Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Cuteness of Calicos

Rue and Runway: dilute and traditional calico cats
All cats are beautiful, and their different coloring is part of their beauty, from the sleek elegance of the black cat to the leonine lure of orange kitties, from the cream-and-sable delicacy of the Siamese to the wild leopard spots of the Bengal. 

But calico cats are special. With their tricolor coats and unpredictable markings, they stand out in a crowd. Their Dutch name is lapjeskat (for 'patches cat,' not 'lap cat,' although they can be both!), and in Japan they are known as mi-ke (for 'triple fur') and considered lucky. Associated with prosperity, they are sometimes known as "money cats." 
Japanese maneki neko or lucky cat

When a calico kitten is born, you can say, with 99% certainty, "It's a girl!" The genetic markers for the distinctive calico coloring can only be found in the X chromosome, and only two X chromosomes (not the XY of male cats) can result in this unusual color palette. 

At Miri's House, we've had the pleasure of fostering three calico cats, and while we can't say they've lived up to their reputation as "money cats," we still consider ourselves lucky to have known them. 

The first calico was Marilyn, the only calico in beautiful red foster cat Miri's litter of four kittens. Named for her Marilyn Monroe-like beauty spot, little Marilyn took after her namesake in another way: the camera loved her, and she loved to pose. And why not? This kitten was seriously adorable.

Pin-up calico girl Marilyn
 Not only was she almost illegally cute, Marilyn the kitten had a personality to match: sweet, friendly, and playful. A friend was planning to adopt a kitten from Miri's litter, and she had wanted an orange kitten, but when her son met Marilyn, it was love at first sight. Marilyn was the first kit of the litter to be adopted.

Marilyn the MeerKitten

Marilyn's new mom named her Carlotta, in honor of a deceased family member. Carlotta had two kitty siblings to play with, Precious and Bherr, and a new family that adored her. Today, Carlotta is all grown up, more beautiful than ever, and a treasured part of the family. In fact, Carlotta is so loved that she will be part of her mom's life forever, thanks to this amazing work of tattoo artistry.

Carlotta: love that's more than skin deep!

Runway, a striking traditional calico with black, orange, and white coloring, and her daughter Rue, an unusual dilute calico with silky grey fur blending into muted orange and white shades, are still in foster care, waiting for just the right person to fall in love with this bonded pair and give them a home together. 

Our wish is that every cat can find a forever home as loving as the one Carlotta found. 

Please donate to Miri's House so we can continue to foster cats and kittens who don't yet have the homes they deserve. Thanks for your support.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Fostering Love

Could you be a foster cat parent? All you need is love! Well--love and a spare room, and the willingness to spend some time feeding, caring for, playing with, and petting some cute kitties.

Yes, playing with cute kittens. It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it.

Orange Ollie reminds us of our Opie, who found a home recently!

Right now, CARE Southcoast is looking for foster homes for three kittens and for a mom cat who needs a safe place to give birth. Tegan, Tessa, and Ollie are all about 9 months old and shy. They could really benefit from some one-on-one attention to help them open up. CARE does not have a shelter building at this time, and they are relying entirely on a network of foster homes.

Another orange cutie, here's Tegan with his amazing fluffy tail!
 No pictures of the mama cat yet, but we do know that her person is moving into assisted living and she is in need of an emergency foster home as soon as possible. If you've never had the opportunity to see kittens grow from tiny, hamster-like balls of fluff into sleek, agile, and playful young cats, now is your chance! It really is a wonderfully rewarding experience.

Tessa is a lovely tortie girl who would really blossom with some attention.

If you are in southeastern New England and you can offer a foster or permanent home to one or more of these kitties in need, please email Karen at CARE Southcoast: kmste (at) as soon as possible. You can also email us at mirishouse (at)