Alex, The Cat Without A Tail
An introduction to our pet cat, Alex, who just happens to have no tail.
The Day She Came Home
Our tail-less Cat
And how she joined the family....
As you can see from the picture above--our kitten is missing her tail. She didn't lose it, or have it cut off. She was born without one--and so was her brother.
One Saturday in March a couple of years ago, my daughter and granddaughter decided that our household was lacking something vitally necessary--a kitten. They made a visit to the local animal shelter that very day to choose one, and came back with a sweet little gray and white kitten, We decided to call her Alex. The first thing I noticed about Alex was that she was very small. The second thing I noticed was that she didn't have a tail.
It may not be fair to say that Alex has no tail at all--she does have a tiny puff of a tail; but It's more like a bunny's tail than a cat's.
No Longer A Skinny Little Kitten!
All grown up!
What Kind Of Cat Doesn't Have A Tail?
We Wondered That, Too.
I'd heard of Manx Cats, who famously have no tails--but I didn't know whether there were any of them in the U.S. After all, Manx Cats are from the Isle of Man, located off the coast of Great Britain.
I decided to go to the library and find out what I could about our newest little family member. I found that there are, indeed, Manx Cats in the United States; and that pedigreed ones can be quite valuable. I doubt very much that our Alex has a pedigree, since she was a shelter cat, but she's very valuable to us.
Manx Cats are categorized into several classes, based on the length of their tails. I discovered that, due to her bunny tail, our Alex would be classified as a "Riser".This is a Manx cat with only a tiny stub of cartilage where a tail should be--resulting in a furry little nub, like a rabbit tail. In fact, at one time people believed this type of cat was the offspring of a cat and a rabbit! Of course, we now know that's an impossibility, but having one of these cats, I can see how people might have thought that.
The only classification of Manx with a shorter tail than Alex's is the "Rumpy", with no tail whatsoever. There are several other classes of Manx , whose tail lengths can range from nonexistent to almost normal.
Alex In Her Favorite Spot
Lying in her cozy space by the window
The Mighty Hunter
Alex Catches Her First "Prey"
Manx Cats are reputed to be exceptionally good hunters. Alex, as an exclusively indoor cat, was deprived of the chance to prove herself in this respect.
Ever resourceful, our mighty hunter did manage to show her mettle by catching a very unusual prey. One evening we were relaxing in the living room when we heard the distinctive call that any cat owner knows is cat-speak for, "Look at me! I've caught something!" Down the hall trotted our proud Alex with something in her mouth. Our dread of seeing whatever poor unlucky little creature she'd caught soon turned to bewilderment as we tried to figure out just what is was--or had been-- then to laughter when she proudly dropped at our feet....an olive! We'd had a salad for dinner-with our favorite jumbo black olives. Apparently one of them had made its way to the floor and fallen victim to our great predator.
Alex carried her prize around all evening, then dropped it in her dish before falling asleep. Because she was so proud, we tried to praise our brave olive hunter without laughing too much. We're very protective of Alex's self-esteem. She still doesn't know that other cats have tails!
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