Monday, December 3, 2012

Did You Know?

Brooke and Frankie have had a special relationship since Frankie was just a wee little kitten. Yarn should be a big "no-no" for kittens unless of course your big sister thinks it is funny for you to have a mouth full of mom's yarn.

While Brooke was home over Thanksgiving, their bond became even stronger. They worked the crossword puzzle together every morning, cooked together (I know, the health department might have a problem with this), watched movies and surfed the web together, and cuddled up on the couch each night at bedtime.

During all f this, Brooke became fascinated with the kitten's admittedly odd coloring.

So yesterday, as church was ending, Brooke and I had the following text exchange.

Brooke: You probably don't care, but I figured out why the kitten is such an odd color - she must be homozygous for the recessive color dilution gene, allowing the dilution modifier gene to express. So, she would have been an orange tabby, but her cells are bad at transporting pigment, so she turned out sort of a creamy apricot color.

Also, did you know that cats with point markings have a temperature sensitive form of albinism? (Yes, I spent my morning reading about cat genetics.)

Me: Thanks for sharing!

Brooke: Hey, genetics is interesting. Cat coat colors are very complicated.

Me: I'm sure they are. I am fascinated by genetics though I know very little.
BTW What is temperature sensitive albinism?

Brooke: They have a mutated protein that only works to produce melanin in lower temperatures, so they're only colored on the extremities where they get the coldest - ears, feet and tail.

Me: That explains her.

I have the oddest, but most interesting, conversations with this child of mine!