Sunday, 9 October 2011

Alfie's Eyes

Sometimes a kitten's colour isn't always obvious. I've heard many stories of cats going to show and the judges witholding certificates because the cat simply isn't the colour he is registered as being, cueing red faces all round. Tonkinese are notoriously difficult, because they have the three coat patterns as well as the multiple colours (some of which are pretty similar) and sometimes it doesn't become clear until the kitten reaches adulthood. Well we have to decide at 8 weeks, in order to send off the paperwork. Sometimes we get it wrong.

Alfie's been bothering me lately. His family send me regular photos, and in one recent one, it shows Alfie with the most beautiful golden eyes... just like his Mama's.

Golden eyes. Alfie is registered as a mink, which means he ought to have aqua eyes, but he doesn't.

So it's almost certain that Alfie isn't a mink at all! His coat has also darkened so it is much more uniform, with less of a point/ body contrast than you would expect from a mink. I strongly suspect he's a solid, which means he can't possibly be a blue, as he's never been as dark as Wendell (Jacob). I now think, having spent hours looking through all my kitten pictures, that he is a solid caramel.

Of course now that I'm looking with fresh eyes, it seems obvious. This is one of the first photos of the kittens ever taken, they were less than 48 hours old. Looking at this, it now seems quite clear that the kitten to the top right is a solid- he's MUCH darker than the four minks in a row at the bottom. That, I'd be wiling to bet, is Alfie (Kenneth, as was). Ok, he's in shadow, but he's still darker. I hasten to add that most of my pictures were NOT so glaringly obvious! I swear they all looked the same colour to me! Interestingly one of my minks, second from left, looks a shade lighter than the other three... I wonder if that was Kensey, my other caramel?

And then there's this picture here. Definitely looking caramelly there too. Remember that Tonkinese are colourpointed cats, we use the term 'solid' but it doesn't actually mean the cat will have a uniform colour all over, just that the difference between points and coat will be subtle.

Where does that leave Alfie's pedigree? It's still valid. Alfie is a pedigree Tonkinese, and nothing can change that! If he was for breeding, then I would need to apply for a slight change to his certificate, and of course his solid-ness means he is no longer eligible to be shown, but Alfie's family do not wish to show him or breed from him, and as they say, Alfie doesn't care one way or another! However, I personally guarantee to change any pedigree in error at my expense, if the family wish it- that goes for any of my kittens of course.

Does it matter, then? Well, it matters to me. Obviously I want to get things right, and this kind of thing is incredibly useful to me. I think I must have been thrown by the whole expecting lilacs and getting blues thing! I'm still very much a novice at this, but it's all a great learning experience.

Of course now I'd love some more caramel kittens, to put my learning into practice!!! Perhaps next year eh, caramel isn't an option this time around!

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