tortitude tortoiseshell cat personality

Tortoiseshell cats are named for their distinctive coloring – a combination of patches of black, brown, amber, red, cinnamon and chocolate.  The size of the patches varies from a fine speckled pattern to large areas of color.  The term “tortoiseshell” is used for cats with brindled coats that have few or no white markings.  Cats of this coloring with larger areas of white fur are called calicos. Sometimes, these colors present in lighter versions such as lilac or cream.  Torties with this lighter coloring are called dilute torties.  Occasionally, the typical tortoiseshell colors are also seen in a tabby (striped) pattern, and these cats are sometimes referred to as “torbies.”

Tortoiseshell cats are almost exclusively female.  Tortoiseshell and calico coats are the result of the interaction between genetic and developmental factors.  The occasional and very rare male tortoiseshell cat is the result of a genetic mutation.

In addition to their distinctive coloring, torties also have a reputation for unique personalities, sometimes referred to as “tortitude.”  They tend to be strong-willed, a bit hot-tempered, and they can be very possessive of their human.  Other words used to describe torties are fiercely independent, feisty and unpredictable.  They’re usually very talkative and make their presence and needs known with anything from a hiss to a meow to a strong purr.  These traits are stronger in tortoiseshell cats than in calicos – it seems as though these traits are somewhat diluted with the addition of more white to the color scheme.

As of the writing of this post, I share my life with Amber*, and those of you who’ve followed this blog for a while have gotten to know her in her Amber’s Mewsings posts.  You will soon be able to read all about Buckley in Buckley’s Story – Lessons from a Feline Master TeacherThe photo above shows Buckley in the front, Amber behind her.

Prior to Amber and Buckley, there was another tortie in my life.  Virginia was the first office cat at the animal hospital I managed.  She was my introduction to torties, and my love affair with this particular type of cat began with her.  She, too, had the “tortitude” I so love about these particular cats.

Do you have a tortie or calico in your life?  Does she have “tortitude?”

*Sadly, Amber passed away on May 13, 2010, after a sudden, brief illness.  I now share my life with Allegra and Ruby, two tortoiseshell cats who have their own columns here on The Conscious Cat, titled Allegra’s World and Ruby’s Reflections.

Photo ©Ingrid King, all rights reserved

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14,555 Comments on “Tortitude” – The Unique Personality of Tortoiseshell Cats

  1. Another unexpected behavior from Gigi.

    To get the full impact, please keep in mind she is 8 years old, 15 pounds of very big, solid, long haired torti.

    She still has a kitten-like enthusiasm for playing with shoe and boot laces.

    Doesn’t matter if you are putting them on or untying the laces to take them off, she comes running to swat at the laces.

    Given her age, size and appearance, it is unexpected and looks funny.

    • 8 years old and 15 lbs. and still acting like a kitten is great.
      Probably showing Taz the new work out routine of 2016 for staying in shape.

      Next thing will be doing laps around the house with Tim…

      • “Next thing will be doing laps around the house with Tim…”

        Already happens, once in a while. 🙂

        She is very placid and puts up with a lot from “the kitten” but every once and a while, she has enough and gives chase.

        Fortunately for him, she can’t catch him but she keeps him on the run.

        She basically is like run away torti freight train at full gallop.

  2. A final story on my foster cat & kittens

    I took the momma cat and kittens to the Vet with Bernie last week to be tested for FIV/FIP etc. Was told only the Mom cat would need the test because if she was clean the kittens would be also.
    She passed but all had fleas. Med for them. And we had the Mom & little male cat fixed. The female kitten didn’t weigh enough yet. And the Vet told us that a week earllier she had another tiger striped older cat and 4 potential adopters who wanted her. Usually the other way around. The next day when we stopped in the papers for the Mom cat were being signed.

