There is probably no one on earth who does not know that perfect little striped cat with the symbolic “M” mark on its forehead. But have you ever wondered why all tiger cats have this symbolic letter mark on their foreheads? Obviously, it has something to do with science, but there is an interesting old story behind these tiger-striped cat markings. Let me first explain the correct science behind it and then talk about the interesting story behind it!
Can science explain why every tiger cat has the letter “M” on its forehead?
Each cat’s fur and pattern is unique, so there must be something specific that explains how this commonality came about. However, we do know that the tiger cat’s stripes are caused by the agouti gene. This gene causes the stripe pigment to be evenly distributed and the base color of the coat to consist of bands of hair. Honestly, this is the most scientific answer. For now, let’s watch these interesting episodes to see how the symbolic letters on the forehead of the Tigercat came to be…. Enjoy!
An old legend about the “M” on the forehead:
I think it goes without saying that there is some rather outlandish speculation as to why tiger cats have an “M” marking on their foreheads. A true tiger cat will always have an “M” marking on its forehead, even if that marking has faded (faded). Visibly marked tiger cats usually have a very prominent “M” marking.
M-marking theory #1:
The first theory is that the M comes from ancient Egyptian cats. This theory suggests that the M actually stands for “Mau” and is pronounced like the familiar and favorite cat word “meow.”
M Theory #2:
The second theory is that the Virgin Mary blessed a stray ginger tabby cat, who kissed the fussy baby Jesus on the forehead and put him to bed. From that day on, tiger-colored cats were forever “blessed” with “M” kisses.
The “M” Theory #3:
The third theory comes from ancient Islamic culture. The Muslim prophet Muhammad named a tabby cat, whose name means “precious” in Arabic, “Muezza” because the cat saved his life. The young Muezza caught a poisonous snake that had burrowed into Muhammad’s clothes. Later, Muezza fell asleep in the same spot on Muhammad’s clothes and was lovingly petted by his owner. Many Muslims believe that Muhammad gave these cats an “M” as an expression of his infinite gratitude for saving his life.
We know it is their genetic make-up that produces our favorite “M,” but it is always fun to believe the legend!
Interesting tabby cat name fact: The word “tabby” actually originated in the Middle East to describe a type of striped silk.
Have you learned something new and interesting about our feline friends? Let’s share it with other cat lovers.
by Morty Ramos.