Chin, Chilla, Buffie, and Orange Pekoe, names that explain their color

blwings

Senior Member
Korean-S.Korea
"Four small and lively kittens in the house are indeed things of beauty, and a joy as long as they last. Four fluffy little Angora balls they were Chin, Chilla, Buffie, and Orange Pekoe, names that explain their color."

This is from Concerning Cats: My Own and Some Others (1900) by Helen M. Winslow. I can't imagine the colors of cats named Chin and Chilla. What colors are they?
Here's the link for the whole text.
The Project Gutenberg eBook of Concerning Cats, by Helen M. Winslow.
 
  • london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Ah, but chinchilla cats have pure white coats. So does she mean the kittens were white or grey? :)


    Edit. Apparently the first chinchilla cats were bred in the 1880s. I'm having trouble with my phone and can't provide the link to the UK Purina website which says this.
     
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    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    Chin, + Chilla, = Grey
    Buffie = buff -> a dull whitish-yellow
    Orange Pekoe, -> orange.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Not if she was thinking of a chinchilla cat and not a chinchilla. And don't make me say it again! :D
    Chinchilla Cat Breed Profile
    This page shows them with quite a bit of grey and says
    The Chinchilla is a large breed of cat with a luxurious long coat that is tipped with silver or gold. Chinchillas were developed to create a silver Persian, and have similar features to the Persian, only softer.
    To me, it looks like some of them have a grey undercoat and a white overcoat somewhat like the color variation in a chinchilla. (I can't remember ever hearing of a chinchilla cat before today so I don't know that I've ever seen one in person.)
     

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    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    All the orange pekoe I have had (and that's a lot) has been black, not orange.
    It could be the color of dried tea leaves (black, very dark brown as you say), the color of brewed tea (auburn to light brown), or she could be making a joke on the name and it really is just an orange/ginger cat.
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    A friend of mine had one. Pure white with just a touch of darker fur on the tips. She normally looked white although sometimes she had a silver sheen to her fur, depending on the lightning.

    Stunning, but I'm a rescue cat person myself.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    So are you really saying Orange Pekoe is a shade of tea so distinctive someone would name a cat after it? :eek:
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    So are you really saying Orange Pekoe is a shade of tea so distinctive someone would name a cat after it? :eek:
    No. Are you saying that Orange Pekoe is a shade of orange so distinctive someone would name a cat after it? :eek:

    No one is saying that it's a distinct color. But there's no reason not to select a random variety of tea for a cat whose color reminds one of tea. She might have called it Earl Grey (if it's a tom) or Lapsang Souchong (rather a good name for a cat that likes to purr in your lap, I think :)).
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    You randomly select the name of a tea with a specific color in the name but that's a coincidence? I don't buy it. :)
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    You randomly select the name of a tea with a specific color in the name but that's a coincidence? I don't buy it. :)
    I didn't say it was random. It might be her favorite tea. The cat might have peeked at her out of its basket when it was a kitten. (Earl Grey has bergamot orange oil in it so that might be an orange cat (even though bergamot oranges are green). :))
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    The tea leaves are brown but the brew is orange...
    No, its not, and the term "orange pekoe" refers to the quality of the leaf and not in any way to the colour of the tea.

    No doubt the cat was orange, but there's no accounting for the owner's flight of fancy. She might as well have called the kitten "orange peel" or, to cause more confusion, "orange blossom".
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    No, its not, and the term "orange pekoe" refers to the quality of the leaf and not in any way to the colour of the tea.

    No doubt the cat was orange, but there's no accounting for the owner's flight of fancy. She might as well have called the kitten "orange peel" or, to cause more confusion, "orange blossom".
    The brew I make from orange pekoe leaves is quite definitely orange.
    orangepekoe_cup_540x.png

    I'm perfectly willing to accept that when you make it isn't orange so please afford me the same courtesy and accept what I say.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Right-oh. But is that a photograph of your cup of tea, or an enhanced image discovered online? My cup of Ceylon tea is a reddish-brown.
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I confess it's not mine (I'm at work) but when I make it the colour is very similar, although maybe a tad darker. Not that I make it often as I'm not a tea drinker so I really only make it for my elderly dad.

    In any case, as you say she could have said orange anything. And what about marmalade cats? Same problem. We know it means orange cats, ginger cats or red tabbies but if I think of the dark orange marmalade I make it's a different colour.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    The problem with marmalade cats is the way the butter gets into the fur when you spread them on your toast.
     
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