Wednesday, July 1, 2009
DANTE: TIPPED OFF!
For those of you who don't know already, Dante is a purebred Maine Coon cat. Not all, but many Maine Coons have lynx-tipped ears, and Dante counts among them.
Although nobody knows fur sure, there has always been a suspicion that Maine Coons came about from matings between resident lynx and farm cats. Certainly, they share some features in common, such as their tipped ears, square jaw, large paws and snowshoe-like feet. However, it's just possible that regular long-haired cats developed these features from generations of living in the harsh Maine environment. Your guess is as good as mine.
In any event, this post is meant to tip you off to Dante's ear tips. Often, they are not so noticeable -- it all depends on the lighting. Much as blondes or redheads need mascara to show up their eyelashes, Dante's red ear tips require a certain light setting to display themselves. Maine Coon cats with dark ear tips look much more lynx-like. These pictures of Dante, however, do indeed exhibit his lynx tips to good effect. I, purrsonally, find them very appealing.
I was investigating the purpose of these outgrowths of fur at the top of the feline ear and read a couple of different theories. One is that the tufts on their ears are a hearing aid, which the lynx certainly requires in his hunting ventures, and the other is that they help to keep the ears from freezing in the frigid winter months. Both of these reasons make sense to me. I'm sure Mother Nature has multiple purposes for her design.
So, if Dante has one tip that you should take away today, it's that you should always cover your ears (prefurably with fur -- faux will do) in the winter!