Big Fat Cat Artwork
This well rounded feline specimen is Darwin, the Chief Feline Officer at Progress Through Photography. She’s a tabby cat.
A tabby is any domestic cat with a distinctive ‘M’ shaped marking on its forehead, stripes by its eyes and across its cheeks, along its back, and around its legs and tail, and, characteristic striped, dotted, lined, flecked, banded or swirled patterns on the body—neck, shoulders, sides, flanks, chest and abdomen.
Big Fat Cat
The English term tabby originates from the translation of the French phrase “striped silk taffeta,” the root of which is tabis, meaning “a rich watered silk.” This can be further traced to the Middle French atabis (14th century), which stemmed from the Arabic term attabiya. This word is a reference to the Attabiya district of Baghdad, noted for its striped cloth and silk; such silk cloth became popular in the Muslim world and spread to England, where the word “tabby” became commonly used in the 17th and 18th centuries. Tabby is also comparable to the Spanish word ataviar, which means “to decorate or to dress or wear” and often implies luxurious clothing. Use of the term tabby cat for a cat with a striped coat began in the 1690s and was shortened to tabby in 1774. The notion that tabby is indicative of a female cat may be due to the feminine proper name Tabby as a shortened form of Tabitha.
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