A new form of color-blindness?


Black or gray.  Or grey if you prefer the international spelling of the word.  Here are some definitions:

Gray: a neutral achromatic color midway between white and black.

Black: being of the achromatic color of maximum darkness; having little or no hue owing to absorption of almost all incident light.

I have a cat…and her name is Jewel.  To me, she is gray.  To my wife, stepdaughter and grandkid, she is black.  This irritates me.  Clearly, the animal is gray.  But so many people tend to call her black, I started to wonder if there is a new form of color-blindness…BLACK-GRAY colorblindness?

Let’s start with a picture of two cats…one black and one gray (black one taken from a cat encyclopedia).

Which cat is black and which one is gray?  Or do they both look the same to you?

Clinically, complete colorblind individuals can recognize only black, white, and shades of gray.  Color blindness can be caused by host of conditions, including those derived from genetics, biochemistry, physical damage, and diseases. Partial color blindness, a condition where the individual has difficulty discriminating between specific colors, is far more common than total color blindness where only shades of gray are recognized.  But what of being unable to differentiate between gray and black, which is really an inability to differentiate between what I will call extreme dark gray and lighter shades of gray?  This sounds a lot to me like acute anomalous trichromacy, or a disorder where peak sensitivity is shifted to another wavelength.  But the inability to differentiate between black and gray is not a condition that is recognized by modern medicine.

That leaves me with one conclusion…it is a conspiracy to get my goat…or some new form of color-blindness.  The third option…that I am wrong and my cat is black is unlikely…since my vet recorded the color of my animal as “medium gray.”


One response »

  1. Jewel/joya/bijoux is a gray/gris/gris cat/gato/chat. Make no bones about it. Either they are trying to get your goat… or culturally they have no basis or need to differentiate between gray and black. LOL.

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