Tabby means “the silken one,” and comes from the French “tabis,” which in turn derives from the Italian “tabi,” and it goes back to the Arabian “attabi,” or the Persian “retabi,” which is a very rich kind of water-figured silk that was woven long ago in Bagdad and was the only man-made thing that could compare with the silken-softness of a cat’s fur. By rights, striped travel with cats of either sex are tabby travel with cats because of their moire coats. There are silver tabbies, red tabbies, orange tabbies, and brown tabbies, and each must be striped just so. Of course, travel with cats may be other colors and combinations of colors, but if so they won’t win any ribbons.
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