National Geographic : 1964 Apr
Russian Blue S EXTURE and appearance of the coat are the truest criteria of the Russian Blue," says the standard in considera tion of the fact that this cat's fur is un like that of any other breed and, in fact, closely resembles sealskin. Like seal, the Blue's coat is short, thick, and very fine. It feels silky and has a distinct sheen. The color is "bright blue"-the stand ard's term for gray or slate blue. Here Grigio, a Blue once owned by the photographer, exhibits the required broad face with nose longer than that of the Persian but shorter than the Siamese. Vivid green eyes are set wide apart and appear round, rather than al mond shaped. Young cats have yellow eyes, which change with time. "The neck is fairly long but looks short be cause of the thick fur," as the standard demands. Ears are "large, wide at the base, pointed at the tips." A highly intelligent cat, Grigio en joyed jumping from one high stool to another in a graceful, arcing leap. Some times Mr. Chandoha held a hoop be tween the two stools, and the cat sailed through it. The performance made it appear that the owner had trained his Blue. "But that wasn't true," says Mr. Chandoha. "I just added the props for Grigio's own act." One day Grigio walked off the farm and disappeared from Chandoha's life.