up the rings on it. And since that time till now each Siamese kitten is born with a twirled tail and the princess can hang up her precious rings on the cat’s tail.
Legends about Siamese cats
And there is one more legend on the same theme. Once the Siamese cat went with his wife to the jungle to look for the precious royal cup which disappeared from the palace in Siam. When they have found the treasure the cat-male went to the castle to inform about the find but the wife-cat remained in the wood to guard the jewelry. The young cat climbed up a tree and hid the jewelry among the foliage. The cat twisted the cup with the tail and the tree trunk to be assured that nobody could steal treasure while she was sleeping. On the fourth day her husband returned and found out that the wife-cat had given birth to five charming kittens. The careful mother-cat worried about children not releasing the cup. The fact that all small kittens had the same twirled tails as their mother had, amazed the cat-husband very much. That’s why; the cat’s tail had remained forever twirled.