Cat genes and culture


Dawntreader Texas Calboy

Controversy started last December when Mistelle Stevenson entered a Maine coon cat by the name of Dawntreader Texas Calboy in The Cat Fanciers’ Association show in Cleburne. As the cat’s name implies, he is a calico—marked with patches of brown, red, and white—and he is male. Those things do not go together. The basics of feline genetics say calicos are supposed to be female. (“Technically almost genetically impossible,” one Dallas veterinarian told NBC 5.) The judges had no idea what to do with him. The CFA’s inches-thick book of rules didn’t list his color for male cats. Confusion ensued.

❝ Some of the judges held Calboy up to the crowd, praised his lovely form, then gawked over his coloring and promptly kicked him out of their show rings. Others awarded him ribbons. Despite the judges’ disagreement, by the end of his Cleburne weekend, Calboy had accumulated four wins. Two more and he’d be a champion.

❝ Stevenson decided to pack up Calboy and head to the January show in Houston. But by then, word had spread about the questionable cat. Most of the judges wouldn’t allow Calboy to compete due to his gender-defying mottled markings. Still, one broke from the crowd to give him a win. With one more, he’d have enough points to become the first male calico champion in CFA history.

You know nothing easy like updating the rules happened. That never would make it into newsprint. Nope. The usual hidebound, ignoranus mentality you would expect from folks whose avocations are dedicated to purity were bound to fight to someone else’s death to preserve and protect their silliness.

RTFA. And thanks to UrsaRodinia for sending me a really interesting, well-written story about a radical cat and a boatload of backwards humans.

Medicare For All Saves Trillion$

Says who? The Koch Brothers…

A new report – from an unlikely source – now underscores the obvious truths about medical care for all, one of the most troubling underlying issues of the day and certainly for November’s mid-term elections. The libertarian-leaning Mercatus Center report lays out the overall costs of medical care for the country over the next decade or so and tries to deal intelligently with getting that overall cost under better control.

In the report, the author attempts to roughly score Sen. Bernie Sanders’ most recent Medicare for All bill and reached the somewhat surprising (for Mercatus) conclusion that if the bill were enacted the new costs would be more than offset by the new savings it generates through administrative efficiencies and reductions in unit prices…Along the way, 30 million additional Americans would be covered while saving billions of dollars.

RTFA. No doubt conservatives and libertarians are embarrassed by math and facts getting in the way of ideology. That hasn’t stopped from otherwise doing their damndest to interfere with working folks trying to reorder the politics of our society to better provide for a healthy and equitable life.