Last week, Chico announced the name change for the blog to The Fur-iday Files. Admittedly, I was kind of hoping for Storm and Friends or maybe Horses Etc, or even Storm’s and Chico’s Great Adventures. But I, and the rest of the herd, appreciate the expanded inclusiveness of the Fur-iday Files.
Although, and I say this with due acknowledgement of the spirit of this inclusiveness, that which covers the bodies of horses is typically referred to as hair rather than fur, even though it’s all made of keratin and generally the same stuff. Why do we have hair and other animals have fur? Good question, I thought.
I did a little Googling to find the answer and Chico’s not going to like it. Why do some animals have fur and others hair? The answer lies in the origins of the noun “fur,” which started out as a term relating to apparel. According to Oxford, in medieval England, fur meant “a trimming or lining for a garment, made of the dressed coat of certain animals.” So, since dogs and cats have the kind of hair that might be used to create a nice collar, they have fur. (There’s a whole lot more interesting information if you want to read the whole article “Why Foxes Have Fur, Horses Hair”).
But here’s where things get weird … when it’s on the dog it’s fur, but on the floor, couch, clothing, or in T’s dinner, it’s hair. Explain that one.
As for horses, although we are sometimes referred to as furry when we’re sporting our winter coats, the stuff that covers our bodies is just not called fur. Who’s ever heard of “horse fur”? We have hair, whether it’s still attached to the skin, lying on the ground, or in the mouth or nose of the person doing the grooming.
However, since Hair-day doesn’t sound like any day of the week I can think of, and Hairy Friday gives the impression of a whole different (although not always far off the mark) kind of blog, Fur-iday it shall be.
Well, we’ve just been turned out on some new pasture so I have to get back to work putting a layer of insulation under my fur/hair coat. The weather is beautiful right now, but we all know what’s coming (cue the “Jaws” music).
Storm, Fur-iday Files correspondent, signing off, from the field.