    A week earlier i thought I had found a home for the female kitten but after 1 day was told things were not working out. The family had another cat and young kids and I was old that the kitten was hissing, scratching and biting. Must have been a different cat because the one I gave her just purred and wanted attention. Then I find that they hadn’t given her her own room to adapt and she was hiding and not eating. Don’t blame her.
    Took her back and on New Years Day a co-workers sister stopped by to look at them. The next day she said she would take both. Picked them up last Sunday during MY STEELERS FOOTBALL GAME. I made sure they were taken out and safely delivered to their car. Don’t have their names yet but they are doing well.
    I don’t think I make a good “Foster Parent” as I hated to see them go.

    • Jay is so right. The kittens and momma cat were delightful to have around. I was there as of Christmas Eve until Monday after the Football game. Jay and I would go into the master bathroom to play with the little ones regularly. After our first trip to the vet, momma cat and little tuxie, were kept for spay and neuter. When we told the vet we would be trying to find good homes for these rescued cats, Jay vet jumped into action. Momma Cat had her forever home by the AM. Jay said goodbye to her the next day in the recovery room. He had a hard time saying goodbye. We brought the little tuxie back home and he acted like nothing had happened. Those 2 little kittens were lovable and playful. Yes they had fleas and they were treated. Then I had Jay get the flea Meds from the vet to flea his own cats, even tho they had been isolated, you all know they played toesy under the door so all were fleaed. When they left, I did not go out to watch them go. Jay walked all the way to the car. Jay is right, being a foster is difficult. Letting go of them is so very hard. The bathroom door being opened was a reminder the babies were gone. Jay’s Diver, Tabasco, and Frankie layed at the doorway to the bath, seeming to want the little ones to play. Yes, even the older cats don’t make good fosters. They would have kept them all if they could.

      • It has to be so hard to let foster cats go. I know I couldn’t do it – Amber, my one and only foster failure, was proof of that – but thank goodness for people who do!

          • Right now the temp is 18 degrees with a wind chill of 5.
            Makes me so glad those kittens aren’t out in that weather.
            But when I took them in I knew it would only be until I got them homes. That’s why I never named them.
            Presently I have a mini mule in the pasture without a name and he is 8 months old.

            I’m thinking of painting him BLACK and tipping an ear. Harry or Bernadette will think of taking him in as an Unusual House Panther.

      • As a foster mom I know how hard it is to let them go. The way I look at it is when they find a good forever home it is time to save more kitty lives. If we don’t take them in they dies or live a terrible live. Love my babies!

  3. I happened upon your site having just adopted my first dilute tortie. Didn’t know their particular personality but thought they were beauties. My Kala is just 3 months old but quite the character. We have only had her a little over two weeks but she has already settled in nicely with 5 yr our orange tabby Popoki. I look forward to reading other people’s posts on here and watching Kala grow.

    • hello im intersted to know where you got your kitten at? me and my fiance are looking for a young kitten around a few weeks to a month

      • Check your local shelters and rescue groups, Caitlyn, but don’t expect to adopt a kitten younger than a month. That’s too young for kittens to be separated from their mom.

  4. Sometimes I question the wisdom of me visiting the pet shop’s cat adoption section.

    On Dec. 29th, I looked in on one while purchasing a few items.

    There was Gigi’s alter ego; about the same size, age and log haired.

    Then I read the description which went something like; “I love people, but would like to be your only cat…etc.” Unfortunately, this would not work out too well, although she might have taught young Timmy respect (or at least fear 😉 )

    Where Gigi has white mitts, stockings and chest, with a ginger face, this torti is dark, including the face and legs, with just a hint of cream color fur in a few spots.

    I would have loved to take her home, except I know there would be trouble, I have got to stop looking in on the adoption sections.

    • Glen, I am the same as you. I tend to avoid the shelters and pet places with adoption centers. Every time I look into the eyes of those hopeful cats then have to turn away breaks my heart. When my little Onyx walked up to me in the storage lot of my mechanics car repair shop and put his paw on my leg and looked at me with those big gold eyes I knew I was taking him home. He does fit in well with all my others. As to being a “only cat” in my house that would have been Stirfry. She wanted no others but still existed by letting everyone know to keep their distance. But she loved me and tolerated her son Punky. He could do things to her that would get any other cat torn to shreds.
      And even Eclipse who was a “feral” cat and came in at the same week as Onyx gets along with the others, so you never know.

