Today we’re honoring the cat known as ginger, marmalade, tiger—the orange tabby. This, as you know, is not a breed, but a color with some interesting aspects. Did you know that 80% of orange tabbies are male? Yes, it’s rather rare to meet up with a female. Some of the most famous orange tabbies were Morris, the cat in the cat food commercials, and Garfield, who is still delighting people in the comics. There was a famous orange tabby in Alaska. He passed away maybe ten years ago, but he was the mayor of a small town called Talkeetna. Yes, he held office there for twenty years before he passed. We visited Talkeetna just before he passed and asked to have an audience with him, but he was too ill then to have company. I’ve included a photo of him here—it was on a postcard I picked up in the town.
There are orange tabbies in some breeds of cat: Maine coon, Manx, Ocicat, Turkish Angora, Egyptian Mau, Rex and others.
Have you ever seen a solid orange cat? You may think you have, but in reality, evidently, there is no such animal. If you see an orange cat, there are stripes in there somewhere. There are different shades of orange tabby—very pale shades to very deep shades called mahogany. And when you meet an orange tabby—or any color tabby—be sure to check out the pattern on his or her forehead—sometimes you’ll see a well-defined M. Often, however, the M is only partial, as it was with my sweet dilute tabby, Lily.