Thursday, March 11, 2021

Opal is 100% Cat

If Opal was a dog, she would be called a mutt or mongrel.  She is a mix of so many types of cats.  On her forehead, I can see the M of tabby stripes.  Her tail has the black and orange spots of a tortoiseshell.  Her stomach has white spots like a calico.  She has point coloration and blue eyes like a Siamese.  

Because of her uniqueness, I couldn't wait to have her DNA tested to know what breeds she has in her.  I received a Basepaws DNA test kit for Christmas (Thank you, mom!).  The test kit was easy to follow.  It included a swab for me to wipe the inside of Opal's mouth.  Opal didn't enjoy it but I was able to do it for the recommended time.  I packaged the kit up and put it in the mail.  And then I waited.  And waited.  It says it takes 4 to 6 weeks.  Opal's results took almost 7 weeks but I finally got them!  

I'm not sure what I expected but these results were definitely not it!  

Basepaws allows you to determine the statistical degree of confidence from confident to maybe.  The breeds vary by each degree.  Polycat is basic cat.

They are Confident that Opal is these breeds.


It is Likely that Opal is these breeds.

It is Probable that Opal has these breeds.


It is Possible that Opal has these breeds

Opal Maybe has these breeds

So why was I so shocked by Opal's results?  Opal's results don't include any Siamese until the lowest degree of confidence and then it is only 7%.  Why is this shocking?  Opal has point coloration which is only found in breeds related to Siamese.  

You may be asking what is point coloration?  It is a form of albinism where the color of the fur isn't activated until the cat's body temperature is below a certain temperature.  Siamese kittens are born white since it was nice and toasty inside their mother's womb.  Once they are born and their body begins to cool, the color gets activated.  Since their ears, nose, feet and tails gets colder faster, the color is darker in those areas.  This creates what is called points.  Usually, you can start seeing the points when the kitten is a week old but they get darker as the kitten grows.  A couple weeks ago, we had artic temperatures which made the house chillier than normal.  I noticed that made Opal's points darker.  Typically, the points are identified by their color.  Orange points are called flame point.  Brown points are called seal point.  Opal's points are a combination of tabby and calico.  Some people would call this torbico point.  

You can see that Opal's points had started to develop at 6 weeks but were still light.

This was Opal at 7 months.  Her points are much darker.  Can you see the M of the tabby?

Can you see the orange and black, tortoiseshell tail?

It has been fun to watch her coat change.  I think that these two spots look like hearts.

So contrary to her DNA results, I can say with confidence that Opal is part Siamese.  The one thing Basepaws and I totally agree upon:  Opal is 100% cat.





Thursday, December 31, 2020

2020 In Review

Like others, we are happy to see 2021 and the hope it provides but it is always fun to look back at where we have been.

January and February started with excitement as our hometown team, the Kansas City Chiefs went to and won the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years.  The Mama went to all the playoff games leading up to the Super Bowl.  She even braved the snow and cold to go to the victory parade.



February also brought us our first students of the year.  Since they were born near the Chiefs big win, we named them Andi and the Champs with Coach Andi, Patrick, Tyreek, Tyrann, Kelce, Sammi and Frank.

February also saw the adoption of our former student, Joey.  

In March, the whole world changed.  The Champs continued to grow and learn.

But the Mama stayed home all the time including to work and to go to church.  Of course, our students and I helped with both.  

March was also a time of great sadness for us as we lost our sister, Pearl.  

April was a time of celebration as all of the Champs were adopted!



Kelce had a health issue so she stayed with us a couple weeks longer than her siblings.  She was able to participate in Spirit Week at the Mama's work before eventually getting adopting as well.

May brought flowers as in Petunia, Posy, Poppy and Bud.

Coach Andi had experienced a medical emergency and needed to go to another foster home but she too was adopted in May.

In June, we celebrated the adoption of the flowers.



Petunia stayed with us through the month of July before she was adopted.

August was the debut of the Hamilton kittens.


The Hamilton kittens were such stars, they were adopted in September.


September also brought the pirate kittens to our shores.  Argh!  Ahoy, mateys!


One of the pirates, felt right at home here and did everything possible to win over the Mama's heart.

In October, we celebrated some more adoptions including a very special one!


The Mama was so smitten with Sadie the Goat that she knew she had to add her to our family.  She was such a gem that we decided to change her name to Opal.

The weather in October was beautiful and since the Mama was going stir crazy staying home all the time, she took Opal on several adventures.

We were especially thankful to add Sherlock and Watson to our school in November.  Opal was curious about the new arrivals.




The kittens were especially curious when we put up the Christmas tree in December.


Opal and I even got to visit Santa!



In December, we celebrated the Mama's 50th birthday.  Mouses!  She is old!  Her friends put this sign in our yard and we had an online bingo party.


With Christmas fast approaching, Sherlock and Watson had to go back to the shelter.  Guess what?  Watson got adopted!  Sherlock is still waiting for his family but we know it will happen soon.

Opal celebrated her first Christmas at Grandma's.  She met Grandma, Uncle Clyde and Aunt Bonnie for the first time.  She also learned about the true meaning of Christmas.  We were all excited about Santa coming but Opal could have done without the Christmas jammies.





That was our year.  I hope you enjoyed our look back.  We hope that you have a great new year.  Thank you for being part of our online family.

Purrs,
Gus