animals

Maine Coon

The owner of the photo said: “I suddenly woke up at night and found my cat sitting like this and looking at me

Maine Coons are kittens in big cat suits, gentle giants who are playful well into old age, as well as jumbo-sized packages of loving devotion. Maine Coons can also be reserved around people with whom they’re not familiar, probably due to their jumbo-sized brains. Given time, however, even the most cautious adapt. This initial adjustment period is actually a decision-making process; Maine Coons are deciding if these new humans have proven themselves worthy of trust. As soon as they make up their minds, however, they form close bonds with the entire household and become loving and devoted.

As befits a former seafarer, Maine Coons are fascinated by water, perhaps because their thick coats are water-repellent and won’t become annoyingly soaked as easily as a thinner coat would. Some will join their humans in the shower briefly, or at least walk around on the wet floor after you get out. They prefer to stand on the edge of the tub, however, and touch the water with a curious paw.




Maine Coons, like American Shorthairs, are considered native to America because they’ve been on this continent since the colonial days, and perhaps longer. How they got here in the first place and where their progenitors came from, however, is anyone’s guess, since none of the local colonists happened by with their camera phones to record the event.

This last story has at least a ring of truth. Seafarers who used cats to control rodent populations on their sailing ships probably brought some longhaired cats with them to the New World. Some of the cats went ashore when they reached the northeastern coast and established themselves on the farms and in the barns of the early settlers. Given Maine’s severe climate, those initial years must have been tough on cat and human alike. Only the breed’s strongest and most adaptable survived. Through natural selection, the Maine Coon developed into a large, rugged cat with a dense, water-resistant coat and a hardy constitution.

Regardless of where the breed came from, the Maine Coon was one of the first breeds to be recognized by the late nineteenth-century cat fancy, and became an early favorite. However, in the early 1900s, as new and more exotic breeds were brought into the country, Maine Coons were abandoned for Persians, Angoras, and others. By 1950, the breed had all but vanished and in fact was declared extinct in the 1950s.

Fortunately, the announcement of the Maine Coon’s demise was greatly exaggerated, and today these cats have regained their former glory, second only to the Persian in popularity.

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