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Let’s Talk About Cats

Duration: 1st February – 31st July 2019
Number of books: 30
Hosted by:Crazy Challenge Connection

Since Connie’s scavenger hunt challenge this month is about cats, we thought we should offer yet another cat challenge (because you can never have enough cats). I’d have to thank my son for this challenge idea, because not only does he loves real cats, he also loves to read about them. He knows most of these breeds, and his life’s ambition is to own a cat sanctuary like Cat House on the Kings. So anyway, this one is an easy challenge, do one task for each of the cat breeds. If the task option asks for additional information, please provide it. And if you are cat (or dog, we love dogs also) parents, do post a picture!

(I got all the information from the TICA (The International Cat Association) website. And the pictures are from pexel.)

The Challenge

1. Abyssinian 
Country of Origin: Recent genetic studies point to cats from coastal area of Bay of Bengal in India as the ancestors of Abyssinians
History: They’re called cats from the Blue Nile because they resemble cats depicted in the ancient Egyptian murals and artifacts. Others believe British soldiers from Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) brought a cat named Zula home to England after the Abyssinian wars.
Traits and other things: Abyssinians have a confident and regal carriage, but they’re also very silly and athletic. They’re called preposition cats, because they leave no preposition untouched in their exploration; they are above, below, in, under, across, beside, between, into, over, among and through everywhere.
♛ Read a book set during ancient times -or- read a book whose title contains a preposition.Circe by Madeline Miller

2. American Shorthair :
Country of Origin: United States of America
History: The American Shorthair came with the early settlers to the US, bringing their diverse backgrounds to form an “American” cat.
Traits and other things: The early American Shorthairs were hardy cats; they earned their living status by their hunting skills. In their journey over, they were “working cats”, protecting the ships’ stores. They are a natural breed, but selective breeding over the years developed the Shorthair as we know it today.
Read a book with America or American in the title (plurals okay) -or- read a book whose main character works hard for a living. – Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne

3. Australian Mist :
Country of Origin: Australia
History: They were first bred in 1976 by crossing Burmese, Abyssinian and miscellaneous domestic shorthairs.
Traits and other things: The Australian Mist are the only cats from Australia. They’re excellent indoor cats, which is good for the native wildlife of Australia. Their name comes from the appearance of wearing a misted veil, caused by random ticking in the solid color areas of the cat.
Read a book set in Australia -or- read a book which deals with some kind of ecological concern. – Beluga Days by Nancy Lord

4. Bengal :
Country of Origin: United States of America
History: Bengals were obtained by crossing the domestic cat with the Asian Leopard Cat, a spotted shy wild cat species sighted near the Bengal river in India.
Traits and other things: The Bengal is the only domestic cat that can have rosettes like the markings on Leopards, Jaguars and Ocelots. They’re an active, inquisitive cat that loves to be up high. Many of them enjoy water. 
Read a book with a river important to the plot -or- read a book whose cover shows something that can be climbed up high (like the tops of a tree or a large building, post the cover). – Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost (a tree)

5. Birman :
Country of Origin: Burma
History: A legend speaks of a Birman being raised by the Kittah priests of Burma. The story tells of a golden eyed, white cat that stood guard over his dying holy master and was transformed into a cat with a dark brown head, legs and tail; but his coat became a cream color with a golden glow from this master’s golden goddess. As the master died and his soul passed on to the cat, the cat’s paws and hocks, where he sat on his master’s chest, stayed pure white as a sign of his master’s purity. As the cat gazed up at the golden goddess, his gold eyes turned to a beautiful sapphire blue, the same as his master’s goddess. 
Traits and other things: Birman is a talker; it talks more the more you respond to the cat’s meows.
♛ Read a book in which a physical transformation occurs -or- read a book in which a character is very talkative. – The Radium Girls by Kate Moore

Here kitty, kitty!

