On Tigers: Stripes and Coats

Today, an interesting problem arose: Do the characteristics of a tiger depend on what color its fur coat is? For example, if we have a white tiger and a casual one (or should I say ‘normal’ one?), then are their personal characteristics different because they have different color coats?

I’ll introduce you to my line of thought on the problem (on which I also consulted a few other persons, though their opinions were not conclusive, nor very well presented either), but firstly, in case you don’t know who I’m talking about:

Casual/Normal TigerWhite Tiger
So, on the left, we’ve got a white tiger, and on the right the other one. They look quite the same, and yet, the question continues to puzzle me. [At least they were Left and Right in the Rich Text Editor. The Preview doesn’t seem to agree with me though so I don’t have an idea how it will turn out.]

So, here we go:

Firstly, when we take a look at the tigers, they are similar. There might be small differences which amount to the length of the whiskers, or something trivial like that, but, in principle, the tigers are similar. So, do the two tigers have differing personalities because one has a white coat, and the other a light brown one? I would assume that they do, for even if they don’t know about it the coat is how the entire world sees the tigers. They might not care that they are white or light brown, but since everyone else has the appearance of a white or light brown tiger so do the two tigers notice how everyone acts differently when either appears.

Secondly, one of the persons who I asked for advice in this matter said that the color of the coat does not matter, since if we use humans as an example, darker-skinned humans don’t have different personalities from lighter-skinned humans because they have a different skin-tone, but because they are different entities. Now, if we project this into the world of tigers, we would say that the two tigers have different personalities because they are different tigers. *But*, if we now negate this single outward difference and remove the color from the tigers (and the humans), would their personalities really remain the same? I seriously doubt it because it is illogical to assume that the loss of color (or change into another color) does nothing to the personalities of tigers (and humans) when they are used to their own colors. But when we assume that tigers (and those two humans as well) object to the forceful changing of their color, and that their personalities would change if we took that color away from them (which seems entirely logical to me), then it would also be correct to stipulate that their personalities are different because they have a color, even if everything else (including the set of mind, and outlook to the world) is the same.

Therefore, I conclude (with perhaps not the best kind of logic and line of thought used, but nevertheless conclude) that tigers have different personalities not only because they are different specimens, but also because their coats are of a different color.

Now, you might be wondering, is this the case with elephants and leopards as well? I’m quite sure I cannot confirm or deny that at this point… for it will require careful consideration to either prove or disprove the same in those instances.

For the final part, perhaps, a short piece by G.R.R. Martin:

And who are you, the proud lord said,
That I must bow so low?
Only a cat of a different coat,
That’s all the truth I know.
In a coat of gold or a coat of red,
A lion still has claws,
And mine are long and sharp, my lord,
As long and sharp as yours.
And so he spoke, and so he spoke,
That lord of Castamere,
But now the rains weep o’er his hall,
With no one there to hear.
Yes now the rains weep o’er his hall,
And not a soul to hear.


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