If you follow cat news, you may have heard that last week the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum announced that it had reached an agreement with various government agencies that would allow the famous Hemingway cats to continue to live there. Hemingway cats are cats with six toes descended from Snowball, a cat given to Hemingway in 1935. They look like this:
(photo by Rob O’Neal/AP)
But in researching Hemingway cats, I came across mention of another type of genetic mutation that can produce an animal referred to as . . . the squitten. No, it’s not a half squirrel/half kitten, but it is a cat with stunted forelegs that give it a slightly squirrel-like appearance.
The real name of the condition is radial hypoplasia, and it’s more commonly found in inbred cats (another reason that cat inbreeding is very very bad.)