Your eyes are not deceiving you! This cat has a purple face. His name is Sammy, and he’s a foster kitten that my mother-in-law is housing. She provides a foster home for cats from the Humane Society, taking on special cases and nursing them back to health so they can be adopted. Sammy is what’s called a Lilac Lynx-Point Siamese; all the normally brown Siamese “points” are lavender instead of brown. A Lilac-Point’s eyes are an even paler china blue than a regular Siamese, and its nose, paw pads, and ears are pinkish purple. (Sammy has all purple toes except one pink one.) These cats look like they are made of candy and their white is creamier than a regular Siamese, so some people call them Frost-Points.
Lilacs were once dismissed as poor quality Blue-Point Siamese, but they are actually a variant of the Chocolate-Point. They got recognition as a color in their own right in America in 1955, then in the UK in 1960. Sammy is a Lynx-Point because, in addition to being purple, he has some tabby markings above his eyes and a distinctive ringed tail.
Here’s something interesting about Siamese cats: they are all born white, and they have a gene that produces partial albinism. It’s the albinism that keeps them mostly white and accounts for their blue eyes. Their coloring has to do with pigment-enzyme production and temperature. In their mother’s womb, it’s a nice toasty 98 degrees, and when the kittens are born, the enzymes start producing color with the change in temperature. It takes about a week for color to start appearing, and since the extremities are cooler than the body, that’s where we see their color. Only the pros can tell the difference between the different breeds until they are a few weeks old.
Reputedly the acrobats and ballerinas of the cat world, these cats love to run and play, and that is certainly true of Sammy. At four months old, he’s finally back to his normal kittenish self, thank goodness. Sammy was picked up at two months old as a stray, and has spent the last two months on a string of antibiotics and medicines (the last count was over two pages long). We thought he got lost once, and I found him because I heard the tiniest, most delicate sneeze from his hiding place in the chair. That must be the flair for drama the experts tell about.
Sammy is a fun little guy who knows when not to use his claws, and he is smart and easily trained. He’s also a loverboy who adores sitting near, but not on, laps. The best part is, he is pretty quiet and doesn’t mind entertaining himself. I think Sammy will be available for adoption later this week. Because of his unusual markings, his adoption fee will be more than the usual $50; if you can afford $78, you can have Sammy for your very own. And who else can say they have a purple cat?