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I was answering a post about a tonk, and decided to search the Meet My Kitty thread for pics and more info. Such pretty markings and coloring! Are they from the Bay Of Tonkin region? As in Vietnam?
 

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Imported to England in the early 1800s as “Chocolate Siamese.” In the United States, Tonkinese and Burmese can trace their beginnings back to Wong Mau, a small walnut-colored cat imported to California by Dr. Joseph Thompson in 1930. The Tonkinese we know today was developed in the 1960s and 1970s from the Siamese and Burmese breeds. Breeders wanted a more moderate breed than the extremes of the two parent breeds, and they wanted the new “mink” colors with aqua eyes. The Tonkinese breed was the first pedigreed cat to have aqua eye color. The breed was first recognized in Canada (CCA) in 1971, and then accepted for championship status in CFA in 1984. At that time, further out-crossing to Siamese and Burmese stopped.

Tonkinese Article
 

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Here is an interesting web page on modern day Thai temple cats. It shows naturally bred cats with both Siamese and Tonkinese type colouring, some from the same litters. Apparently some of the earliest imported Siamese had darker bodies, but the lighter bodies were more popular and eventually became the breed standard.
The author describes the darker (Tonkinese coloured) cats as "copper cats".
Thai cats in the Buddhist temple
 

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Thanks for sharing that link Nuliajuk! Very interesting!
Beautiful cats!
Sharon
 

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My next-door neighbors had two Tonk boys that I cat-sit frequently when I was a kid.

They were apparently super-affectionate one-person cats (well, two-person cats). My neighbors would often regale me with tales of how the two Tonks would follow them around, nibble on their earlobes, sit on the toilet tank when they were using the bathroom, etc...

They were pretty standoffish with me, but I was a kid. They were champion pukers (but so are a lot of cats...)

One day when I was cat-sitting them (and cleaning up a patch of puke) the larger one jumped off their cat tree in my general direction. He may have been being aggressive, or just aiming for my shoulder XD Either way, he scratched open my neck and eyebrow/forehead, and my mom refused to let me cat-sit again after that.

I remember thinking they had the most idiotic names - Buffet and Beaujolais Bear.

Of course, my own cats at the time were named Kazarothian and Wintressia... ;p

They were full-indoors cats and got along with my girl Win, who was outdoors but was occasionally allowed into their house :}
 
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