Modern Cat - - The Scoop -

It was just an­other busy day at the Wash­ing­ton County/John­son City (WCJC) An­i­mal Shel­ter in John­son City, Ten­nessee, when a one-year-old Cal­ico cat look­ing for a for­ever home showed up. But in fact, this was no or­di­nary Cal­ico cat—this mar­bled coated orange and black cutie named Char­lie was a he!

For those that don’t know, find­ing a male cal­ico cat is kind of like find­ing a uni­corn. Though cal­i­cos and tor­toise­shells are not them­selves un­usual, they are nearly al­ways fe­male. Due to the fact that coat colour is a sex-linked trait in cats, only one out of ev­ery 3,000 cal­ico cats will be male. Ac­cord­ing to Mother Na­ture Net­work, cal­i­cos and tor­toise­shells are of­ten fe­male be­cause the X chro­mo­some is re­spon­si­ble for both orange and black fur. As fe­males have two X chro­mo­somes, they can of­ten dis­play both patches of colour at once. Males, on the other hand, have XY chro­mo­somes, so they ac­tu­ally have to have a rare mu­ta­tion in or­der to dis­play both colours. This means that Char­lie is su­per spe­cial—he has XXY chro­mo­somes rather than XY chro­mo­somes.

When Tammy Davis, Di­rec­tor of the WCJC An­i­mal Shel­ter, was first told about the new ar­rival at WCJC, she didn’t ini­tially be­lieve it. “I thought [my staff] was crazy,” she said, and went to in­ves­ti­gate her­self. Sure enough, Char­lie was a male cal­ico, which earned him in­stant celebrity sta­tus in his town. “I im­me­di­ately called my vet with the amazing news,” Tammy says. He even made the front page of the John­son City Press. Celebrity sta­tus has not gone to his head, how­ever. Tammy re­ports that Char­lie is a won­der­ful cat and has now gone to a lov­ing home.

“He went to a per­son that truly ap­pre­ci­ates him for the unique cat he is,” Tammy told Mod­ern Cat mag­a­zine. “Char­lie has the best per­son­al­ity you could ever ask for. He is ex­tremely lov­ing and makes bis­cuits all the time.”

To help WCJC An­i­mal Shel­ter con­tinue their good work, check out their web­site at

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