The Egyptian Mau

Mau-Litter.jpg (27407 Byte)

Four 10 week old Egyptian Mau kittens
from Emau- Egyptian Maus

 

Legends and mystery surround the origins of this ancient and royal breed.

Time itself has obscured the true ancestry of the modern day Egyptian Mau, yet today, when a truly exceptional example of a Mau poses regally on a judging table and gazes out at the world at large with its haunting imperious eyes, one can truly envision these fabulous creatures gracing the halls of ancient Egyptian temples.

And grace them they did... The Egyptian Mau, the only naturally spotted breed of domestic cat, was worshiped by its original owners, the ancient pharaohs and kings. The word Mau meant cat or sun in Ancient Egypt and there is no question that the Egyptians revered the cat both as a god and as a treasure. Papyri and frescoes dating back to as far as 1550 BC, depict spotted cats that look extraordinarily like the Mau of today and have been found in abundance.

GP Emau's Ghostwriter
silver

Mau-ghostie.jpg (5026 Byte)

The arrival of the Egyptian Mau in the United States, which today has perhaps the largest percentage of Maus in the world, was also as a companion of royalty. The history of the modern Egyptian Mau begins in the early 50's in Italy. While in Rome, exiled White Russian princess, Natalie Troubetsky, discovered the Egyptian Mau and became fascinated with them. By the mid 1970's, most, if not all of the registries around the world had accepted the Egyptian Mau for championship status.

The Maus have been described in show finals as "a primitive cat", and of all the descriptors for these cats, that one seems to ring most true in a rather obscure way... When you look at a Mau, or catch sight of one out of the corner of your eye, they should draw you back through the ages to something a little exotic, a little "jungle", a little breath-taking and a little "primitive". Make no mistake, these are heart-breakingly beautiful cats.

No picture or book can do justice to the exotic beauty found in a silver Mau's dazzling green eyes and shiny spots, the ghostly elegance found in a smoke Mau's pattern., or the living room leopard grace of the bronze.

Inherent in this breed is the word "natural". As such, these cats are limited to the colors that occurred naturally: silver, bronze, smoke and black*, and more recently, blue. Regardless of the beauty of the cat/color, the definition of a natural breed is that we do not "create" new colors.

 

Mau-bronzini.jpg (4389 Byte)

GC Matiki's Bronzini
bronze

The feel of an exceptional Mau, such a hard concept to describe, but so completely unforgettable once you have held one in your arms. It gives the impression of strength, substance, grace and agility. They are supposed to be a muscular cat with a hard, lithe body.

The exotic appearance of the Mau is only the beginning of the magic of the Mau: Owners of Egyptian Maus find them unique in many ways in addition to their striking spotted coat patterns. These cats display exceptional intelligence and exhibit a fierce loyalty to their owners. Even though domesticated, several characteristics of their early ancestors have been retained. These include the "Cheetah" gait and a primordial skin flap, which allows the Mau remarkable freedom and agility in twisting and jumping.

GP Emau's Dead Mau Walking
smoke

Mau-phoenix.jpg (6277 Byte)

Most people are attracted to the Maus because of their exotic good looks, they fall in love with them, because of their incredible, irrepressible personalities. All cats are characters, but these, well, they're absolutely enchanting. Like all cats, they are individuals, one and all, but typical Maus, they tend to take it to extremes. Friendly to all, they tend to select their "Special Person", who they absolutely dote on. On their own territory they tend to be extremely outgoing with absolutely NO FEAR and a ton of curiosity. They make incredible companions.

The Maus are interactive cats. The dote on their humans and expect to be an integral part of the family. Some people call them the "gentle cousins of the Aby". While they certainly aren't hyper, they have some of the fastest reflexes ever seen in a feline - just go watch a Mau class while it's being judged.

They are shoulder riders, refrigerator vultures, and AM kissers (furry alarm clocks with warm raspy tongues, but can definitely take a confident hand when handling. Most Maus have very distinct ideas about who can handle them and when... They are sensitive, people-oriented cats, but they like things on their terms.

Mau-comet.jpg (6550 Byte)

Emau's El Shahab
silver

 

Author:

Melanie Morgan, Emau - Egyptian Maus
Charlottesville, Virginia / USA

Email: emau@louisa.net

Internet: http://www.louisa.net/personal/morgan/default.htm.