Mau Mau Mau

If you've been reading my blog, I'm sure you've noticed that sometimes I mention my kitty Tiger.

I wasn't always a cat person - growing up, we always had a dog in the house for as long as I can remember. When I was born, my parents already had a hounddog-ish mix, named Rusty. The next dog we got when I was little was a cocker spaniel named Lady, but we ended up giving that one up to a family with a farm, as she just could not grasp the concept of being house broken and at the same time, my mom was trying to potty train me - it was just too much. A few years later, when I was 5 we got a miniture fox terrier named Bitsy who was the runt of the litter - despite some health problems later in her life, she lived to be 14 years old!

Now when I got to college and moved into an apartment with a friend, my roommate decided she wanted to get a kitty. I had never lived with a cat before, but figured it couldn't be that bad. Needless to say, the 3 years we lived together, I got a bit attached to the little furball!

http://photos-e.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v1014/88/112/30800316/n30800316_37079566_3178.jpgWhen I moved back to my hometown after college and into my current apartment, it was a bit lonely, not having a little furball wandering around to keep me company. Hubby and I had talked before about getting a dog, however we just don't have the space for a dog to really run around in and I've never felt right about having a dog in a small apartment. I mentioned maybe we should get a cat, but he wasn't too keen about that idea, however he surprised me for Christmas 2008 with a little 7 week old kitten!

Tiger was really tiny compared to her size now! She spent most of her first few days here hiding underneath our coffee table and end tables - I don't think she can fit nearly as easily under those now as she did back then!

She's about a year and 4 months old now, but still full of kitten energy! She loves to play and run around and finds entertainment in the simplest of things!

We also did some research and believe that she is an Egyptian Mau. Now I was unfamilar with the breed and always thought she was just a regular ol' domestic shorthair, until I saw a video about the story of the Mean Kitty (Sparta) on Youtube. In the video, the guy talks about his kitty, who looks exactly like Tiger and has some of the same characteristics as her. This led me to learn more about Egyptian Maus!

Turns out, Egyptian Maus are small-medium in size and are the only naturally spotted breed of domestic cats - even if you shaved them (which would be dumb in my opinion) there would still be the spots on their skin. Now Tiger doesn't have a lot of noticable spots - her spots are only on her back half and they're very light. While their exact origin was never recorded, it is believed Maus are descended from African wildcats and that the modern Maus originated in Italy in 1953. Most Maus in the US have an 'M' marking on their foreheads. Another interesting appearance fact is that Maus have markings on the side of their eyes that make it appear like they are wearing mascara or eyeliner and they all (excluding those younger than 18months) have green eyes.

Originally Egyptian Maus are a more rare breed, but they are becoming more and more common throughout the last few years. They come in 5 colors, the most common being silver and bronze, and the more rare ones being smoke, black and pewter/blue. Tiger fits under the bronze category. While at first glance, she appears to be a grey cat with black markings, looking at her fur more closely, nope, you can see the bronze color. While her markings are black, if you look at her fur, the root is a light brown/tan color with the tip being grey and some of her fur is tri-colored - bronze on the root, grey in the middle, black on the tip. Her belly is also the bronze-ish color.

It is also said Maus are the fastest of the domestic cats, having longer hind legs and a unique flap of skin extending from the flank to the back knee, provides for greater agility and speed - they have been clocked at 30 mph, which doesn't surprise me the way Tiger loves to run around like crazy!

As far as personality, they say that the typical Mau is known for having what is considered a loyal, friendly but slightly obnoxious dog-like personality, which sounds about right, as Tiger tends to follow me around the apartment, watching me do whatever it is I'm doing (she'll sit and watch me do the dishes or get ready in the morning, or if we're watching TV, she'll come over and "watch" with us) and when she wants your attention, she will become extremely vocal about it until you pay attention to her (she hates it when I'm not computer!). They also say the Egyptian Mau is well known for intelligence and close bonding with responsible and loving owners. Such owners typically report their Maus eagerly greet them at the door at the end of a long day at work - Tiger will often sit in the window facing our parking lot and notice when I get home from work, by the time I open the front door, she's usually right there in the hallway ready to greet me! They also they get along very well with other cats and dogs, and while they may be shy upon meeting strangers, they tend to be very friendly, which I've noticed tends to be true - Tiger will shy away at first around people she doesn't know, she'll keep her distance but act a bit curious, then within 5 minutes or so she'll be all up on the person, sniffing them out!

While the majority of my info is complied from Wiki, at the bottom of the page there are some very informative links! We also watched a bit on Animal Planet's Cats 101 that featured Egyptian Maus that was also informative! I've definitely found it interesting learning more about my furbaby and also enjoy finding out more information that explains why she does some of the things she does!

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