Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Cleo and her changing coloured coat...

We've had Cleo for about fifteen years now. She's the oldest of our cats, and the grumpiest. At one point she was by far the best at jumping, the most likely to go exploring over the rooftops. She's not the most sociable of cats; being glossy and black (albeit with a little white patch on her tummy) she regularly camouflages herself on black wood, although she will sometimes sit on someone wearing black trousers.

She's not purebred, of course. She was found as a tiny kitten; we bottle-fed her at first, and we've always been aware that in some lights there's a slight tinge of brown in her fur. However, in the spring one of our visitors commented that she looked as if she were no longer a black cat.  We looked at her properly, and realised that this was the case. It wasn't just the sunshine: Cleo was - apparently - turning brown:

Another friend commented that this happened to one of their cats when she got older. Cleo still seemed reasonably active, although there's evidently a bit of arthritis in one of her front legs, but she's still eating and being quite affectionate, so we didn't worry over much. 

But she's a strange cat. A few years ago she seemed to be losing all her fur in the spring; this wasn't just moulting, it was very thin in places. Then it all grew back again in the summer. 

In May, Cleo was looking much blacker again:

Although in June, she looked brown once more, with her fur decidedly thin. Her face was still healthy, she was still eating, she was still socialising and insisting on being inside game box lids, but she was looking decidedly mangy overall:

But now, with summer in full swing, Cleo is glossy black again. She's thinner than she was a few years ago, but has been extremely friendly recently, sitting on almost any lap that appeared in the living room. She doesn't go out as much as she used to - she really can't jump much any more - but she still spreadcats herself over the back of her favourite chair:

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