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“Who’s your Daddy?”. The true story of a biology professor’s kitty adventures in the summer of 2007. Last May, this little lady. ...hid a little surprise in our yard:. Now, if this is the Mommy. ...and these are the babies. Who is the Daddy???. Coat colors in this family:.

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Who s your daddy
“Who’s your Daddy?”

  • The true story of a biology professor’s kitty adventures in the summer of 2007.




Now, if this is the Mommy...

...and these are the babies...



Coat colors in this family
Coat colors in this family:

Toast (mother of the kittens: dark tortoiseshell, small creamy “bib,” no tabby markings.


Gizmo female
Gizmo (Female)

Gizmo is almost identical to her mother, right down to a small cream patch on one hind foot.


Sprocket female
Sprocket (Female)

Sprocket is a calico girl with no tabby markings. Her belly and chest are white.


Edison male
Edison (Male)

Edison is a piebald black-and-white boy with a white belly and no tabby markings.


The prime suspects
The prime suspects:

Bruiser: Black and white, with white belly. Newer to the neighborhood, but highly territorial and aggressive.

Big Tom: White belly and legs with gray tabby back. Has been in the neighborhood for several years.


Your job
Your job:

  • Use the web to look up information on cat genetics. Several cat breeder sites have excellent information on the inheritance of coat color.

  • Determine the probable genotypes of Toast and the three surviving kittens. Using this, determine which of the toms is the father of the kittens.

  • Write up what you find, including what you learn about patterns of inheritance in cat fur color. Include Punnett squares to show your work.

  • Since Toast was the only fertile female around that I know of (after I caught and spayed two others), and there were multiple intact tomcats in the area, she could have bred with more than one male. Thus it’s possible that the kittens have different fathers. Use what you find out about cat genetics to determine if this is probable, or if one of the males could have sired all of the kittens.


The sequel
The sequel:

  • Toast was captured, spayed, and released. She still stays around the house to get food and likes to follow people around the yard when we’re outdoors. She sleeps on a fleece blanket in a sheltered spot on the deck. Perhaps someday she’ll be tame enough to come indoors.

  • The kittens were fostered for a no-kill cat shelter, but they became such a part of the family that we ended up adopting all three.

  • Bruiser and Big Tom also stay near the house to get food. They’re next on the list for capturing and neutering, statistically the most effective means of controlling feral cat populations.


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