Readers Sue and Lee sent me this photo in response to my “make yourself into Batman with your cat” contest. Due to Clawing Danger, Sue said she couldn’t put her black moggie Hob on her head, but sent the picture below because he resembled a bat, along with the note: “…just lying around. This is Hob, Manx cat, cooling off on the kitchen floor this summer.”
I wrote for more information about Hob, and got this from Sue and Lee:
Hob is a black “stumpie,” a Manx cat with a 1” tail. He’s big, for a Manx, and has the breed’s massive (and limber) hindquarters and long rear legs, resulting in a pronounced California rake to his posture . His coat is very thick, furry even between his toes, giving him the plushness of a teddy bear. This is misleading, however, as he is not cuddly. He likes to share a room with people, but until he turned five, laps weren’t his thing. Age is mellowing him; now he condescends to curl up on a lap, but sets clear boundaries — too much petting elicits first a nibble; then claws and teeth. While other cats rub up against your legs in greeting, Hob head-butts. At night, he likes to be under the covers; this is tricky because he can’t resist attacking bare feet. Painfully. A skillful hunter, he brings down half-grown rabbits as well as mice – a skill that makes his breed popular on farms and ships both. He’s a fearless beastie; last spring, a strange Labrador retriever saw him sitting outside on the grass and charged, barking. Hob stayed put, laid his ears back, and clearly transmitted “Go ahead, make my day.” The Lab (smart for a d*g) stopped short. We’ve had a good many cats, but never one that has “stood on his dignity” — with humans and animals both — as convincingly as Hob.
She also gave some interesting information about Manx cats, whose condition is due to a single dominant gene (the homozygote is lethal as a fetus):
There are five categories of Manx cats, the names based on tail length: Rumpie, rumpie riser (a bump), stumpie (about 1”), stubbie (from 1” to about 5”); and tailie (half- to normal- length tail). On Manx, the island off the west coast of Britain where the breed first appeared, they’re collectively called “Stubbins.”
Here are some bats (banded) that I photographed hanging on the field station in La Selva, Costa Rica. Their posture resembles Hob’s:
h/t: Sue and Lee