I wrote the “cat” tortoise scale but I should have written GATTA because almost all tricolor cats are females.
It can also be said “tortoise” and it is never a breed but only a color, which can occur both in common cats and in many noble breeds.
The blame (or rather the merit) of this coloration of the coat is of an allele of the recessive gene “o” which can be combined with the other alleles of the genotype only in the females or very rarely in the males who have a modified genetic make-up, with an extra X.
Do you think that statistically, male tortoiseshell cats are 1 in every 3,000 females and are [almost] always sterile, in fact, according to statistics 1 male tricolor cat every 10 thousand is fertile?
If you have a male at home you can say that you are kissed by luck, even more than other cat lovers, if you are fertile then you raise your hands.
However, the tortoiseshell scale cats are those who prefer them to any other color and those who do not find them beautiful but, in many parts of the world, are said to bring good luck indeed.
In particular, in England, it is said that whoever finds a tricolor kitten (or a kitten) will be lucky and will always have good health.
If the kitten is even better at home, that house and that family will always be blessed with good luck.
My cat is really born in our house and is so mottled in black and red, actually here to the fortune comes and goes but it is nice to think that it is true…
It seems that the tortoise-scale cats in the past were more widespread in the East and that in the ancient Japanese Empire they were considered to be endowed with magical powers and that in Japan having a kitten so for a friend was considered very important and still in Japan today the tricolor cats they are called “Mi-Ke” which means good luck.
The cat Maneki Neko Gabonese, the one found in the shape of a statuette on the benches of the shops, which greets with the paw and brings money and luck is a tricolor male cat, that is of extreme rarity.
In the USA instead, the tricolor cats are called “Calico”, Tortie or Torbie depending on the arrangement of colors they present, names that derive in large part precisely from “tortoiseshell”, that is like the shell of the turtle.
A tortoiseshell cat kitten has also become famous in art, its master, the painter Theophile Steinlen (1859-1911) has depicted it along with other cats in many of his paintings.
The coat is so variable that it is found in a thousand shades and also the character of the cats of this color is always special and unique, but there is a trait that they have in common, they are always affectionate with those who love them but very independent and wary of strangers live a lot and are rustic and robust.
The molten tortoiseshell cat’s powers are attributed to thaumaturgical powers, even more than to the purring of cats of other colors.
But let’s get back to the story: the tortoiseshell cat scale was particularly appreciated also on ships, also in this area the role was of precious lucky charm (as well as of exterminator of mice) and never ever hurt the cat scale of turtle, on the contrary, if it fell into the water it was immediately fished out, dried and revered as usual.
Greeks and Romans had a predilection for these kittens who believed they contained the qualities of two animals that were sacred to them: the longevity of the turtle for the hair and the clairvoyance of the owl for wonderful eyes.
I close with the news that proves once again that the Italian cats are famous around the world: since 2001 the cat Calico has become the official cat of the state of Maryland. It’s orange, black and white colors are shared with the Baltimore oriole and the Baltimore butterfly which are respectively the official bird and insect of the state of Maryland.