1. Calico Cats are Magical.
2. It’s like having 3 cats in one.
3. 99.99% of Calicos are Female!
XX Chromosomes! Am I right, ladies?
4. You can’t breed them. Because of magic and science
“Calico cats are almost always female because the X chromosome determines the color of the cat, and female cats—much like all female mammals—have two X chromosomes, whereas male mammals, including common male cats, have one X and one Y chromosome. Since the Y chromosome does not have any color genes, there is no chance he could have both orange and non-orange together. One main exception to this is when, in rare cases, a male has XXY chromosomes.” – Wikipedia
(Did you understand that? Me neither.)
5. Of the 1 in 3000 male calicos that are born, almost all of them are sterile.
Male calicos suffer from Klinefelter’s syndrome, which means they are always sterile and usually have a lot of health problems ranging from brain damage to genital deformities and organ failure. Basically they’re not supposed to exist and nature takes lengths to keep it that way. Theres nothing really good about this fact other than their scarcity makes people think they are worth a lot of money and bring good fortune. (In truth, you’ll probably spend a fortune on veterinary bills.)
6. Over centuries, they migrated from Egypt to your living room.
“The existence of patches in calico cats was traced in a study determining the migration of domesticated cats along trade routes in Europe and Northern Africa. The proportion of cats having the orange mutant gene found in calicoes was traced to the port cities along the Mediterranean in France, Spain and Italy, originating from Egypt.”
7. They protect humans with their magic powers.
Long ago, Japanese fishermen kept them on board their boats to protect them in storms and frighten away the ghosts of jealous ancestors.
8. They also protect humans with non-magic powers.
“One famous calico rescued her entire person and animal family from a burning house by scratching on each bedroom door.”
-Cat Breeds Encyclopedia
9. They cure warts!
According to Irish folklore, you can cure warts by rubbing them against the tail of a calico during the month of May. It’s safe to assume the cat doesn’t enjoy this but will help anyway.
10. They are known to have sweet personalities.
11. They’ve been beloved in Japan for centuries.
Utagawa Kuniyoshi painted these cuties back in the 1800’s.
12. European painters liked them too.
Especially 18th century French painter Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin, who really had a knack for capturing the way calico cats will mess with seafood that’s hanging from a hook.
13. These Japanese figurines are all based on calico cats.
Maneki-Neko, or “The beckoning cat” is a symbol whose origins goes back to 1870’s in Japan. Calicos were seen as a good luck omen and to this day are placed in the entrances of homes and businesses everywhere.
14. A calico cat saved a railway station in Japan from being closed down.
In 2007, the rural Kinokawa train station was about to be closed due to budget issues. But the town appointed a local stray calico cat named Tama to be Station Master. Tama had an “office” where she would greet pasengers and soon became a celebrity. The publicity from Tama’s appointment cause a 17% increase in ridership from the station and saved it from being closed.
Watch this to see the whole story.
15. There was a famous one in Australia, too.
Marzipan was a calico who lived in the Astor Theatre in Melbourne. For 21 years, she greeted moviegoers in the lobby as they entered and left the theatre and sometimes even climbed on to people’s laps as they enjoyed a movie. Sadly, she died last year and the city held a memorial.
16. Look at Pudge. Look at her.
They all do.
That’s why my cat is named Kukido. Get it? Kukido. Cookie Dough.
18. Former Attorney General John Ashcroft thought they were a sign the devil.*
*Maybe. There was a rumor circulating that he once got nervous at an American embassy in Holland because there were calico cats about. He apparently believed calicos were a sign of the devil. Given some of his other religious beliefs, people took the rumor as truth even after he denied it in numerous interviews. This is one urban legend we’d like to believe.
19. Calicos are The Official State Cat of Maryland.
…because they kind of have the same coloring as orioles, the state bird. It should be noted that only two other states have official state cats.
20. They may hold the answers to curing obesity in humans.
According to research presented by Dr. Elizabeth Smith of the University of California San Francisco, “Uncovering how only one X chromosome is inactivated will help explain the whole process of epigenetic control, meaning the way changes in gene activity can be inherited without changing the DNA code. It can help answer other questions such as if and how traits like obesity can be passed down through generations.”