Very droll I thought. He has got a childish sense of humour. When he went out, he left the paper open, and I took a look. There was a list of breed categories - now let me see Abyssinian, some more A's that I've never heard of, Birman, Burmese, a load of funny sounding C's, Donskoy - bald as a coot, Egyptian. Wait a minute, they've missed out the F's. I think F comes after E, well it did last time I looked. There's no Feral category - a surprising omission. Now being a pure bred pedigree Feral, I was most put out. Only one thing to do I thought - go and see wise Old Black Tom - he is the fount of all knowledge.I found him in his usual place, on the back wall, having a good scratch and watching the world go by. "Breed standards my boy" he said knowingly. "A list of characteristics for each breed - the judges use them to score the entrants. A bit like a product specification" he said. "What does the one for Feral say then" I asked. "Don't think anyone has ever bothered to write one" he replied. What an oversight I thought - "perhaps you should think about writing one" said Old Black Tom in a strangely high pitched voice. If I hadn't known better, I would have thought he was stifling a chuckle. What an excellent idea.
Right, I've found a standard on the internet for a Siamese - scrawny looking thing if you ask me, looks like it could do with a good meal. Anyway, I can use it as a template. Now lets just get settled down in front of the mirror and get started:-
- GENERAL - The overall appearance of the Feral must be cat like. That should stop dogs entering! It will also rule out a few of those strange looking cats up on the dump where I came from.
- PEDIGREE - Should definitely have a mother, and the father should be narrowed down to any one from no more than five.
- COLOUR - Black and white varieties take precedence over all others, especially common or garden tabbies like my "poncy brother." Dum looking ginger tailed things should be disqualified.
- PATTERN - Coat patterns can be variable, but a handsome little black beard is highly desirable.
- COAT - Long haired varieties are preferable. Made up of hair, which should detach itself by the handful, when brought into contact with furniture and carpets.
- HEAD - An essential requirement. Preferably only one, and should be located at the forward end. A mouth is present at the very front, and this is where the food goes. The mouth also contains teeth, for nipping with, to keep staff under control.
- BODY - The body is found behind the head. Usually the length will exceed the width, but in some "well developed" specimens this may be touch and go! A good rule of thumb, is the bigger the better.
- EARS - Usually in pairs located one on each side of the head. Often one may be missing as a result of past skirmishes. Should not be marked down for this feature.
- EYES - Again, usually in pairs, situated at front of head, often, but not always level with each other. A range of colours have been observed, often in the same cat.
- LEGS - Four in total, two at the front and two at the back, located at each corner. Two different variants, specifically designed for front and rear ends. Ideally matching pairs should be observed. A paw is appended to the end of each leg. In superior specimens, six toes will be found on each paw.
- TAIL - When a feral enters the room, this is the last bit to arrive. Found at the opposite end to the head. In some lesser breeds, such as the Manx, this feature is entirely missing. Slightly shorter versions, especially if teeth marks are present at the tip should not be marked down. Colours must co-ordinate with rest of coat with long black bushy ones scoring highest.
Well that's your lot for today. Do you know, there is a breed of cat called a German Rex - probably a cat that looks like a daschund! What a life! AlbertThe(thoroughbred)Cat.