6. British Shorthair :
Country of Origin: Egypt
History: Imported from Egypt, these cats accompanied the Roman soldiers when they invaded England. The British Shorthair is one of the oldest breeds of English cats.
Traits and other things: The British Shorthair, with its chipmunk cheeks and happy smile, is famous as the Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. It’s also sometimes referred to as the Winston Churchill of the cat world, because of its dignity and habit of roaming its household dominion with all four feet on the floor.
Read a book whose main character is called Alice (no variations!) -or- read a book which deals with WWII. – The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

7. Chartreux :
Country of Origin: France
History: References to the Chartreux are found in French literature as early as the 16th century.
Traits and other things: The Chartreux have a sturdy, robust body and fine-boned legs, and are sometimes called “potatoes on toothpicks”. Their name might have come from the Carthusian monks and their monastery, where they may have protected the grain stores and the ingredients for the famous Chartreuse liqueur. 
Read a book with a vegetable in the title or the cover (post the cover if using that option) -or- read a book with a religious main character. – The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis

8. Devon Rex :
Country of Origin: Devon, England
History: The sire of the breed was a feral tom cat with a curly coat who lived in an abandoned tin mine. 
Traits and other things: They have large low set ears and big, impish eyes and are described as resembling Gremlins from Star Wars. The tousled curls on their coats are reminiscent of Little Orphan Annie’s tousled mop. They have impish looks and a mischievous personality.
♛ Read a book with a character who loves fun -or- read a book whose title contains either Star or War (plurals allowed, no other variations). – Bit the Jackpot by Erin McCarthy (Cara)

9. Donskoy 
Country of Origin: Russia
History: The foundational cat was discovered in the city Rostov-on-Don in 1987.
Traits and other things: They are hairless cats, whose wrinkles give them an old wizened look. They also have the appearance of a movie alien. The name Donskoy comes from the river Don, where Varvara was discovered in 1987. The discovery itself was miraculous. Elena Kovaleva, a Professor, encountered young boys playing soccer with a bag, and inside the bag was a kitten crying in pain and fear. She rescued the bag and took the kitten home. Varvara had hair, which she lost as she grew. She gave birth to both haired and hairless kittens. The haired kittens lost their hair, just as Varvara did.
Read a book in which the main character rescues a child or an animal from cruelty -or- read a book with an older protagonist (>50 years) – High Stakes by Erin McCarthy (Ethan is 900 years old)

10. Egyptian Mau :
Country of Origin: Egypt
History: Mau ancestors are highly visible in ancient Egyptian artwork.
Traits and other things: There are five unique physical features of the breed: the brow line and characteristic eye set that gives the breed a naturally worried look; the eye color, which is gooseberry green; a flap of skin extending from the posterior end of the rib-cage to the hind leg, which gives it an uncanny leaping ability and makes the breed capable of great bursts of speed; and the “tiptoe” stance given by the hind legs being proportionally longer than the front legs, giving a look of elegance to the Mau.
♛ Read a book whose cover is mostly light green (post the cover) -or- read a book that you can read very fast. – The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis

More pretties!

11. Exotic Shorthair 
Country of Origin: United States of America
History: Exotics were first bred in the 1970s.
Traits and other things: Exotic Shorthair is the ideal cat for those who like the look of the Persian, but can’t take care of all that hair. Exotic Shorthair is bred to be just like the Persian-except with a short, dense coat instead of a long flowing one. They have the same pansy-like sweet face, short nose with big eyes, and the same short square body giving them a cuddly bear-like look. These cats are livelier and more inquisitive than the Persians thanks to their short-haired ancestry.
♛ Read a book in which a character is very lazy -or- read a book that has an X somewhere in its title or author’s name.Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

