While one of three state cats, the Maine Coon is the only official breed to be a state cat.
Since Maine was once a part of Massachusetts, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Commonwealth followed suite a few years later naming the Tabby Cat Official cat of the Commonwealth, 1988. While Tabby’s are indeed beautiful cats, they refer to a type of cat, not a specific breed.
- A tabby is a cat with a distinctive coat that features stripes, dots, or swirling patterns, usually together with an “M” mark on its forehead. The tabby pattern is found in many pure breeds as well as the mixed-breed or mongrel population. According to Wikipedia, the tabby pattern is a naturally occurring feature that may be related to the coloration of the domestic cat’s direct ancestor, the African Wildcat, which along with the European Wildcat and Asiatic Wildcat, has a similar coloration.
In 2001, Maryland followed celebrating the Calico Cat. which is a very stunning cat, but not a specific breed
- A calico is a tri-colored cats with spotted coat, mostly white, with patches of two other colors, usually orange and black. Outside North America, the pattern is called tortoiseshell-and-white, with either small or large patches. Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calico_cat, Folklore has it that calicos will bring good fortune, sometimes referred to as money cats. The Japanese Maneki Neko is almost always a calico cat. No wonder Maryland residents wanted the calico as their state cat – the cat of good fortune.
We also find some state have state dogs. They are:
- Alaska, Alaskan Malamute, 2009
- Colorado, Rescue dogs and cats, 2013
- Massachusetts, the Boston Terrier, 1979
- Maryland, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, 1964
- New Hampshire, Chinook , 2009
- North Carolina Plott Hound, 1965
- Pennsylvania, Great Dane, 1965
- South Carolina, Boykin Spaniel,1985
- Texas, Blue Lacy, 2005
- Virginia, American Foxhound, 1966.
- Wisconsin, American Water Spaniel, 1985
While Paws admits we’re not familiar with some of these dog breeds, it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise. Because while we do like dogs, we love our cats.
We find other states have attempted to name a dog over as an official dog breed of the state. But politics came into play with no agreement being reached. Should that surprise us – politics reaching gridlock over our state dog. Seems like we should give Colorado, a thumbs up, for naming rescue cats and dogs.
What do you think of having a state dog or cat? Weigh in with your opinion.