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Meet the Chartreux, an old and rare cat breed from France that has popped up in writings and art for the last 500 years.

As with many breeds, its origins are mysterious. We know they were in France by the 16th century, but before that it is unknown. Some say that are descended from cats owned by the Carthusian Monks who settled near Grenoble in the 11th century. Others say the cats originally came from the Middle East, and were brought to France by returning Crusaders. Either way, the cats were recognized as a breed by the 18th century.

During World War I, however, the cats were almost completely wiped out, and it took a handful of very dedicated breeders to bring them back and sustain them through WWII. Today, all French pedigreed Chartreux cats are named in a specific way. Their official names must all begin with a letter that corresponds to their year of birth. For example, 2013 is the "I" year, so all registered names must start with that letter. K, Q, W, X, Y, and Z are not used.

Chartreux cats are large and muscular, and are known for their blue-grey coloration and water-resistant double coats. They are generally quiet, non-aggressive, affectionate, and intelligent. Some have been described as "dog-like" in their ability to learn tricks and problem solve.

Status : Doemsticated
Location : France
Size : Weight between 10-14lbs (4.5-6.3kg)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Order : Carnivora
Family : Felidae -- Genus : Felis -- Species : F. catus
Image : 4028mdk09


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