12. Havana :
Country of Origin: Britain
History: The first registered Havana was Elmtower Bronze Idol whose parents were a seal-point Siamese and a black shorthair.
Traits and other things: The Havana is a striking cat with a rich mahogany coat, showcasing brilliantly green eyes. The short, smooth, rich, red-brown coat reveals the graceful lines of this elegant cat; while the expressive green eyes glow with intelligence. Some believe it is named for its resemblance to the rich color of the Havana cigar, while others think the name came from Havana rabbit.
♛ Read a book with smoke on the cover (post the cover) -or- read a book in which a character works with chocolate.Dragon Bones by Patricia Briggs

13. Japanese Bobtail :
Country of Origin: Japan
History: References and pictures of the cat date back to at least 1000 years.
Traits and other things: They are the good luck cat of Japan. Maneki-neko, the common Japanese figurine of good fortune, depicts a Japanese Bobtail cat with the raised paw. The unique feature of the cat is its bobbed tail that consists of a variety of kinks and curves creating a pom-pom effect, like a fingerprint; no two tails are alike. 
♛ Roll a dice and read a book depending on the number rolled:
1. Calico: Read a book from your favorite author.
2. White: Read a book with a happily ever after.
3. Gold: Read a book with a rich main character.
4. Black: Read a book with a very evil character.
5. Red: Read a romance.
6. Green: Read a book with a GR rating > 4.2.
The Siren by Kiera Cass

14. Khaomanee :
Country of Origin: Thailand
History: References to these cats can be found in the Tamra Maew (Cat-Book Poems of Thailand from 1350). They were called Khao Plort.
Traits and other things: The Khaomanee have one blue eye and one ranging from copper through yellow to green, and they have a shining white coat. Khaomanee means White Gem, and is thought to have been a favorite of royal palaces. While several other Thai cat breeds are bred in the West, there are very few Khaomanee breeders outside Thailand.
♛ Read a book in which the main character is not well traveled -or- read a book with a precious or semi-precious gem on the cover (post the cover).Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

15. Korat 
Country of Origin: Thailand 
History: The first image of the Korat is from the Tamra Maew (Cat-Book Poems), which shows 17 cats whose ownership brings good fortune, and 6 which bring bad luck. The Korat is one of the good luck cats.
Traits and other things: Korat, the cat and its name, comes from a high plateau in Northeast Thailand called Korat. Korats have many traditions around them: they are the color of silver, signifying wealth; they are the color of rain clouds with eyes the color of young plants representing good harvests; and with their heart-shaped faces, a pair of cats given to a bride ensures a strong and fortunate marriage.
♛ Read a book in which the main character meets with good fortune (tell us how) -or- read a book with either rain clouds or plants on the cover (post the cover).The Kitchen Witch by Annette Blair (Melody landing her job, and Logan and Melody becoming neighbours)

Cats, cats, cats!

16. Lykoi :
Country of Origin: United States of America, in Tennessee/Virginia.
History: They were intentionally bred in 2011 to prove that the unusual appearance was not due to sickness.
Traits and other things: Lykoi is the result of a natural mutation of the American Shorthair, and it has the appearance of a classic Hollywood werewolf, hence the name (“lycos”, wolf in Greek). Their hair coat is a combination of amelanistic (no melanin) hair and solid black. The mix can range from almost black to almost white. The more white hair there is in the coat, the more silver the cat looks.
♛ Read a book with a black and white cover (shades of grey allowed. Title and author can be in a different color, but nothing else. Post cover) -or- read a book made into a movie or a novelization of a movie (not a TV series or play, tell us which movie).The Blind Side by Michael Lewis

17. Maine Coon :
Country of Origin: United States of America, in Maine
History: One of the oldest natural breeds in North America, Maine Coons possibly originated in matings between shorthaired domestic cats and overseas longhairs (brought to America by New England seamen).
Traits and other things: Maine Coon are long-haired, and equipped to handle harsh New England winters. A myth suggests that they were born to semi-wild domestic cats and raccoons (which is biologically impossible). Another myth suggests that the Maine sprang from one of six pet cats that Marie Antoinette sent to Wissacet, Maine during the French Revolution.
Read a historical book set in France (fiction or non-fiction) -or- read a book in which someone takes a long journey for whatever reason. – Enclave by Ann Aguirre

