California Spangled

Its long, well-muscled body is carried low, as if the animal is permanently on the hunt. This low-slung walk makes the California Spangled Cat reminiscent of a much larger feline species. This breed is expressive, good-tempered, active, athletic and unusually intelligent.

A unique feature of this breed, and one that has caused severe criticism, is that it was introduced to the world not at a major cat show, but on the pages of the Neiman Marcus department store's 1986 Christmas mail-order catalog. Spangled kittens were offered for sale at $1,400 in a "his and hers Christmas surprise present package." This unusual debut saw it branded by many as a purely commercial cat -- a designer cat for the rich. The catalogs made it clear that kittens could be bought "in any color clients may desire to match their clothes or their house decorations." The humane society called for a boycott of Neiman Marcus, and it is reported that there was protest picketing. One author described the new breed as "an exclusive West Coast feline starlet." Another commented sternly: "Living things are not appropriate catalog items to be bread for a luxury market and sold as high-priced toys."

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