15×20 watercolor and watercolor pencils on 140# paper. Original available.
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The American Shorthair (ASH) is a breed of cat believed to be descended from English domestic cats (the forebears of today’s British Shorthairs) brought to North America by early British settlers to protect valuable cargo from mice and rats. According to the Cat Fancier’s Association for 2006–2007, it is the 8th most popular breed of cat in the United States.
History When settlers sailed from Britain to North America they carried cats on board ship as working cats to protect the stores from mice. Many of these cats “settled” in the New World, interbred, and developed special characteristics to help them cope with their new life and climate. Early this century a selective breeding program was established to develop the best qualities of these cats. The American Shorthair is also called the Mouser because they caught mice on ships.
Characteristics A very athletic cat, American Shorthair has a larger, leaner, and more powerfully built body than its relation, the British Shorthair. It is also known as a “working cat.”
American Shorthairs are a pedigreed cat with strict standards and a distinctive appearance as set by the various Cat Fanciers Associations worldwide.
Originally known as the Domestic Shorthair, the breed was renamed in 1966 to the “American Shorthair” to better represent its “All American” character and to differentiate it from other shorthaired breeds. The name “American Shorthair” also reinforces the notion that the American shorthair is distinct from non-pedigreed, short-haired cats in the United States (info from Wikipedia).