Thursday, March 18, 2010

#132 Poland...Thanks Kazimierz!

These 2 cute cat stamps were issued on Feb.17,2010 depicting a Maine Coon (1.95 PLN) and a Bristish Shorthair (1.50 PLN) respectively.

The Maine Coon is a breed of domestic cat with a distinctive physical appearance. It is one of the oldest natural breeds in North America, specifically native to the state of Maine, where it is the official State Cat.

The breed was popular in cat shows in the late 1800s, but its existence became threatened when long-haired breeds from overseas were introduced in the early 20th century. The Maine Coon made a comeback and is one of the most popular cat breeds in the world.

The Maine Coon is noted for its large bone structure, its rectangular body shape, and a long, flowing coat. The breed can be seen in a variety of colors and are known for their intelligence and gentle personalities. Health problems, such as feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and hip dysplasia, are seen in the breed, but screening methods can help to reduce the frequency of these problems, including ultrasounds and genetic testing for heart problems and x-raying to look for hip abnormalities.

The British Shorthair is the descendant of cats brought to Britain by the Romans and then interbred with wild native cats.They were later crossbred with Persian cats to improve the thickness of their coat. The breed was defined in the 19th century and British Shorthairs were shown at the 1871 Crystal Palace cat show. The popularity of the breed declined by the 1940s, but since the end of World War II, breeding programs have intensified and the breed's popularity is high once again.Indeed, it has been the most popular breed of cat since 2001, when it overtook the Persian breed.

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