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Laura brought two unrelated cats back to Britain, and when they were mated they produced kittens bearing the same auburn markings.
It was at this point that Laura realized that this was a natural breed, and not man-induced.
Because of this discovery some scientists now question the long held belief that cats were first domesticated in Egypt.
Ironically, the Turks now have a special section on their government web site about the cat, recounting that their ancestors called this cat "pisik".
Among the sadder stories including the Van Cat are tales of how the Turks would use the animals as a means of torture of Armenians before and during the genocide.
One tale relates how Turks would capture Armenians, strip them, and stuff them into cloth bags with Van Cats, beating the bag.
They noticed that the cats particularly around the area of Van in current Eastern Turkey bore a remarkable resemblance to the traditional Angora type, which were heretofore known by outsiders as "Turkish cats".
The most noticeable difference however was that the coat was not pure white, but had auburn head markings and a faintly ringed auburn tail.
Even more recently, during the excavation by the British Archaeological Institute in Ankara of a late Neolithic (7000 years ago) site near Hacilar, 22 small terracotta statues said to be women playing with cats were found on one level.
The Van cat is considered a rare breed, one of the most beautiful and certainly the most unusual breeds of a cat ever known.