Clever as a Fox

The beautiful Somali shares many qualities with its Abyssinian cousin.

The Somalis in Tammy Roark’s home love to open the drawers and cabinets in her kitchen — then hide inside them. “Somalis are very playful and active,” explains the breeder from Yacolt, Wash. Indeed, several of Roark’s cats also know how to turn on the faucets so they can play with the running water.

Such talent for operating the kitchen sink doesn’t surprise Ray Benter, a breeder from Des Moines, Iowa. “Somalis are intelligent, learn quickly, remember remarkably well and stay playful throughout adulthood,” he says. “They are alert and lively and constantly involved in their humans’ activities.”

Cat enthusiasts will recognize many of the same qualities in the Somali’s cousin, the Abyssinian. “Somalis are commonly referred to as ‘longhaired Abyssinians,’” Roark says. “They are very striking cats, with their colorful coats, bushy tails, distinct facial markings and alert personalities.”

**Get the June 2011 issue of CAT FANCY to read the full article or click here to purchase a PDF version.**

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