18. Manx :
Country of Origin: England, in the Isle of Man
History: Colorful legends suggest that the Manx lost its tail when Noah slammed the door of the ark shut on its tail. 
Traits and other things: A round, heavy cat of medium size, the Manx resembles a bowling ball. Its primary feature is its lack of tail. The ideal Manx has a rounded rump with just a dimple where the tail would have been. However, some cats have short, stubby tails and some are born with full-length tails. 
Read a book set on an island -or- read a book whose cover shows a round shape (post the cover). – The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook

19. Munchkin :
Country of Origin: United States of America
History: Short-legged cats been present throughout history, but the breed we know as Munchkin started with a pregnant female short-legged cat named Blackberry in 1983.
Traits and other things: Munchkins are a short-legged mutation of normal cats. Long-legged munchkins look like any other cat. They’re energetic, have great cornering skills, and tend to stay low to the ground, even though they’re perfectly capable of jumping.
♛ Read a book whose main character is a detective (amateur sleuths don’t count, they should be professional) -or- read a book set in a fantasy world.The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen

20. Nebelung :
Country of Origin: United States of America
History: Bred in 1984, the first cats of this breed were offsprings of a black domestic shorthair and a black longhair resembling an Angora.
Traits and other things: Nebelungs are a rare breed that have long bodies; wide set green eyes; long, dense fur. Their name comes from the German word nebel, meaning mist or fog, representing their silky blue coat. The name also honors the first two kittens of the breed, Siegfried and Brunhilde, who were named after characters from the German saga “Niebelungenlied”.
Read a book set in Germany -or- read a book with a mostly blue cover (post the cover). – Hotel Valhalla by Rick Riordan

More pretty Kitteh!

21. Norwegian Forest Cat :
Country of Origin: Norway
History: They have been around for a long time and are included in Viking myths and legends.
Traits and other things: The Norwegian Forest Cat is a very healthy and robust breed that developed over hundreds of years of natural selection. These cats traveled with the Vikings, keeping their ships and villages free of vermin. In the 1970s, the late King Olaf designated them the Official Cat of Norway.
Read a book with royal characters -or- read a book with a legend of some kind important to the story. – Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan

22. Ocicat :
Country of Origin: United States of America
History: The first cat was Tonga, born in 1964 to an Abyssinian dad and a seal-point Siamese mom.
Traits and other things: Ocicats have a distinctive spotted coat, giving them a wild look, similar to the Ocelot and the Egyptian Spotted Fishing Cat. They’re active and social and possessive of their toys.
♛ Read a book whose title starts with an O (ignore A, An and The) -or- read a book whose cover contains a toy (post the cover).Out of the Light, Into the Shadows by Lori Foster & Erin McCarthy

23. Persian :
Country of Origin: Possibly historical Persia.
History: There are heiroglyphic references to a long-haired cat in the area.
Traits and other things: Persians have a long, luxuriant, flowing coat and a pansy like face with big, round copper eyes. They have a sweet and gentle nature, and prefer a calm atmosphere. They like to stay on the ground and are perfectly happy to decoratively drape themselves in a favorite spot.
Read one of the oldest published books on your TBR (let us know when the book was published) -or- read a book whose cover shows a decorative item (post the cover). – I Am Heathcliff curated by Kate Mosse

24. Ragdoll 
Country of Origin: United States of America
History: Bred in the early 1960s, in California.
Traits and other things: The Ragdoll is a relaxed and happy cat. Like a child’s ragdoll, many of these cats will go limp in your arms and flop like a stuffed doll when cuddled. The breed matriarch was a pure white longhaired cat called Josephine. Josephine had been hit by a car prior to birthing the ragdoll kittens. Josephine’s owner insisted that her genes were altered when she was taken to the medical center. According to her, that was why the litters born after the accident had the limp, loving personalities of Ragdolls; whereas the litters prior to the accident were “normal”.
♛ Read a book with a conspiracy theory important to the plot -or- read a book in which the main character is injured or sick and has to go to the hospital. – Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison

