Mindful Monday –  Life After the Cat-DNA Report

As you know we had Olivia’s DNA tested and now (if what we learned is accurate) we know that she’s a ragdoll, she’s Maine coon, she’s a fierce cheetah, she’s a sinewy Siamese, she’s a gracious Egyptian mau, an intelligent Abyssinian, an adventurous Savannah, and even a bald Peterbald. Confusing?

I guess it would be if one tried to piece all of these parts together and make them fit like a puzzle. But it doesn’t work that way. Once you’ve done a Cat-DNA test, you know a bit more about your cat—why she does some of the things she does—why she’s vocal, for example, and how she manages to and is inspired to climb the drapes and dart out the door every chance she gets. Researchers have examined and tested and observed probably all of the cat breeds, so when your cat’s DNA report comes back showing a list of the cats your cat is most closely aligned with genetically, the real fun begins. At least it did for me.

I refreshed my memory and knowledge of some of the breeds in Olivia’s genetic pool and now I know a bit more about her—why she does some of the things she does. I even saw a picture of a Savannah (one of her ancestors) with its paws crossed like Olivia does. But the Maine coon is also famous for lying with paws crossed. I also see the Maine coon cat friendliness, dog-like behavior, and that wonderful bushy tail in Olivia. Last night she talked me into playing fetch with her. She actually brought her quirky rubber ball to me six times to throw for her again. Yes, dog-like.

She’s floppy like the Ragdoll and she’s large for her age like the Ragdoll, Maine coon, and Savannah. She’s affectionate like the Savannah, Maine coon and Ragdoll and she’s a clown—an intelligent, teachable clown like the Abyssinian.

Yes, now I can kind of pigeonhole her and say, “That’s why she does that.” I believe that understanding why a cat does what she does—possibly a trait or characteristic handed down through her ancestor cats—is useful. When we understand the cat better, we can appreciate her more. It’s fun to know her background, but I also know that Olivia is Olivia and all of those many genetic pieces that make her up can never be duplicated exactly. Each cat is unique. It’s fun to learn a little about their genetic background, but I also celebrate her beautiful individuality.


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