New Cats in the New World

Maine Coons helped settle their country, and they're finally getting the credit.

By Elisa Jordan

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Cat Fancy- Maine Coons- February 2011
Roommates can be tricky. They can keep you up at night, leave their belongings everywhere or get into your stuff. That's the kind of roomie Walker was. It had been a while since Walker and his human had shared a hotel room. Maybe that's why his human forgot about the makeup sponges. It wasn't until a mysterious rummaging sound came out of the bathroom that her suspicions were raised.

"He has a thing for little makeup sponges — he loves them," says Texas breeder Donna Hinton. "I forgot they were in there. He [had] his big head in my tiny little makeup bag trying to get the makeup sponges out. Then when he got out, [he was so excited] he ran around!"

That's a fairly typical Maine Coon. They are mischievous but not destructive, affectionate but not needy. This is a well-balanced, moderately active and even-tempered breed known for its sometimes remarkable size. Those who focus solely on wanting a large cat, though, miss out on the Maine Coon's best attributes. They have rightly earned the nickname "Gentle Giants."

"They're really just good-natured cats," says breeder Teri Matzkin of Virgina "They really like people. They like other animals. They're very easygoing. If you have a party, they generally want to be out among the people, meeting and greeting."

Brave Cats in a Brave New World
The Maine Coon has long been a companion cat, growing up and developing with the burgeoning United States. As the oldest native longhaired breed in America, Maine Coons can rightly stake a claim as some of the hardworking colonists who helped settle territory in the New World.

Like the sailors, warriors and explorers who once traveled the globe, cats were also legendary seafarers and vital members of a ship's crew. Thanks to cats' ability to keep down the rodent population, crewmembers were able to keep their minds on their tasks without worrying about rodent invaders ruining food supplies.

**Get the February 2011 issue of CAT FANCY to read the full article or click here to purchase a PDF version.**

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Olive    New Port Richey, FL

1/14/2011 7:05:14 AM

Yes! They are almost human in that regard. One of our two Maine coons often massages my chest, or gets up and lies on me if I am on my back. He is a wonderful nighttime companion, sleeping near my head or even letting me cuddle him. Actually, both of our Maine coons sleep with me. I often tell people I sleep with two handsome young men.

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