25. Russian Blue :
Country of Origin: Russia.
History: These cats were rumored to be pets of the Tsars and favorite of Queen Victoria.
Traits and other things: They’re also known as Archangel cats. The name comes not from their silver tipping and green eyes; but from the Russian port of Arkhangelsk on the White Sea, about 150 miles south of the Arctic Circle. The cats boarded boats with sailors and came to other parts of Europe. 
♛ Read a book with snow on the cover (post the cover) -or- read a book whose main character or author shares a name with an archangel (for the purpose of this task: Gabriel, Michael and Raphael. Reasonable variations are fine).Spellhorn by Berlie Doherty

Adorable kitties!

26. Scottish Fold :
Country of Origin: Scotland
History: The first cat of the breed was a barn cat called Susie.
Traits and other things: The unique folded ears of the Scottish Fold give it a look reminiscent of an owl. The tightly folded ears fit closely to the skull resulting in a cap-like appearance. Big, round, shoe-button eyes open up the face in the rounded head. A sturdy body is covered with padding resulting in a solid feel to this medium-sized cat. The folded ear is a spontaneous mutation and comes from an incompletely dominant gene that results in both folded and straight-eared cats. 
♛ Read a book whose cover shows any kind of folded item (post the cover) -or- read a book set in Scotland.

27. Siamese :
Country of Origin: Somewhere in East Asia, possibly Thailand.
History: Thailand’s Cat-Book Poems shows a pale-coated cat with a black mask, tail, feet and ears.
Traits and other things: It is a long, elegant cat that is defined by extremes – long tubular body, long well-angulated legs, long tapering tail, long triangular head, and huge triangular ears. Nothing about the Siamese is round, it’s angular all the way. Siamese are very active. Being natural fetchers, they’ll fetch as long as there is someone to toss. They’re also very talkative.
♛ Read a book whose title contains a shape name except for circle or its synonyms -or- listen to an audiobook (tell us who the narrator is).

28. Siberian :
Country of Origin: Russia, possibly Siberia.
History: References to the cat exist from 1000AD.
Traits and other things: Siberians are large cats with a substantial rounded body reminiscent of a barrel; and heavily boned legs to support the substantial body structure. They have very strong paws, which help them jump exceptionally high. They’re very intelligent and can figure out things; like how to open a door. 
Read a book whose cover shows a barrel (post the cover) -or- read a well researched non-fiction book. – Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe

29. Turkish Angora :
Country of Origin: Ankara, Turkey
History: The earliest reference occurs in 16th century France. 
Traits and other things: Turkey considered the cats a national treasure, it would have been hard not to, with their fine boned elegance and gossamer silk coat. They established a breeding program at the Ankara Zoo to preserve the breed, concentrating on whites with blue, gold, and odd eyes. They were very reluctant to let the cats go anywhere else until 1962, when they let an American colonel take an odd-eyed white male called Yildiz and an amber-eyed white female called Yildizcek.
♛ Read a book with two colors in the title and/or subtitle -or- read a book set in the middle east (let us know where).

30. Turkish Van :
Country of Origin: Eastern Turkey
History: They’ve existed for a long time in the mountainous area of the Eastern Anatolian region, around the Lake Van.
Traits and other things: The van pattern is a combination of white and colored patches, with the colored patches restricted primarily to the head and tail. The tail is plumed. These cats love to run and run and run. 
♛ Read a book whose location begins with a letter in ANATOLIA (tell us where) -or- read a book in which a character likes to run/jog (tell us who).The Thieves of Ostia by Caroline Lawrence (Ostia)

We’re done now

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