Blue Smoke Kittens Sleeping
These two gray kittens were born August 20, 2019. A pregnant stray kitten showed up on a woman named Jennifer Word's porch in Atchison, Kansas, and she felt inclined to feed the poor thing. Next thing she knew, the kitten, affectionately named "Sweetie" had moved into Ms. Word's home. Sweetie officially moved in on August 13, 2019. She gave birth to four healthy kittens just one week later: Three boys and a girl. Two of the brothers were ginger mackerel tabbies. The other pair were a brother and sister with dark mackerel stripes.
As the kittens began to grow and move about, Ms. Word simultaneously noticed something seemed "different" about the kittens. As the markings on their fur became more defined and pronounced, she noticed the mackerel stripes were amazingly detailed and striking, extremely intricate and layered. But the most interesting thing that struck the owner's eye with these kittens was the fact that their fur actually seemed to CHANGE whenever they moved. Surely it must be her imagination??
It turns out the phenomenon of the kittens seemingly magical, ever-changing coats wasn't Ms. Word's imagination. After extensive research (and then checking the kittens' coats again and again to confirm), Ms. Word discovered that each of the kittens is what is known as a "smoke cat". Each of the four kittens has either a completely white or light gray undercoat. As the kittens walk, play, jump, stretch, or even simply breathe, their solid undercoats create the illusion of markings that are constantly in flux: The intense and complex mackerel striping seems to ebb and flow, solidify, then separate into tiger striping, patches, vertical & perpendicular lines, stripes, sometimes even appears more similar to cheetah or leopard spots!! The constantly wavering designs on the kittens' fur seems to wax and wane, ebbing and flowing, wafting and drifting like smoke in the air; hence the name "smoke" for this particular type of fur coat.
What a surprise for Ms. Word to realize that the four kittens a random stray young cat gave birth to in her home turn out to have some of the most beautiful, exceptional, and RARE coats a cat can have. For otherwise typical mackerel tabbies, these kittens are anything but ordinary. Their stripes are absolutely mesmerizing. Watching the kittens' coats flux and change as they play and run is equally fascinating and hypnotizing. On top of all that, the specific terms for the two sets of twins (two ginger, two dark striped, remember?) makes these kittens coats even more spectacular.
The ginger twins, who both have completely white undercoats, are what is known as "red smoke" cats. The dark striped mackerel kittens are even more rare. Both their undercoats are a light gray, with a tinted hue of light blue. These two kittens, brother and sister, are what is termed "blue smoke", an even more rare coat coloring category.
It sure would be nice to know what the Daddy of these four kittens looked like!! Mama Sweetie is a patched calico tabby with some fairly pretty mackerel striping herself, but she is clearly not a smoke cat. The kittens must have gotten the dominant smoke coat genetics from Mr. Unknown Tom Cat... and it's simply luck of the draw that the four kittens broke into perfectly matching sets of ginger and dark grey solid colored twins (as opposed to patchwork calicoes like their mother). The smoke effect could only be this striking on solid colored cats. In this case, solid ginger (or red smoke) and solid dark/light gray (or blue smoke).
What started out as simply a pregnant stray rescue for Ms. Word has now turned into a full time job, caring for the Mama & her kittens, while researching everything about the kittens' uniquely gorgeous coats and appearance, which has in turn led to her stumbling across numerous breeding websites and "catteries" that specialize in rare cat breeds and coat markings, including smoke cats.
Ms. Word is now extremely interested in 'preserving' the intricate mackerel striping of these kittens, along with the rare pairing of their solid undercoats making them smoke cats. A simple pregnant stray rescue has led to this human cat caretaker preparing to delve into the world of extreme breeding to lock in the kittens' amazing coats in repeatable deliveries of solid red smoke and solid blue smoke kitten litters with their complex tiger-mackerel stripes. By this time next year (October 2020), Ms. Word hopes to have secured at least one new litter of these amazing smoke cats. These pretty kitties are far too gorgeous to let their random gene lottery results simply die out and fade away.
Who could have ever imagined such an intricate web of developments would come from taking in a pregnant stray cat rescue? Stay tuned for more videos of the kittens as they grow and their coats develop more striking features by the day!! Definitely stay tuned to see what amazingly gorgeous kittens these little cat beauties will hopefully make sometime in early to mid-2020!!