In this picture you can see the "American Shorthair" markings through his dark charcoal color. You have to look close but they are there.
As a baby it was a bit more noticeable in good lighting.
Although Bear has the markings of a true American Shorthair he falls short on some physical and personality traits. Let me give you a brief run down on the breeds history.
Descended from European cats that came to America with early settlers, to protect their cargo and themselves from rats and mice. It is said these cats came off the Mayflower to continue their work for the colonists.
Back in Europe prior to this time frequent outbreaks of the Black Plague took place. It was only 18 years before the landing of the Mayflower that 18,000 Londoners lost their lives to the disease.
In the early part of the Black Plague cats were frequently blamed for spreading the disease and were thus killed. With less cats the rat population exploded along with human deaths.
PHYSICAL and PERSONALITY TRAITS
They are a medium to large cat with a strongly built body. They posses large paws, have round heads with short ears. Low maintenance & generally healthy.
They come in many different colors and patterns. Browns, blacks, silvers and smokes. The classic pattern is the round swirls on their sides.
They are intelligent with an easy going temperament. Sweet disposition and friendly to children, strangers and other house pets.
After coming to America these cats interbred and developed unique characteristics. In the early 20th century a breeding program was established that brought out their best qualities. The American Shorthair is now a pedigreed cat.
Originally called the "Domestic Shorthair", the name was changed in 1966 to "American Shorthair" to show its American breeding and distinquish it from other shorthair breeds.
Bear's sister Bingo also has the classic swirl marking and to me is the best looking cat in the house of 11. And like her brother she lacks the friendliness to strangers. Thou both are very shy, they are both very, very sweet.
Moe ... aka "Moey" had the "perfect" American Shorthair markings, was the friendliest cat and completely fearless. ... RIP ... dear Moey
He also had the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen.
sources ... wikipedia, petmd.com