  5. I love this! My one-eyed tortie that I adopted from the local humane society has so much attitude and uncontrollable wanderlust that she has her own Facebook page ( Everyone in our small town knows her – she goes inside all the local businesses. She also happens to be the softest cat I’ve ever had. And so many folks have mentioned owning sassy tortoiseshell cats. It’s fun – and an adventure!

  6. An update on my foster kittens.
    They are now sleeping with Mom and getting along fine in the bathroom. I can hear the toy with the balls that race around a track being played with.
    And this morning discovered that someone found the toilet paper roll makes for a fun toy and extra bedding.
    And I potentially have a home for all 3.

  7. Does anyone else have cats the nip for attention?

    Gigi is a “gentle giant” of a tortie and is very placid, but she does exhibit one odd behavior.

    It happens rarely but sometimes she is very insistent about getting attention when she is with someone that is sitting or lying down, she nips if you don’t pet her.

    This is not a bite with open mouth/full fangs, but a pinch with the front teeth, like they do when they are grooming.

    This still pinches pretty hard and is a bit painful.

    She doesn’t get punished for it but we don’t let her continue, don’t want to encourage it.

    Otherwise, she is very placid and never does anything else to hurt people or the other cats.

    • Glen, Gigi is nipping with the little front teeth, not to show any type of attitude, quite the opposite. You see, my Justice, (Tortie) nips me the in the same way. It is a sign of true affection for their humans. It is sometimes a little pinching but if you are getting the nips from Gigi, it is her way of telling you how much she loves you. That is a trait among cats and their humans. It is all about how they return your love.

      • Yeah, they are like grooming bites.

        She is very affectionate and gentle, so I think thats a good assessment.

        She is a big, strong cat which I think makes the bites seem a bit hard.

        • Glen, you and I are among the lucking ones to have our Torties show their love by the nipping. Many never get to experience the total love of a cat for them. I will not stop Justice when she does this because she is loving me. She stops and then rubs her side chin against my arm or leg. I take that to be her form of a hug.

          • As long as you don’t mind Justice doing it, there’s nothing wrong with it, Bernie – continue to enjoy! I just don’t want other readers to get the impression that this behavior is an expression of love, or that it’s a behavior unique to torties.

        • Ingrid, I respectfully disagree with that statement “this is a demand for attention”. Justice will do this while she is being petted and held. She will be lying along my leg and I will be petting her and this is her sign of affection in return. So on this topic, with the actions of Justice and when these gentle nips are given, it is a sign of affection from her. On this topic we will just have to agree to disagree. I don’t find this to be a a broad brush stroke, on one size fits all.

    • The only one of mine that does that is Diver. He will bite with mouth wide open but the teeth barely touching the skin. Styx, my other Tortie will sit on the floor and look up at me and bark. Onyx, even though over a year plus old still has a kitten squeek. And Eclipse walks around the house talking in a weird noise almost like a cry.

    • Three of mine do this. It generally doesn’t hurt when they do, but it certainly can startle me. Occasionally, one of them will run after me, swat my legs and then give that little nip.

      • Running after you and swatting at your legs is a sign of play aggression, Gail. You can divert and correct that by tossing a toy – it helps to always have one or two in your pocket 🙂

    • It’s not uncommon. It’s good that you don’t punish her – punishment never works with cats. However, you also don’t want to encourage this behavior. The best way to handle it is to remove your hand with a quiet, but firm “no,” then ignore her. If you give her the attention she obviously wants, you’ll just continue to reinforce the behavior. Another way to diffuse the behavior is to toss a toy to distract her attention.

      • I haven’t had one who nipped me during affection for years, but now two of my fosters do–and oddly enough, in this house of black cats, they are the two gray ones! This sort of nipping often led toward overstimulation in the past so I don’t encourage it because that can grow increasingly aggressive and these two are rescued feral kittens nicely socialized now. I just pay attention to what gets them started and avoid that whatever it is. I do sometimes get nips while others are bathing my hands, which is something Mimi does, but that’s her “co-grooming” with me. She really thinks she’s the boss.

