Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sumxu - Is it a cat or a nightmare?

At last I've found a Sumxu! Or I think I have. What kind of moggie is this? Doesn't look like my cat, Buns.

I used the breed in The Deadline Murders. In it I describe it as 'a glossy, yellow-haired Chinese cat with pendulous ears, believed to be extinct 300 years ago.'

Charles Darwin mentioned it in his diaries. Now this 1666 drawing from a book in latin has surfaced. The only known illustration of the breed in existence. Apparently much sought after by the ladies of the Emperor's Court in the 17th century.

Unfortunately, in my book, they come to a sticky end along with their owners. That's what happens in thrillers. Hey, it's only paper. Not real life.

The latin translation explains that this drawing was made in 1666 from descriptions of the beast by those who saw it. It may, of course be another animal altogether? I'd like a glass of whatever they were drinking when they described it. A nightmare in your living room.

This cat site looks very useful for moggie lovers like me. It's in South Africa. Try it for yourself here.

note: Buns is a rescue cat from the hillside around our house. Why buy a cat when so many in shelters need a home.

1 comment:

  1. Sumxu actually is a legitimate 17th-century transcription for the Chinese 松鼠, i.e. "squirrel" (the modern transcription is songshu). But there is more to it.