Inside Notes: The Magical Calico
By Curtis Parrott
Contrary to popular belief, I do have a heart and somewhat of a soft side, especially for animals. It began at a very early age. I think I tried to rescue every stay cat in the neighborhood. I know I drove my mom and dad crazy. I’ve always loved cats with their mysterious nature and history. They never do what you expect them to do in certain situations. They can be hells fury one moment, but curled up in your lap purring the next.
My partner, Buster, has been hanging out with me for the past ten years or so. He is a great canine friend and worthy of the best I have to offer him. So, I decided to get us a new friend, a calico kitty – I have no idea why and I’m not going to question it. I named her “Cali.” She is a rescue cat (like I’ve always done before), but not an ordinary feline – something just a little bit different. So, Cali the calico cat has a new home with us.
Actually, the term “calico cat” is a description you’ll mostly hear in the U.S. Calico is actually a type of fabric, but when it came to the United States in the 1780s, Americans used the term calico to refer to printed design and it transferred to the cat. Calico cats may be from various breeds, but they all have one thing in common. Every calico cat has its own special white, black and orange markings. Nature produces these colorful felines randomly.
It’s a fact that 99.9% of calicos are female, only one in every 3,000 calico cats is born a male and they are born sterile and can’t breed. The calico is said to be warm-hearted, affectionate, intelligent and good with adults and children, as I’ve seen firsthand with Cali. I can tell you, she was ready to leave that cage at the animal shelter for sure. She showed off and danced for me while I was walking by her cage. I have found her in a very short time to be a little quirky, independent, and a sassy little feline with a strong attitude, but yet a very loving cat from the start. I just give her space, just like I do any girlfriend.
Because calico cats are so rare (especially male calico cats), they’re considered a good luck charm all over the world. The folklore and beliefs about them include:
- Back in the day, Japanese fishermen brought calico cats onto their ships to protect them from harsh storms, as well as the ghosts of their envious ancestors.
- According to Irish folklore, you can cure warts by rubbing a calico cat’s tail on the affected area, but only during the month of May. It’s probably better to make an appointment with your dermatologist.
They’re often placed in the entrances of homes and businesses to bring good luck. The Maneki Neko Japanese cat that started this dates back to the 1870s, so these kitties have a long history as bringers of luck.
- In the United States, calico cats are sometimes referred to as “money cats,” because they bring good fortune to their owners.
While we may never know if they truly bring us good luck, or can protect us from evil spirits, all owners can agree on one speculation about calicos: they are all magical.
Don’t forget to give to your local animal shelter. There is no reason to spend hundreds of dollars on a breed, when there are plenty of animals waiting for a home and another chance for love – just like the rest of us.
Keep the Faith!