Girly-looking Maine Coon beauty in a snowy place

The snow sort of adds to the image. And this is an impressive image because the cat is so impressive. What a beauty she is.

Girly-looking Maine Coon beauty in a snowy place
Girly-looking Maine Coon beauty in a snowy place. Photo: Twitter.



This very large cat looks distinctly female which is almost certainly true because nearly all calico cats (tortoiseshell-and-white) and tortoiseshell cats are female due to the genetic link between sex and coat type.

This cat's face is distinctly female for me. Very girly. Sometimes you can tell the gender of a cat from their face because some feline faces are distinctly female or male. But on other occasions it is not so clear.

As cat owners we don't pay much attention to the fact that our cat might look masculine or feminine. This is a good and we should take that attitude forward in our relations with humans! Less judging people on their appearance and more on their behavior. And a more open mind to appearance would help in the drive for equality and less prejudice.

A bit about the rare male tortoiseshell

Dr. Desmond Morris in his book Cat World describes the tortoiseshell coat as "black plus orange tabby". He also writes that the "lighter, orange tabby areas, being two-toned, create the overall impression of a three-colour cat."

He refers to a calculation that one in 200 tortoiseshell cats are males. I have read that one in 3000 are, but let's agree that they are rare. The reason why they are so rare is because "normally only a female kitten can display black patches inherited from one parent and red tabby patches inherited from the other."

The reason is because "the genes controlling these particular colour forms are both carried on the X chromosomes, the red gene on one and the non-red gene on the other. The catch is that only females have two X chromosomes, so only females can display the "red plus non-red" tortoiseshell combination. Males have instead one X chromosome and one small Y chromosome, which means that on their single X they carry either the red or the non-red gene, but cannot have both. So, they are either all-over red tabby or all-over black."

The reason why male tortoiseshells can exist is because "there is a minor genetic error and a male cat develops with the genetic combination XXY. The double X gives it a chance to be red and black while the Y chromosome gives it male characteristics.

He goes on to write that the male cats who are tortoiseshell have masculinity problems, and to start with they are sterile. Their behaviour is odd and they behave as if they are a "masculinized female rather than a true male."


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