Loranne's Adventures in Librarying
This is one of the neatest infographics I have ever seen. In case the title isn’t a dead giveaway, this poster-sized graphic is designed to help you (via text descriptions and illustration) discern the detailed, technical term for the coloration of any given house cat. In certain cases, this table can even help you determine the breed of the cat in question, as it includes some unique, breed-specific coloration patterns at the bottom. I’ve become obsessed
with it recently, flipping through photos of my friends’ cats and trying to determine their patterns. It’s just fun for me. But that is slightly beside the point. What’s fascinating to
me is that I can look at this illustrated table, and based on its contents, decide that my cat, Momo, is a brindled, golden smoke tortoiseshell. See “Exhibit A.”
If I had the inclination, I could even tell you what color type “Happycat” of Cheezburger fame falls into. See “Exhibit B.”
Obviously, neither Momo nor Happycat look anything like the illustrated cats in the picture. I’d dare you to find any photograph of a real cat that resembles those in this table. They are cartoons.
The human brain is remarkably good at making the connection between an animated object or creature, and the reality of that thing or organism. For example, despite their differences, I know that this:
both represent the same thing. How is that possible? The cartoon giraffe doesn’t even have any legs to speak of! And I am not unique in this ability. Most people, from the very young to the very old, would recognize that here we have two depictions of the concept of “giraffe.” This is assuming they are familiar with the idea of what a giraffe is, in the first place. Where and how do we develop the concept? How does it remain constant or change in the face of the wide variety of less-than-realistic illustrations we run into?
I’m sure there’s more research for me to do here, but in the meantime, I’m curious as to whether you all have anything to add!