  8. This is the tale of Jay’s male Tortie Diver and my Tortie gal, DaJudge. I found Diver at a rescue in Cleveland, Ohio. I immediately asked Jay if he wanted him, and of course he leaped at the chance. Problem, how to get him here. Well Jay did all the paperwork and so, with one eye with a patch from surgery, I drove to Cleveland to pick the Diver up. He was loving and adorable, until I pulled the Jeep out. Then he sang his ancestral song from Cleveland to my home southeast of Pittsburgh, where he would stay for a week. I only wish I had ear plugs. Now Diver, and my tiger tabby Liberty, who has since passed became best buds immediately. The Torties and Freedom didn’t care one way or the other. Then one day, the love fest with DaJudge came to a sudden and abrupt halt. My girls all have their individual marble sill seats. Liberty always had the highest point on the kitty tree. See the Diver took the liberty to take DaJudge’s window sill seat. DaJudge did not like that, even a smidgeon. She got herself up on the sunroom seating and she was hissing and growling at him to get off her window seat. Diver simply looked back at her as if to say “what” and just casually kept the seat. DaJudge has never forgotten or forgiven him. Now Jay, loves my cats, but DaJudge has always been the one he is drawn to. I believe it is her big round gold eyes. He is always saying he will take DaJudge anytime (she is going nowhere). I do believe if DaJudge were to meet Diver again, now that she has grown into this huge cat, Diver may have met his Waterloo. She would most likely take him down in a heartbeat for taking her window seat. You see, Torties are territorial. DaJudge is not only territorial, but that girl can hold a grudge.

    • Diver is the “Rare Tortie” as being both a Male and Total lack of Tortitude. He loves everyone and any new cat that come in the house. He is more of a Mother cat to Onyx and Tabasco than their own was. And he would welcome seeing DJ again.

      • Jay, Diver would love to romp with DJ. He is the most lovable Tortie I have ever seen. He has taken Onyx, Eclipse, and Tabasco under his wing as if they were his kittens. Now, having said that, he may be delighted to see DJ. DaJudge, my big Tortie gal, holds a Tortie grudge, and as you know Tortie grudges, never ease up. So I don’t see any type of Diver and DJ reunion in the near and maybe not even the far future. DJ is always going to be DaJudge. You will have to love her from afar. She stays here.

  9. I have not been on here as often as I would like. I am only getting hit and miss notifications of comments from the site.

    I have 2 Torties now, Justice and DaJudge, by seniority. Then I had the momma to Justice and grandma to DaJudge, a Russian Blue, named Freedom.
    My Torties have begun to show each other affection, such as grooming, and giving kitty nose kisses. I didn’t think I would ever see that start with the Torties. Now with Freedom, Justice can give her kitty nose kisses, but then Momma has enough. For a short period of time this past summer, DaJudge being the largest Tortie (or any cat) I have seen, decided to use her large size to throw herself at the other 2 in a manner to bully. She is build very tall and very long. 18″ high from the floor to the top of her back, not her head, and 37″ from nose to tail. Big girl. Freedom is short and compact, but she is a darling of disguise. Justice is only a 9# Tortie and no opponent to DaJudge. When DaJudge would decide to be a linebacker and throw herself against either of the other cats, I would tap my finger across her muzzle and tell her no. Well being a Tortie that was like say, right go ahead. So In August, Freedom, needed to go to the vet. She was not a happy camper when we arrived back home. A shot and blood drawn can make a mature cat a little testy or a lot. Well when I opened the carrier for Freedom to come out and go to her favorite spot on the couch, DaJudge was standing sideways blocking her way and ready to throw her body block into Freedom. Not today says Freedom. To my amazement, Freedom, pulled her lips back, like I have never seen, and this horrific guttural big cat growl came from deep in her little body. Scared the begibbers out of DaJudge and I must admit surprised me. Now to this day, DaJudge is no longer playing linebacker to either of the other cats. It only took her grandma one ancestral deep growl to let her know those days were over. And over they are. I no longer have to tap DaJudge on the muzzle for her actions. Her grandma took care of it once and for all.

