This is distinct from the white-and-black cat, the ground colour being black, marked with white; while the other is white, marked with black. The chief points of excellence for show purposes are a dense bright brown-black, evenly marked with white. Of this I give an illustration, showing the most approved way in which the white should be distributed, coming to a point between the eyes. The feet should be white, and the chest, the nose, and the pads white. No black on the lips or nose, whiskers white, eyes of orange yellow. Any black on the white portions is highly detrimental to its beauty and its chance of a prize.
The same markings are applicable to the brown tabby and white, the dark
tabby and white, the red tabby and white, the yellow tabby and white,
the blue or silver tabby and white, and the blue and white. One great
point is to obtain a perfectly clear and distinct gracefully-curved
outline of colour, and this to be maintained throughout; the blaze on
the forehead to be central. It is stated that if a dog has white
anywhere, he is sure to have a white tip to his tail, and I think, on
observation, it will be found usually the case, although this is not so
in the cat, for I cannot call to mind a single instance where a
black-and-white had a white tip to its tail; but taking the various
colours of the domestic cat into consideration I think it will be found
that there is a larger number with some white about them than those of
entirely one colour, without even a few white hairs, which if they
appear at all are mostly to be found on the chest, though they often are
exceedingly few in number.
This differs entirely from the black-and-white cat, as just explained, and is the opposite as regards colour, the ground being white instead of black, and the markings black on white. For exhibition purposes and points of excellence, no particular rule exists beyond that the exhibit shall be evenly marked, with the colour distributed so as to balance, as, for example:—If a cat has a black patch just under one eye with a little above, the balance of colour would be maintained if the other eye had a preponderance of colour above instead of below, and so with the nose, shoulders, or back, but it would be far better if the patches of colour were the same size and shape, and equal in position. It might be that a cat evenly marked on the head had a mark on the left shoulder with more on the right, with a rather larger patch on the right side of the loin, or a black tail would help considerably to produce what is termed "balance," though a cat of this description would lose if competing against one of entirely uniform markings.
I have seen several that have been marked in a very singular way. One was entirely white, with black ears. Another white, with a black tail only. This had orange eyes, and was very pretty. Another had a black blaze up the nose, the rest of the animal being white. This had blue eyes, and was deaf. Another had the two front feet black, all else being white; the eyes were yellow-tinted green. All these, it will be observed, were perfect in the way they were marked.
I give an illustration of a cat belonging to Mr. S. Lyon, of Crewe. It is remarkable in more ways than one, and in all probability, had it been born in "the dark ages" a vast degree of importance would have been attached to it, not only on account of the peculiar distribution of the colour and its form, but also as to the singular coincidence of its birth. The head is white, with a black mark over the eyes and ears which, when looked at from above, presents the appearance of a fleur-de-lis. The body is white, with a distinct black cross on the right side, or, rather, more on the back than side. The cross resembles that known as Maltese in form, and is clearly defined. The tail is black, the legs and feet white. Nor does the cat's claim to notice entirely end here, for, marvellous to relate, it was born on Easter Sunday, A.D. 1886. Now, what would have been said of such a coincidence had this peculiar development of Nature occurred in bygone times? There is just the possibility that the credulous would have "flocked" to see the wondrous animal from far and near; and even now, in these enlightened times, I learn from Mr. Lyon that the cat is not by any means devoid of interest and attraction, for, as he tells me, a number of persons have been to see it, some of whom predict that "luck" will follow, and that he and his household will, in consequence, doubtless enjoy many blessings, and that all things will prosper with him accordingly.
Although my remarks are directed to "the white-and-black" cat, the same
will apply to the "white-and-red, white-and-yellow, white-and-tabby,
white-and-blue, or dun colour;" all these, and the foregoing, will most
probably have to be exhibited in the "Any Other Colour" class, as there
is seldom one at even the largest shows for peculiar markings with white
as the ground or principal colour.