The world learned about the existence of Maine from American breeders. The name of the breed translates as "Manx raccoon". And if everything is clear with the first term in this phrase ("maine" - from the name of the US state of Maine), then the second requires clarification. The unusual striped color and fluffy tails of Maine gave rise to a legend among breeders that the breed was obtained by crossing a representative of the cat family with a raccoon. The bike remained a bike, but the word "kun" (an abbreviation for the English racoon - raccoon) still stuck to the breed.
The most beautiful version of the appearance of gigantic cats in North America can be considered the legend of the failed escape of Queen Marie Antoinette. Expecting reprisals from the French revolutionaries, the wife of Louis XIV was going to flee to the American continent and, for safety, sent a ship ahead of her with things dear to her heart, including her beloved long-haired cats. The mustachioed-tailed cargo swam to the shores of New England safe and sound and, freely crossing with local shorthair cats, gave rise to a new breed, which soon settled throughout the state.
Modern experts are inclined to believe that the history of the origin of the "race" of Maine is much more prosaic. Cats were brought to America a long time ago, but they were mostly short-haired individuals. Long-haired cats arrived on the continent much later, along with the first settlers from the Old World. As a result, finding themselves in favorable conditions for free crossing, the indigenous inhabitants and "visiting" representatives of the tailed-mustachioed brethren became the ancestors of a new variety of large long-haired cats.
A real pioneer in the formation of the Maine breed was a cat named Captain-Jenks-of-the-Sea-cavalry. This fluffy giant caused an indescribable delight of the audience in 1861, noting at cat shows in Boston and New York and eclipsing the then popular Angoras. But by the XX century, the Manx giants had lost their positions and were supplanted by the Persians and Siamese for almost half a century. After the end of World War II, the reasserted themselves, however, at that time only within the American continent. In 1953, the breed acquired its own official club, and in 1968 the first association of lovers and breeders of "Manx raccoons" Maine Coon Breeders and Fanciers Association / MCBFA was founded. As for Europe, the reached it only in the 70s of the last century.
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