Sunday, January 11, 2009

The M on a tabby's forehead



This cat's mother is a brown tabby and his father was an orange. And look at the markings above his eyes, see how one eyebrow is black and one is orange? He's got a bit of both of their genes showing on his face, even though he mostly takes after Mom.

Did you know some stories about why tabbies have "M"s on their foreheads?

"In Christianity, the "M" marking on the forehead of tabby cats is said to be where Mary touched and blessed a tabby cat that comforted her baby.

In Islam, the "M" marking stands for the prophet Mohammed (Muhammad) who had a great fondness for cats. While dogs are considered unclean by many Muslims, cats - who frequently bury their own waste and rarely eat another animal's faeces - are not."

I've heard the Mohammed story before, but not the Mary one! (And I quoted the above text from here).

7 comments:

Sharon said...

Love these stories & love this beautiful cat!

Grammy said...

I learned some thing new. Thank you.

Boise Diva said...

I love these kitties!

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

a lovely face!

Sohan said...

Both stories are nice, but actually very implausible considering contemporary Semitic scripts. Both the Aramaic in use by Mary's Jewish people, and the Arabic in use by Muhammad's Arab people have letters for the "m" sound that are very different from the appearance of the letter "M" in English. Unless Mary and Muhammad harbored secret fascinations for Greek or Latin, these stories would appear to be constructions of recent times to amuse and pacify children, than actual legends or folklore.

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