Friday, October 29, 2010


Whereby I torture the cat. *cough*

I should give my disclaimer first that I know pretty much NOTHING about biological sciences that I hadn't learned by high school graduation. But I like puzzles, see... so I was turning the water on for the cat this morning (she likes to drink from the faucet in the bathroom) and looking at her coloring. She has a tortoise-shell coat, but the white belly and socks that make her technically a calico, but if you look really closely at the orange parts... which means really, her left front leg and shoulder, which are almost completely orange (other than that she has tiny little orange tufts through the black.

I've always said she looked like an orange tabby who got rolled in charcoal, but she missed that one leg.

But THAT got me thinking... see... orange kitties are almost always MALE... Calicos are ALWAYS female. WHY WOULD THAT BE?


(and I swear I've never looked this up... in fact maybe when I get half done, I will look it up and check how my puzzle solving skills are working).

Anyway... my THEORY is that cat fur color is in some way associate with the X chromosome... and that some traits are dominant, some are recessive, and ORANGE is equally strong with the strength of 'black and white' (possibly even just 'black'--no clue what portion of torties are female)... but that CALICO, like hazel eyes, has to result when the two dominant traits come together, and only cats with 2 Xs have two X chromosomes, so they are the only ones that can combine that way.

See? Doesn't my cat look like a cross of the two?

And what does this have to do with anything?

This logical “how could this happen with what I have” is my FAVORITE game in writing. I love finding something that is either a true fact in the universe, or already present in my story that will explain something I need to happen. That puzzle solving gives me a rush.

So there... that is what I have today.

I'm off work today and Monday. I took today to edit my Cozy and LEGACY (to continue over the weekend) so I can send the Cozy to my agent on Monday and put this round of LEGACY to bed until NaNoWriMo is over. My boss, who is fabulously supportive, called yesterday and said she'd also arranged a massage... so after a morning of hard editing, I get to go have a full body massage.

Can I get a Woot Woot!?

So I won't be around much today... hopefully I will make speedy, fabulous progress and can pop in in the afternoon, but Thing 2 is also intent on carving Jack-o-lanterns, so I will have to play it by ear...

I love you guys!

HA!  Just looked it up!  Orange, at least IS X-Chromosome related!


Kal said...

I have no idea what you were talking about there but I loved it cause it was about kitties.

Mustang Sally said...

Sound like you have a full plate today. Good luck with it all.

Old Kitty said...

Your manager offers you a massage?!?!? Wow. I'd very much like to apply for a humble position in your workplace please. I'll even make the tea.


Cats!! You have gorgeous kitty and yes she's a fabulous combination of x chromosones etc! :-)

Good luck with your edits and writing!!!!

Oh and have a WOOT WOOT!!!!!! from me!!

Take care

Will Burke said...

If my bosses offered me a massage, I'd vomit and faint. Even if they were arranging a pro to do it, just them using those elements together in a sentence would creep me the eff out! Speaking of creepy, your cats look like my cats -- co-o-ol!
You leave such great comments, I'm always glad when you stop by, so super, sugar-on-top thank you! You Rock you naked tarty ass off!

Ca88andra said...

Wow! I wish my boss would send me for a massage! Well, as long as she wasn't around... I think you might have something with the colors and chromosomes.

Ketutar said...

You do have something with the colors and chromosomes :-D I'm not quite sure about what it is, but in our home we had this theory that calicos were red females, and reds were calico males. Now, it's really not that simple, but there's something to it :-D

Woot woot! I want massage too after a day of editing :-D

And good for you :-) I love pumpkin and carved pumpkins, but I absolutely, vehemently and with a vengeance hate emptying the things. :-D

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

My boss never arranged a massage for me!

The Golden Eagle said...

I looked up the cat thing once . . . but now I've forgotten it. I think you're right about the chromosome thing, though.

She arranged for a massage? Wow. You must have an awesome boss. :D


MJenks said...

So...yeah...but you're not taking into account co-recessive and dominant-recessive genes. It depends on which allele the coat color is encoded. You're right in that XX chromosomes are required for calico-ism.

However, if it was that simple, then all female kittens of a calico would be calico. There's a whole lot of other crap in there that I don't want to get into about genes being switched on and off and such.

I forget what my original point was, other than that I had an orange kitty once and she was definitely a girl. I miss that cat.

Hart Johnson said...

Thanks so much for all the love and good wishes today my friends! And Wikipedia, for what its worth, confirmed that orange is indeed an X chromosome thing so females need 2 for orange to show but males only need one.

Off to get some work done!

H.B.Markor said...

Well you should just head over to read my facts today, because I covered just that topic! and you are correct. White is different though, not associated with the X chromosome.

Lucky, I wish my boss would schedule writing time and massages for me.

Deb and Barbara said...

Woot frickin' WOOT! You deserve it!
The Middle Ages

L. Diane Wolfe said...

My cat's charcoal rolling was complete - from sweet, innocent white kitties to black, evil goobers.
And my husband's parents have a male AND female orange tabby.

Carol Kilgore said...

This is weird. I have always wondered the same thing about orange tabbies and calicoes. Well, not always, but ever since I knew about it. But I never wondered enough to look it up. Now there should be some way you can include this tidbit in a story. With a tarty twist, of course :)
Happy Halloween.

Holly Ruggiero said...

Yep, it’s all chromosomes. I was recently researching this information myself. Your kitty is beautiful and patience to let you hold her on her back for a picture. Good luck this weekend.

erica and christy said...

WOOT WOOT for the "scientific" theory AND massage. Best of luck with your writing this upcoming month!! christy

Bridge Marie said...

I vaguely remember the cat stuff in high school and I like it for the same reasons you do - the puzzle, not the science.

And definitely: WOOT!

Hart Johnson said...

Thank you so much everyone for coming in and indulging me while I was off being pampered! I feel FABULOUS!

RaShelle said...

Ah, a full body massage. How wonderful.

This logical “how could this happen with what I have” is my FAVORITE game in writing. I love finding something that is either a true fact in the universe, or already present in my story that will explain something I need to happen. That puzzle solving gives me a rush - I love, love that too!!!!

ps: I have an award for you on my blog.

The Words Crafter said...

Your boss rocks! Mine will come around to our classrooms and give us a massage sometimes. She plays with my hair, too, which I LOVE. She's pretty awesome.

It's neat to learn about cats. I recently learned I have a pastel calico? She has a Siamese frame, though. Especially her head. And behavior.

You must have been really good at science.

Cheeseboy said...

Good luck with the slimy arms and the Jack-O-Lanterns.

That is a very interesting theory you have on cat chromosomes. I will consult with my scientist friends and find an answer for you.

First I must make some scientist friends.