    • Bernie, I’m not sure why you’re not receiving notifications. Everything looks correct on this end. You may want to unsubscribe and resubscribe again. Double check the spelling of your email address – that’s often one of the main reasons why people don’t receive notifications.

  10. Ingrid, I know Bernadette and Bernie had said they don’t get notifications if anyone writes on the blog. Not sure if Bernadette does now but Bernie does not. I asked if she had read what I wrote the other day and she looked and said that she was not notified that anyone had written anything.

  11. I took one kitten in on Sat nite, then the other Sunday nite. Bernie talked me into taking the Mom in so I got her on Tuesday after wook. When I let her loose in the bathroom I expected the kittens to run out and greet her. Instead as she walked around and smelled under the cabinet, they growled at her. she looked puzzled and walked away. The next day as I was sitting with her the little tiger came out. She walked over towards him and was groewling and hit him on the head. Is this normals after only being seperated for 2 days ?
    I know Punpkin when he was at the Vet over night would run to my dog Samatha and Tortie Tabatha as soon as he came home – even if it was a day or 2.
    But Punky was a big lovable cat so that might be the difference.

  12. At work we have a trailer park beside us with tons of cats. Some are somewhat friendly and others run as soon as the see someone close by.
    About 5 months ago there was a very friendly female that we would see out back near the picnic tables. Early in the summer a fence was put up between the property and the back area with the tables and a basketball court. They were being used mostly by the people next door.

    The cat felt safe and spent most of her time in the fenced in area. She was pregnant and had 5 kittens. After they were born Mom started to bring them over (not sure where they were born but we think under or near a trailer) and we watched them grow up. 3 were gray tigers like Mom and 1 was a fuzzy B&W and one black with white paws/chest and white tripe from his nose to over his head. I would call “kittens” and they would run under the fence and come over to us.
    About 3 weeks ago I saw all 5 on a Friday and Monday only 4. A tiger was missing. 2 were captured 2 weeks ago and found forever homes. One tiger the largest and the fuzzy B&W. The Black with stripe was caught and got out. As they were getting older we felt they should get homes before something happens to them. As I was the most experience (don’t know why they think that) I was elected to catch the kittens and then Mom. Kittens 1st as they will stick near Mom. Last Sat. I was working in the evening and was able to catch the Black with striped one. Both could be petted but he was the most skittish. I had my big carrier – (Fits 10 cats/ 1 large dog – think Great Dane) and Mom and the little tiger (he was the runt of the litter) went in and out but the black one would get near the front but if I moved he ran. Finally I swept my hand across him and pushed him in along with the tiger but saw one run out. Figured he got out again. But when I looked he was the one I caught. Took him home and he sang on the way home. Not nearly as bad as Diver though – Bernie 🙂 .
    Got home and set the carrier down. Frank ran when he heard the kitten – probably to protect the kibble bowl. Diver, Onyx and Tabasco came over to see him. I put a new litter box, food and water in the bathroom.
    But when I put the little guy in there he ran behind the toilet. I went out and took off my jacket and heard a crashing noise from behind the door.
    He had knocked candles off the shelf from the octagon window in the bathroom and was hanging on it. I picked him off and he ran behind the toilet again. I went out of the room and when I returned he was gone. There is a small shelf beside the tub and it’s only 4″ high. He was hiding under there. By then it was 11pm the next day I saw he had eaten and used the litter box but still under the shelf.

