LT here. Some of my friends always have on a tuxedo – one is named Boots and he is a scientist.  He has some videos he’ll be doing in which he does experiments that you humans can do at home – very cool!  Anyway, these cats that always appear to be wearing tuxedos are called tuxedo cats (humans are so creative with names aren’t they).  So, what is up with them?  I mean, are they snooty and always want to look really dressed to the max, or did nature just give them a cool design (or both)?

Well, some people refer to tuxedo cats as “bicolor cats” – those humans and their interesting names.  That means that a tabby can fall in the same category (notice the word “cat”) as a tuxedo cat.  That’s fine but I am focusing only on the tuxedo cats for now.  Tuxedo cats can have several patterns – “cap-and-saddle”, “mask-and-mantle” and “magpie” (alright, don’t use the magpie name – seems offensive for some reason.

There is a difference between bicolor cats that are tabbies – they have an agouti gene that produces striping or what’s called a ticked tabby – they have an even color with color-banded hairs.  As for the white areas on the tuxedo cat, there is a white spotting gene.  Even though it is called “spotting” the white parts don’t resemble spots.

Tuxedo cats can be graded from 1 to 10 – no, it has nothing to do with beauty or intelligence – they would all be 10s if that were the case.  Rather, they are 1s if almost completely black and 10s if almost completely white.  So, my friends seem to be mostly 5s but I do have a friend named “Moo-ow” (her markings look like a cow of course) that is mostly white so she might be an 8.  A kitten I know – Maxine – is mostly black so she might be a 3.

There are lots of details regarding cats that compete in competitions, but I won’t go into them here – none of my friends compete.  But if you want to look up the details, they are put out by The Cat Registry Federation Internationale Feline (“FIFe”).  Cats that compete must meet certain requirements to have a “bicolor coat”.

Tuxedo cats are sometimes referred to as Felix cats.  Remember Felix The Cat from cartoon fame?  Maybe only older humans do. Now some cats may have the tuxedo pattern but not be black and white but they are not given the “tuxedo cat” name.  A cat has to be black and white to get that name. Now, to be a true tuxedo cat (note, I am not so picky) the coloring should consist of a solid black coat, with white fur limited to the paws, belly, chest, throat, and often the chin and sometimes the tail (too much info).  Many tuxedo cats have goatees – now that’s cool!  The bicolor can appear in eh skin color – I think that’s the case for zebras too – does anybody out there knows for sure?

A guy named T.S. Elliot from the United Kingdom wrote a book called “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” in 1939.  He referred to the tuxedo cat as the “Jellicle cat” – an interesting name! These cats were a fictional tribe of nocturnal black and white cats.  Of course, lots of cats are nocturnal.  I am but I prefer to go dancing at night rather than hunt like some cats.  There is also a black and white cat in the musical called “Cats”.  His name is Mr. Mistoffelees – try saying that 5 times fast!  He is a stage magician – I guess because they sometimes wear a tuxedo.

All types of cats and dogs seem to have their own personalities.  Most cats have similar personalities, but tuxedo cats are known for being friendly and calm.  The tuxedo cats that I know are exactly like that.  They are wonderful for sharing some free time – just kick back and relax.  If you are a human – they love to be petted.  But like all cats they know whether a human likes cats so if a tuxedo cat does not let you pet it then all cats and humans should stay away from you.  Yes, you need to change before it’s too late.

When it comes to eating, tuxedo cats are likely to win eating contests.  They always seem to be chunky and have large frames but that makes them fun to pet!  As for being particular about what they eat, they are not particular.  So, if a human is tight on money then maybe a tuxedo cat is the way to go – Friskies will be fine.  By the way, I love Friskies and eat them quite often!

I am going to end with some poetry by T.S. Elliot.  This is from Mr. Mistoffelees:

The greatest magicians have something to learn
From Mr. Mistoffelees’ Conjuring Turn.
     Away we go!
          And we all say: OH!
               Well, I never!
               Was there ever
               A Cat so clever
                    As Magical Mr. Mistoffelees!

You might recognize that from the musical “Cats”.  One of my favorite parts!

Stay cool,