Monday, March 31, 2008

Vanna & the Vanalikes

Vanna is the most recent foster cat in my home. She showed up as a stray in the garage of a family over the winter. They fed her, but couldn't keep her because the landlord wouldn't allow it. When they were quite sure she was pregnant, they found out the landlord was selling their building and they would have to move. They began looking for someone to take in the cat.

I picked her up two weeks ago and decided to name her Vanna because she was so very beautiful and because she looks like a Turkish Van breed of cat -- medium length fur, mostly white with color on her tale and head. She also has beautiful blue eyes.

The vet checked her out and she was healthy except for a bad case of ear mites. One week after I got her, she had the kittens on the Saturday morning before Easter. She had three kittens and all three look just like her! In my research on the Turkish Van, I discovered that domestic cats that look like the breed are known as "vanalikes" -- I loved that word and I decided it was a perfect description of these kittens.*

I wanted to give them Easter-related names, so the girls are Bunny (she has a cottontail spot of gray just above her tail) and Bonnet (she has the most gray on her head, sliding down over one eye) and the boy is Beau, which isn't Eastery, but it seems to fit. The spots on his head are the smallest and furthest apart.

Vanna is a wonderful mother and the kittens eyes started to open on their one-week birthday this past weekend.

*The Turkish Van is a rare, naturally occurring breed of cat from the Lake Van region of present-day Turkey. For Turkish Vans, the word van refers to their color pattern, where the color is restricted to the head and the tail, and the rest of the cat is white. It is the maximum expression of the piebald white spotting gene that makes the van pattern.[1] The spotting gene (Leucism) appears in many different species (like the horse and ball python). It also shows up in the common house cat, so a cat that shows this color pattern but is not registered or from the Van region, is called a "Vanalike".

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