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Tuesday, December 30, 2003
My sister's cat, Miao Miao, ran away from home yesterday. Sister quite torn up about it as Miao Miao has never run away from home and we figure her prospects up in the coyote and racoon-filled hills where they live aren't good.

Meanwhile, her disappearance has revived an intense debate among family members regarding her breed. Dad and brother of the opinion that she was (is) at least part "honeybear." Research into the honeybear line turns up some interesting, scary stuff.

The honeybear is a descendant of the "IRCA Ragdoll," a breed developed out of one woman's slightly loopy mission to produce an affectionate cat. For some reason, the Old Dominion School of Nursing has a page on the honeybear, on which it notes, "IRCA have claimed that Honeybears were created by genetic manipulation of skunk genes, which were "injected" into the bloodstream of the parent Honeybear (unsound genetics)."

Unsound genetics, indeed. The founder of the IRCA, Ann Baker, sounds like the Dr. Moureaux of cats, and another site, presenting the history of the ragdoll, notes, "The original breeder and creator of the Ragdoll claims that the cat is a phenomenon created by an automobile accident to an alleycat, that her kittens were subsequently 'a different animal in a cat's body,' and that the original Ragdolls, and her subsequent breeds, Honeybears and Miracle Ragdolls, are not of the species felis cattus, but what she calls 'Cherubim Cats' [felis cherubinus?]. "

The authority cited on this page goes on to explain, "Our personal and careful investigation has shown that the parent cat was herself most likely a mutation and that the accident, if it occurred, had nothing whatsoever to do with the behavior of the kittens. The radical behavior pattern evidenced in the kittens and subsequent cats probably did not show up in the mother because of recessive polygene masking inherent in the original mutation, which was 'washed out' by mating with normal toms. We have been led to the conclusion that the original mutation probably involved a change in the response of those nerve cells concerned with esthesia (the sensations of feeling and pain), probably a simple thickening or extension of the myelin sheaths that surround the nerve cells, thus producing a cat that is effectively mildly anesthetized: if it can't feel it, it won't object to it."

Which would probably explain why the alleycat was able to survive the automobile accident.

Anyway, if Miao Miao wasn't eaten, she simply may have moved in with one of the neighbors.