The cat breed that looks like a bat

There's a lot to love about cats. They're cuddly. They're independent. They will, given enough time, ensure that your body is fully disposed of after you die. With nearly a quarter of all households possessing at least one cat — and, painting with broad strokes, usually several dozen more — they are the second most popular pet in the world, second only to that old domestic favorite, giant anteaters ... or maybe it was dogs? Statistics are hard to focus on.

Still, there's always room for improvement. There's been many a time that someone has looked at a feline in a lounge, a cat cafe, or an abandoned building, and thought, "Man, that kitty would sure be even more lovable if it pulled a Gremlins 2 and turned itself into a hideous gargoyle bat." Luckily, such a creature has made its way to this big beautiful marble called Earth, and humanity has never been keen on spotting an animal with a genetic abnormality and just letting it lie. An elite group of breeders has been hard at work making more bat-cats, which bodes poorly for the criminal element of Gotham Kitty.

The Bruce-Maine-Coon of Gotham

The cat breed in question is known as the Oriental Shorthair. The particular feline pictured above, looking like a bat and not anything else, is a specialty breed said to "originate" in Thailand, in sort of the same way that Taco Bell originated in Mexico: I.E., there's a common thread, but they're mostly an American product. The breed was developed from Siamese cats, and according to the Cat Fanciers Association — a group dedicated to fancying cats, no matter the repercussions — the Oriental is "Nothing more or less than a Siamese cat with a designer wardrobe." That said, today's Orientals originated with European breeders in the fifties, and according to VetStreet, the breed didn't really hit its stride until the 1970s, when a splinter sect of the Cat Fanciers Association was established to better inform the public of this fascinating corner of the feline gene pool. With their help, the breed rose in popularity, and new standards were put in place.

Orientals are described as "passionate about the people in their lives," and prone to becoming "extremely attached to their humans." They are also apparently of above-average intelligence, capable of solving simple puzzles and opening drawers for themselves.