01 October 2010
Photo Hunt - letters
The theme for the week's Photo Hunt is letters. There is just one letter that springs to mind and that is the rough M that appears on the forehead of all tabby cats, something that they share with several of their bigger cousins. Above are Robyn and Boris
The origin of the M is the subject of religious legends
One legend tells about Mary and the tabby cat in the manger. It seems that the baby Jesus was cold and fussing, and Mary asked the manger animals to move in closer to warm him. The manger was simply too small to accomplish that, but a little tabby cat came in and nestled next to the baby, and cosseted Him with purring and warmth. Mary was so grateful, she bestowed her own initial, "M" on the cat's forehead.
An Islamic legend states that Mohammed, a cat lover once cut off a sleeve of a garment when he had to leave to attend prayer, rather than to disturb his cat, Muezza, who was sleeping upon the sleeve. It is said that the reason he loved cats so much is that one once saved his life when a snake crawled into his sleeve. (This may be a variation of the well-known Muezza story.) Legend also claims that Mohammed bestowed on cats the ability to always land on their feet. These stories assumes that the "M" symbolizes the enormous esteem which Mohammed felt for cats and that the sight of the "M" on a cat's forehead invokes memories of Mohammed.
Make of these what you will. As far as I am concerned the M tops off the most beautiful creature on this planet.
UPDATE: Sparkle has a far more plausible theory as to why tabbies have an M on their foreheads:
"Actually the truth behind the "M" is that it stands for Master, so that humans will always know who is boss"
Sparkle is quite right of course!