A note about The Cuddlywumps Chronicles

This blog is written and maintained by Miss Cuddlywumps, a fluffy-tailed calico cat who is both classically educated and familiar with mysteries. She receives creative input from the Real Cats and clerical assistance from She of Little Talent (old SoLT, a.k.a. Roby Sweet). Comments or complaints should be addressed to Miss C rather than to old SoLt (Ms. Sweet). Ms. Sweet accepts no responsibility for Miss C's opinions.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Words with Webster: Mackerel and Blotched, Plus Friendly Fill-Ins

We have two fun features for you this Friday. First up is Words with Webster, in which he tells us the difference between mackerel and blotched tabbies. Then, Paisley does Friendly Fill-Ins.

Words with Webster badgeWords with Webster

Hi, friends! I’m Real Cat Webster, welcoming you to this edition of Words with Me. Today we have two words that are kind of related. They’re both used to describe types of tabby patterns in cats. Mommy gets them confused all the time, so I thought I should explain them to her in pictures.

Let’s start with “mackerel.” Mackerel tabbies have narrow stripes that are parallel to each other, like the fish:

Mackerel tabby cat
A mackerel tabby cat, Nouki.
By Quixo2b (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

A mackerel fish.
Image via Adobe Stock.

A “blotched” tabby has dense markings that sort of swirl around and form a bulls-eye pattern on the cat’s side:

Blotched Tabby cat, Buzzing Silver, 1909, public domain
The "blotched" or "classic" tabby. This is Buzzing Silver,
a silver tabby short-hair belonging to Mrs. J. C. Mitchelson
of Tariffville, CT. She won numerous prizes in the show ring.
1909 photo by D. B. Champion (Everybody's Cat Book). Public domain.

This is also called a “classic” tabby pattern, which is kind of confusing since we know from recent DNA studies that the blotched pattern only appeared thousands of years after the mackerel pattern. But humans often do things that don’t make a lot of sense, so there you have it.

By the way, “tabby” is not a breed of cat; it’s a coat pattern. There are also spotted, ticked, and patched tabbies. To learn about them, and to learn more and mackerel and blotched tabbies too, take a look at this article from Cats Center Stage.

Friendly Fill-Ins

Friendly Fill-Ins badgeAnd now it’s time for Friendly Fill-Ins, from 15andmeowing and McGuffy’s Reader. They are a fun way to learn a little bit about the authors of the blogs you read. The first two questions are from Ellen of 15andmeowing, and the next two are from Annie of McGuffy’s Reader. Real Cat Paisley provided all the answers this week.

1. My next conquest will be the dog. I’ve noticed she doesn’t fear me as much since I started wearing this #%&! cone. This must change.

2. Fireworks … I don’t see the point. Now string … string is exciting!

3. This week, I am thankful that my surgery turned out okay.

4. Freedom means not having to wear a dumb cone or an equally dumb gowny thing.

Real Cat Paisley in her surgery recovery gown
Real Cat Paisley is slowly getting used to
this little gown we got her to replace the
detested Cone of Shame.


  1. I hope you feel better soon, you need to keep that dog under your paw. Nice gown.

  2. Blotched or mackerel, tabby or tuxedo, black or white...cats are COOL! Glad they came up with a no-cone solution for you, Paisley.

  3. Great lesson on mackerel. Poor Paisley having to wear that gown of shame, I am glad surgery went well. I hope you get good results , I assume you are waiting for biopsy results which take forever). Thank you for these great fill-in answers. Wait til you recover to attack the dog :) I agree about fireworks. Have a nice weekend!

  4. I'm so fascinated with feline genetics! ESPECIALLY when you consider one litter of kittens can have more than one father (that blows my mind!). For the longest time, I was clueless and assumed all tabbies were the same (and I had no inkling of what a tortie was). Cats are just amazing, unique creatures. We hope Paisley feels better soon ... we know she's a tortie, so not much will keep her down :)

  5. Paisley, we have been missing blogs lately because Mom is too busy sewing to read and comment. We did not know you had surgery! We hope it was nothing serious and that you get well soon.. That is a cute hospital gown you are wearing. It at least stays closed in the back unlike the ones the humans have to wear.

  6. Purrs for Paisley ! Another good post by Webster .

  7. We're very thankful that your surgery went well too, Paisley, and you are too darn adorable in that little gown! Webster, I bet you think that mackerel fish looks tasty!

  8. Good luck getting better, kitty. I hope you get out of the gown soon.

  9. I never knew that about tabby cats, that was so interesting. We've had some of both...tabbies have always been one of my favorites, though we always called them "tiger cats". I'm not sure why...maybe you could figure that out for me, Webster?

  10. I think that was a very interesting lesson about tabbies. We've had lots of them around here over the years. I think most of ours have been the mackerel variety.

    Paisley, I hope that you'll be completely well very soon and that only good news comes from your doctor.

    Have a blessed week and a wonderful 4th!

  11. GET WELL SOON! I apologize for my lateness in responding. Although I read posts last week, with Chloe Jo in the hospital, it has been difficult. As I write this, she is back in the hospital for observation and tests. Thanks for understanding. HUGS!