Ancient Greek mythology brought the term “Chimera” to life. First referenced in Homer’s the “Iliad”, the Chimera represented a most horrid creature, a creature which dispatched its enemies with its fiery breath. This was a creature which was comprised of three animals: The body of a lion, a snake for a tail, and a goat producing from its back. As Homer put it, “a thing of immortal make, not human, lion-fronted and snake behind, a goat in the middle, and snorting out the breath of the terrible flame of bright fire.” As a result, animals which were seen as odd or strange were termed as “chimeras”, and that’s just where the star of our story, Apricot, comes into the picture.
What is a Chimera Cat?
If you’ve never heard of a Chimera cat, chances are you’ve seen images of one or two dribbling down your social media newsfeed. Why? Because the Chimera cat is quite rare. It’s the cat you see that has one half of it’s face one color, and the other half a different color. But that’s not all. The line that divides them is completely straight. While it all sounds mythical in nature, nothing could be further from the truth. Also known as “slit-faced” cats, these cats are actually two different embryos that have become one. This is known as Chimeraism and can occur in a variety of animals, not just cats. Kiki from the Nashville Cat Rescue put it this way, “A chimera cat is exactly as it looks–2 cats that blended into 1. They have 2 sets of DNA due to the embryos fusing together. ”
Famous Chimera Cats
People are so fascinated with Chimera cats, that several have their own social media accounts. So, anyone fortunate enough to adopt Apricot could have a potential social media star on their hands! But if you think that you can go out and purchase a Chimera kitten at a breeder, think again. As adorable and fascinating as Chimera cats are, they have yet to be successfully bred. Basically, as previously stated, it’s the luck of the draw when and if two unrelated embryos will merge to create a Chimera.
At the time of this writing, Venus is one of the more famous Chimeras with over 2 million Instagram followers! She has black on the right side of her face, and orange on the left side. If you notice her Instagram photos, you’ll see she also has heterochromia, meaning one eye is green and the other blue. Venus is so famous that she even has her own merchandise.
Quimera is another famous Chimera who currently resides in Argentina. Quimera has over 88 Instagram followers, and like Venus has one side of her face black and another orange. She also has heterochromia, with one eye green and the other blue.
Fun Facts About Chimera Cats
So, you’re thinking of bringing little Apricot home? Well, here are a few interesting facts about Chimera cats which will help you get more familiar with them.
- Chimera cats cannot be bred, and as such are considered rare
- Chimeras have a condition called heterochromia, where each eye is a different color
- If you are unsure about whether your cat is a Chimera, the only way to know for sure is a DNA test
- Some Chimera kittens do not show the distinct color patterns like Apricot does, until older
- As they are not a breed, per say, there is no statistical data which tells us how many Chimera cats are living
- The Chimera cat requires no special food or care. Just take care of them as you would any other household cat
Nashville, Tennessee Cat Rescue is currently hosting their very own, Chimera kitten they christened Apricot. Apricot is an adorable Chimera kitten who is waiting to be adopted by a loving home. She’s a little tyke, so won’t be ready to adopt out until she’s fixed, which should be about 6 weeks from now. Up until then, the Nashville Cat Rescue is not taking applications. Nashville Cat Rescue volunteer Kiki began posting adorable snaps of Apricot and her sister Pretzel as soon as they arrived. Apricot and little Pretzel were quite fortunate, as they were found during a home renovation project, hiding inside a wall. Upon learning of Apricot and Pretzel, Kiki wrote: “Have you met Apricot? This unique baby was found with her sister during a construction project. The two were introduced to our mama duo, Olive and Pickle, who welcomed them into their family without hesitation.
Interested in Adopting Apricot?
As stated, neither Apricot or Pretzel won’t be ready for adoption for at least 6 weeks, where at that time she’ll be able to be fixed. When that time comes, Nashville Cat Rescue will be taking applications. if you plan on putting in an application for Apricot, you can visit the Nashville Cat Rescue (https://www.nashvillecatrescue.org) to get a good idea of their procedures. Know that Nashville Cat Rescue is not a shelter. Instead, they partner with shelters such as PetSmart Charities and Pet Supermarket to help cats get adopted. The adoption procedure requires that you sign a pet care contract, an application and a one-time adoption fee of $100.00. The $100.00 goes toward cat care costs such as spaying/neutering, testing, de-worming and vaccinations.
There you have it, a brief introduction to one very special kitten, Apricot. We also learned a bit about Chimera cats and why they are rare. No doubt there will be tons of applications for little Apricot, but what about her sibling, Pretzel? Indeed, lets not forget Pretzel. Perhaps someone can offer both kittens a good home, where they can grow up together? If so, be sure to file an application for both. After all, one never knows, and it would be a kindness to have both siblings grow up together–forever.