One of the oldest felines around, the Van Cat is called after the region it most ordinary inhabits – Lake Van in the historical Armenian highlands. Recent DNA analysis by researchers revealed that cats were domesticated around 10,000 years ago.
Van cats have been reported living near the city of Van and the general Lake Van area for centuries. Additionally, the white-spotting in domestic cats is one of the points of evidence of early artificial selection. However, this does not necessarily mean that white cats have been in the Van area the entire time.
Do you know that…
1.it’s known as the “Swimming” Cat
According to the legend, the Van Cat was on board Noah’s Ark when it came to rest on Mt. Ararat and left the ark to swim in the receding floodwaters.
Lushington wrote: “Apart from their great capacity for affection and alert intelligence, their outstanding characteristic is their liking for water, not normally considered as a feline attribute. They not only dabble in water and play with it, but have been known to enter ponds and even horse-troughs for a swim – they soon became famous as the ‘swimming cats.'”
2.It Has “Odd” Eyes
One eye is green (or amber), while the other is blue. This is a condition called heterochromia, which occurs in humans too. It most commonly affects white cats.
Vana Katu plays an enormous role in Armenian culture. The cat is related to the Armenian people that have historically lived in the Lake Van area and who have been said to have “revered” the cat. World-known impressionist and surrealist Armenian artist Arshile Gorky, a later immigrant to the United States, sculpted Van cats in the early 1910s. The Van cat has been reported living near the city of Van in historic Armenia for centuries.
The left shoulder’s finger-print of Van cats is named “God’s blessing sign” that according to an Armenian legend all Van Cats bear ever since when after the Flood our Heavenly Father had blessed the Van Cat, coming out of Noah’s Ark landing on Mt. Ararat.
The Van Cats may differ in their colors, but all they have a sign.