Here we have an aerial shot of Nosey and Edison. Yes, they are two male tuxedo cats, but that's where the similarity ends. Once upon a time, my brother Greg and his family came to visit. They met our cats as they (the cats) sauntered by to check out the newcomers. They met Nosey. Later, Edison came strolling by and Greg said, 'What's his name again? Nosey?' I said, 'Oh no! That's Edison.' Then he asked -- I still can't believe this -- 'How can you tell them apart?'
Firstly, well, duh.
Secondly, Greg may not be a Crazy Cat Man, but he grew up in the same house as I did, the same house that always had at least one resident cat and various neighbor cats that passed through. How he made it this far in life w/o recognizing the subtle yet telling differences between individual cats...I'll never know.Thirdly, and I can't stress this enough: Well, duh.
Fourthly, even when not seen side by side, there is a world, nay, a universe of difference between the two. Most striking is the fur. Nosey is mid- to long-haired and he generally appears slightly disheveled (he cleans, but not fastidiously). Edison's fur is a very sleek, shiny coat that lies quite close and gorgeously so.
Then there's the VanDyke on Nosey's chin (hence, the shelter christened him VanDyke, which remains his official name for legal purposes) and the noticeable lack thereof on Edison's chin.
Then there's body shape and size. Nosey's about 16-17 lb.; Edison's about 11-12 lb. The former is about 1/3 larger than the latter. Nosey is longer, although Edison's no shorty himself. Nosey has this funky hump on his back; don't know what that's all about (he also has a funky sternum which is not obvious to the casual observer; I often wonder if his odd skeletal issues have anything to do with his chronic respiratory, uh, thing). He also has a bit of a paunch, kind of like guys get when they get older, drink more beer (usually while watching football) and spend more time on the couch (usually while watching football). Edison is very sleek, slender, lean...quite athletic looking.
Don't even get me started on the differences in personality! Of course, personality isn't generally noticeable upon the first casual meeting. The bottom line = more than a cursory glance will reveal differences between cats and, once you see these differences, you'll consider them gulfs that cannot be bridged.
And now I'm off to enjoy Nosey's company as he purrs next to me while I surf the internet.