This rare, V.I.P. cat with two different-colored irises and a split-colored furry visage belongs to a group of possibly (or possibly not) chimera-like
According to geneticists, a genuine chimera is an extremely rare occurrence. As Professor of Genetics and Development at Columbia University Virginia Papaioannou explained to
, “A chimera… is a composite individual composed of cells from at least two distinct original embryos. If they fuse early enough, they will become a single organism with the genetic
contributions of two distinct individuals. In a mosaic, there is only one individual, which occurs to have active genetic components of various types in its cells. A chimera would be an extremely rare and improbable occurrence.”
Papaioannou considers cats such as Quimera and her equally magnificent predecessor to be remarkable specimens of calico cats.
“This is a relatively simple instance of X-inactivation mosaicism, with the addition of a white splotch gene. “All female mammals have two X-chromosomes,” the professor explained.