Sometime in the distant past, evolution came up with the tabby pattern. Evolution was trying, in its disinterested way, to find a design that would camouflage a feline well in most settings where a small predator would need it. There may have been early, failed attempts - tail feathers, sequins, that kind of thing - but those tabby markings were a hit, and stayed for the long haul.
Now we have the tabby pattern in all kinds of colours and combinations, and its chief evolutionary value is to make us humans go squishy at those that are thus liveried.
A second advantage to tabbiness is how well it stands out against most bed linen. Take Princess, for example.
Daisy is a soft swirl of stripes.
Maggie brings some pure white to the table.
Mia has her initial inscribed on her forehead. Also, she can say her name quite accurately.
Handsome Hendrix is no doubt named for someone's hero.
RIP Doyle, you big softie.
Shelby's ears have the safety catch off.
Scruffy has a Maine Coon-type mane.
This is my Merrick, one of those tabbies with a broad black centre strip running down the spine - and constantly shedding into the carpet.
The clear eyes of Chopper.
Austin is 12 - old enough to have gathered a few memorial notches on his ears.
Coruba has had some health battles but is a doughty fighter.
Baz rocks the braceleted look.
Carter tries to blend into the background.
Meet Prozac Mothcatcher Speightsbox McSpike, whose eyes are chair-coloured.
Introducing another beautiful Merrick - newly adopted by reader Gigi and named for my own Merrick (above). Which makes me, I don't know, his godfather?
Evidence that tabbies don't just sit around looking pretty: Lou (well named) makes a pack of toilet paper much less useful than it was.
Jasper sits for his portrait.
Oh Billy, please, not in the fridge...
Going postal, in a peaceful way.
Miranda Purr toys with your affections.
Sancho has all he needs.
Wilson gets playful during the bed-making. Cute, but those claws can play havoc with the thread-count.
Molly's nose is like a Tao symbol.
Pushkin dreams of flying. And being a vampire.
Turn that sun off, says Lisbeth.
Bilko finds the camera app.
Zeus paps himself.
Kit wrestles with the focus control.
A heap of sweet: sisters Bella and Lucy.
A pile of adorable: Sam and Milo.
Finally, a mound of cute: Missy Moo gets to know her new tabby friend.
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