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, April 6, 2018

Words with Webster: Acromelanism, Plus Friendly Fill-Ins

We have two fun Friday features for you today. First up is Real Cat Webster, who has a hot, cold, and colorful word to share. After that, it’s on to Friendly Fill-Ins!

Words with Webster

Words with Webster
Hi, everybody! It’s me, Real Cat Webster. Welcome to Words with Me. Today’s word is “acromelanism.” This word is not in either my favorite dictionary (Merriam-Webster’s) or the Oxford English Dictionary. I found it on The Free Dictionary, though, which gives this definition:
Genetically determined, temperature-dependent pigmentation pattern, with full expression only occurring on legs, ears, tail and face. Seen in Siamese and Himalayan cats, and rabbits. (Saunders Comprehensive Veterinary Dictionary, 3rd ed., 2007)
To understand what acromelanism looks like, just picture a typical Siamese cat (and by the way, today is National Siamese Cat Day, which is why I picked this word). In cats with this color pattern, the fur is darker on parts of the body that are cooler. This creates the classic pattern of light-colored bodies and darker-colored “points” on the ears, face, legs, and tail, as seen in Siamese cats and some other breeds. You can learn a lot more about temperature-sensitive coloring in this article from Catster: “Siamese Cats Are Temperature-Sensitive Ablinos, a.k.a. Walking Heat Maps.”

Since “acromelanism” isn’t in our regular dictionaries, we don’t have any great, or even not-so-great, quotes for you. We don’t have any history for you either. We can tell you that the word is made up of the combining forms “acro-,” which is used in terms “relating to peripheral parts, esp. the extremities of the body” (OED) and “melano,” meaning “dark colored.” Both parts come from Greek forms meaning “highest, topmost, at the extremities” and “black,” respectively. 

Siamese cat, standing. Photo via Adobe Stock.
Happy National Siamese Cat Day!
This cat is an excellent example of acromelanism because his extremities are dark.
Photo via Adobe Stock.

Friendly Fill-Ins

Friendly Fill-InsAnd 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, answered by old SoLT this week, are from Ellen of 15andmeowing, and the next two, answered by Real Cat Paisley, are from Annie of McGuffy’s Reader.

Old SoLT’s answers:
1. Sunshine is one of my favorite things.  I usually have low energy on cloudy days. Sometimes I actually feel ill when it's cloudy out.

2. I love to see the spring bulbs coming up, even if the weather forecast this weekend is for the dreaded “frozen mix.”

Real Cat Paisley’s answers:

3. I have a hard time waking someone up to feed me in the mornings. It is a real challenge, and I am lucky I get fed at all.

4. Being cute is easy for me.

Real Cat Paisley and her Nip Nanner, 2017


  1. That is such a pretty kitty. Good to know what that word means. You all have a wonderful day.

  2. Mom always knew why the point colors were different but had no idea there was a special word for it. Great Fill-ins!

    The Florida Furkids

  3. I was not familiar with that word so thank you for teaching me something new. ANd thank you both for participating in the fill-ins, great answers. I don't like to be out in the sun, but I definitely function better on sunny days too. Sorry you have such a tough time getting fed Webster, that is not right. Maybe if you started bugging your mom earlier, she would get up in time to feed you :) Have a great weekend! XO

  4. Great word, don't know how I can work it into a conversation but its still great.

  5. I've never even heard that word! Very cool. I adore Siamese...after torties they're my favorites!

  6. Paisley, I hope you don't waste away to nothing. Kitties shouldn't have to work so hard to get their breakfast. ;)

  7. Wow, that is so interesting, Webster, we never knew that!
    Oh yes, I get migraines, and they are far more apt to come on a cloudy day than a sunny. We've definitely been in need of sunshine here lately, and my head tells me so!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

  8. I hear you, Paisley about being fed. TW hates cloudy days too and a change in weather gives her migraines.