Mondays with Buddy: What Colour are your Vibrissae?

What colour are your vibrissae? Or maybe you don’t have any if you are not a cat. Socks, Mommy’s former cat, had white vibrissae.

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Socks

Sassy’s were black but they turned white as she aged.

Sassy
Sassy

Mine are a beautiful white.

Buddy
Buddy

Today’s cat word, vibrissae  (vī-ˈbri´-sē) is just another word for a cat’s whiskers. The singular is vibrissa (vi·bris´·sa ).  Vibrissae are the stiff hairs that are located near the nostrils and other parts of the face in many mammals.  They are used as tactile organs.  With respect to etymology, it comes from the Latin word  vibrare meaning to vibrate. My whiskers vibrate a lot, especially when I am smelling something or squeezing into a small space.

The first known use of vibrissa was 1693.  I bet it’s not used much today except by vets or in the scientific world. Now you can use it and amaze your friends.

My cat has  has such beautiful vibrissae.

“I love your little vibrissal hairs.”

“Mittens lost a vibrissa.

They will be amazed at your knowledge.

Today’s information came from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary.

 

 

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