The tailless Cymric (pronounced KIM-rick), whose name is derived from the Gaelic word for Wales, is a longhaired version of the Manx. It is a friendly, affectionate, relaxed companion. Somewhat doglike in its habits, it will play "fetch," growl at an unidentified disturbance, and may follow its owner around. This cat is also known for its love of shiny objects -- keep an eye on your jewelry! Cymrics like to snooze in laps and high places. Children, dogs, and other cats are taken in stride.

The Cymric and its shorthaired cousin, the Manx, are among the oldest natural breeds of cats. They are native to the Isle of Man, an island in the Irish Sea between England and Ireland. Geneticists have determined that taillessness occurred as the result of a spontaneous mutation. The Manx was easily established due to the genetic nature of the tailless trait and centuries of inbreeding in an isolated island environment. Both longhaired and shorthaired cats existed on the Isle of Man before the appearance of the mutant gene for taillessness. When the tailless Cymric appeared, the recessive longhair gene may have been part of the package.

Some theories suggest that the Manx, and subsequently the Cymric, are actually the descendants of the Japanese Bobtail or a related breed that was somehow transported to this distant island half a world from its native land in the Far East. Other tales tell of invaders that nipped the tails from the cats as a sort of victory symbol and of queens that habitually bit the tails from newborn cats.

The Cymric is a solidly built, medium-size, cobby cat with a round head, widely spaced ears, and large, round eyes. The powerful hindlegs are longer than the front legs, so the short back arches upward to the rounded rump. A completely tailless Cymric is called a "rumpy"; the "rumpy riser" appears to be tailless but has one to three vertebrae fused to the end of the spine; the "stumpy" has one to five normal vertabrae, which give the cat a short, moveable tail stump; the "longy" is a cat with a shorter-than-normal tail, but a tail nonetheless. The Cymric has a soft, semi-long outercoat that gradually lengthens from head to rump.

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