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The calico is Maryland’s state cat

We are honored
Karla Kirby

There are state flags. There are state flowers. There are state birds. But Maryland as of October 1, 2001, has an official state cat: The calico. The calico cat became the certified cat of Maryland (Chapter 194, Acts of 2001; Code State Government Article, sec. 13-317). The calico with its array of beautiful colors in orange, black, and white are mutual with both the Baltimore oriole and the Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly (State insect).
True, the Calico is not a breed of cat, but rather an extraordinary coloring taking place across many breeds, including Persian, Domestic Short-hair, and Manx. Nearly every calico feline is a female; a male calico is a genetic anomaly and typically sterile. Producing calico kittens in the course of selective breeding also is virtually impossible because of random actions of genes and chromosomes as cells multiply in a feline fetus.
A calico cat is required to be a tri-color, with his/her three colors in distinct patches, not diverse as in a tortoiseshell cat. Some “breed” standards detail what percentage of the body must be white; while others allow tabby striping in the color patches. To be a genuine tri-color, a calico cat's colors must be: white; black, and red or cream; chocolate, blue, cinnamon, lilac, or fawn. The deviations in color from red and black are caused by a gene which dilutes the basic color, and produces a dilute calico cat, most frequently with a coat of white, cream, and blue. Brown colors such as fawn and cinnamon are recessive to black, and as a result more unusual.

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