Male Tortoiseshell Cat Defies the Laws of Biology
The Daily Mail writes that the cat "overturns the normal laws of biology," and that's somewhat true. Tortoiseshell cats are nearly always female because two X chromosomes are required to produce the brindled black and orange coat coloring. Male cats have only one X and one Y chromosome, so it is "technically impossible" for them to inherit the tortoiseshell coloring, the Daily Mail writes. However, in extremely rare instances, a male kitten is born with tortoiseshell markings because it has an extra X chromosome (making it an "XXY"), according to VeterinaryPartner.com.
Just how rare is a male tortoiseshell cat? "Of eight million pet cats in Britain only a couple a year are born male tortoiseshells," reports the Daily Mail. At VeterinaryPartner.com, they estimate the odds at 1 in 3,000.
Eddie the kitten, named for the famed cross-dressing British comedian and actor Eddie Izzard, may be a "boy dressed in girls' clothing," his owner told the Daily Mail, but "so far, there are no signs of any gender confusion and he seems to be all there."