I kind of never expected to figure out what kind of cat Zuzu is, I considered her to be a mongrel mix like most street cats are. Egyptians love them some long-haired Persians and just long-haired cats in general- I think has something to do with their love of long straight hair, but I digress- so most pet cats are long-haired and every Egyptian who sees Zuzu’s short hair exclaims, “Why, she’s a street cat!”
Its not a good thing, obviously, so I attempt to cover her origins somewhat. Yes, she was a street-kitten but she was being taken care of by a vet. Get over it. Also, because of the unfortunate trend of Egyptians dumping their unwanted house cats into the streets there are a large number of long-haired street cats running around. Zuzu’s extremely short hair shows that she hasn’t had any long-haired papas in her past so I figured she at least might be slightly pure.
Watching Brincess Zuzu grow (at an almost alarming rate) in the three or so weeks since we got her, I’ve admired so many of her unique features. Her toes are super long, they’re almost cat fingers! and they’re webbed, her tail is incredibly long and slinky and she moves it like a snake almost, and her face, oh her beautiful face. I love her color, a mix of grays and almond and creamy white, but her face is so beautiful. So, without much hope of finding much useful information I sat down to do a bit of research on Egyptian cats.
Of course typing “Egyptian cats” into google immediately brings up the Egyptian Mau, one of the oldest known breeds of cats in the world depicted ages ago on the tombs of the Pharaohs. When I was thinking about getting a cat I had looked, briefly, at the Egyptian Mau and admired them but never thought I would get one as they seemed much more of a western idea rather than an Egyptian one. Again, Egyptians love them some long hair, so when you look at pet shops that is mostly what you will find.
However, as I read the descriptions of Egyptian Maus and saw their pictures I realized that I had unwittingly found myself an almost pure Egyptian Mau. Now, she is not pure, her spots are not clear, except on her belly, and she has the striping of some tabby forefather, but the resemblance is uncanny.
“The Egyptian Mau showcases a scarab, or an “M,” on their forehead.” Source
Do you see her ‘M’? Its also there in reference to Multicultural Muslimah, Molly, and Mr MM whose name starts with M as well.
“Mau eye color can take from one, to one-and-a-half years to come in. One can often see a green ring around the iris when the green color is starting to appear.” Source
Look closely, click on the picture, and you will see the green ring. Her eyes remind me of my mom’s eyes which are a very similar mixture of brown and green, another reason why I love Zuzu so much. I wasn’t sure what color her eyes were supposed to be, but if it takes that long for the color to come in then I guess I will have to wait. She also has really big ears, I mean I know she’s still a kitten, but them are some big ears!
“The Mau has a sweet musical voice and they sometimes go about the house chirping or chortling, much like a bird.” Source
Zuzu squawks, squeaks, chirps, screeches, meeows, and rumbles. I thought she was just an especially vocal cat, but now it appears its just a hallmark of her breed.
“Egyptian Mau’s make the best living companions that are comparable in their loyalty to the best of dogs. Unlike many breeds that only deal with their humans when they’re hungry, the Egyptian Mau is always seeking company. The average Mau is quite clingy to his/her owners; some will take to only one member of the family, while others will take over the entire household. Which ever way it goes, once the Mau has bonded, he/she is your lover for life and will actively participate in anything that you are doing (whether you want them there or not). As the Egyptian Mau is incredibly intelligent, they have been known to break open closed doors by either slamming against them, or by twisting the doorknob. Privacy is a rare luxury with a Mau in the house, and often times you will hear them chortle a “welcome home” song, a “let me in” plea, or just a general speech about their day.” Source
Thats my Zuzu. She is super intelligent, she has already figured out how to open our bedroom door and come under the mosquito netting to sleep with us at night. She follows me around the house, sits at my feet when I’m cooking, cleaning, watching TV, and will often ‘help’ me read my book by laying on top of it.
Oh my Brincess Zuzu, how much you have enriched our lives.
Some pictures of other Egyptian Maus so you can see the similarities.
You can see she has some spots on her belly. I mean, its obvious that she’s not pure Mau, but considering that Maus are, as a breed, bred domestically for those characteristics, Zuzu is what Mau’s were before breeders intervened.
Here if you look close you can see that she is faintly spotted, but they connect and look like more stripes.
Yawn! You can see more of her beautiful coloring, and how incredibly long she has gotten since we adopted her. I credit it to getting adequate nourishment and lots of love. Look at those long legs!
She’s my very own Egyptian Mau, like a pharaonic souvenir except I didn’t have to buy her at Khan el Khalili!
Edit: Gah, ok. So I guess tabby cats have ‘M’s on their foreheads as well. I still think Zuzu is Mau though.