Many times before I have mentioned the distinct coloration of black tabby cats. Kako was the first such feline I had ever seen. Before her, I never knew such a thing existed. Then I discovered two neighborhood cats, Clance and Henko, who, like Kako, are black tabbies.
The most ingenious aesthetic trait of these cats lies in their fur’s color scheme. Although generally black or very dark in appearance, their hairs are mostly white. In fact, I’d say at least two-thirds of each strand is white and only the outer third is black. Despite the discontinuity in proportions, the cats display a dark appearance with their stripes almost hidden except when viewed at just the right angle in just the right light.
I was looking for one or more photos of Kako to post today when I came across a few of them that captured in presentable detail the true nature of her coat. First, look at this close-up.
That’s her neck as she stands next to the patio doors. As you can see, only the tips of the hairs are black. Most of the fur is actually white. Now, look at the whole picture from which that was taken.
This trait reveals itself most prominently when she lies on her back and shows her belly. You can see examples of that here, here, here, and here. (There are other examples, but I think that’s sufficient to confirm my point.)
And yet, despite her fur being almost entirely white, she remains a black tabby: dark overall and seen by all but the most careful of observers as a basic black cat.
Albeit a mighty fine, petite, ear-freckled, in-your-face black cat.
Her general whiteness is never more apparent than when I brush her. What the grooming tool captures always presents like the color of light ash, a gray so close to white as to be near indistinguishable. It is then her hirsute dichotomy becomes evident to all.