    I worked Sunday night from 3:30 – 7:30 pm and was able to pick up the little tiger and put him in my small cat carrier.
    Took him home with him rubbing up against my hand thru the wire front.
    Put him in the bathroom and after I came back in he was gone.
    Now this bathroom only has 2 sinks with closed cabinets, the cat carrier, a cat bed and food & water. But no tiger. I looked under the shelf and only saw the Black cat. Came out and asked my cats if they had seen him. All 7 were watching the door so if he had gotten out there would have been a trail of cats following him. I looked all over and then back in the bathroom. This time when I looked under the shelf I saw the black kitten and from behind him a gray tail and leg. Guess he was protecting his little brother.
    Now I have to find homes for them. Never been a foster before but have learned much from what Bernadette writes. Won’t talk about what I have learned from Harry 🙂

    • Make sure you get this kitten vetted before you introduce him to the rest of your cats, Jay. You want to be sure you don’t introduce anything contagious to your gang.

      • Ingrid, no fear. He had strict orders to isolate those kittens before he even caught them. They will not be joining Jay’s kittens. These kittens will get homes, and the Momma has a home waiting for her, but they can’t take her for 2 weeks. In the meantime, they will live in Jay’s Master Bath until adoption or placement with an agency . It is a large room.

  13. We have a 14-year-old tortie named Jasmine. At the time we got her we already had four cats and I REALLY didn’t want a fifth … but I was talked into picking her up and she lay in my arms like a baby purring away. She’s my hockey-watching buddy, and we call her “teddy bear beast” because when she walks she lumbers like a bear and she’s VERY cuddly. And she doesn’t meow, she bleats. She’s weird, but she’s ours!

    • We have a 6 year old Tortie, Patches. She arrived on our deck in April 2013 and she is special needs (blind in one eye). She is a f/t house cat with our Orange Tabby (her menace/love) & what a beautiful addition to our family she has been (and apparently a typical “Tortie”). Just found this site –what a pleasant surprise ❤️

      • I’m so glad you found us, Kathy. Feel free to post photos of Patches on our Facebook page – and that goes for everyone else, too. We love to see your photos!

      • Kathy, so great that you took in this poor girl. Was her injury recent or from birth ? Do you think she was tossed out of a home? Bernie took in her Tortie girl Steeler who had once been a house cat. No idea why they threw her out, she was an excellent companion (Did have Tortitude though). I know half my cats were either Barn/Junkyard/semi feral cats and 2 total ferals – Eclipse (House Panther) and Stirfry – Full Tortie.

        But in my house they are all loved and get along fine. Stir crossed the Bridge a year ago and let the other cats share the house – just not in the same room she was in. 🙂

    • Trish she sounds like she is giving you a lot of years of enjoyment. Somehow Tortie just pick who they want to live with. She picked your family many years ago. I know what you mean by the bleats, chirps and etc. My Torties do different sounds when they are “talking”. They truly are magnificent cats.

    • Trish, Jasmine sounds like a wonderful Tortie. Never heard one that bleats. But they do seem to make totally different noises ( My Styx has a bark, Steeler had a distorted meow due to an injury and Kasey – well Canada has deep woods and strange creatures so who know what her parents were). And as many of us on here know – like you said – “we already had four cats and I REALLY didn’t want a fifth”. Ya never say NO. Once they grab your heart and then ya name them and that’s it. I had only 1 cat. Then took in a Feral, She had kittens, and then another barn cat and so on. Now 7 cats with 3 Fosters. Soon will run out of window space for cat stickers like Harry.
      But as you get another there is enough love to go around.

  14. A question for all my friends and fellow cat lovers. It is Thanksgiving for us in the States. I am thankful for all my furry friends and Family on here.

    What is the “One” cat that has touched you the most? With some (Bernie & Glen) I think I know the answer. I know all are special but there is always that particular cat that touched your heart.

    For some it might be a special needs cat, your 1st or one that was given to you for a special occasion. And for some as with a family (my Shubin friends) it might be a cat for each one. One we know of or someone new to us all.

    With me is was my 2nd cat but a feral that trusted no one. Then one day she jumped onto my deck and rubbed against my leg. That day she gave her trust to me. And then I learned of Tortitude. But she was and will always be my soul cat and I miss her every day.

      • “What is the “One” cat that has touched you the most? With some (Bernie & Glen) I think I know the answer.”

        Yeah, for me, it would be the “Warrior Queen” Kasey. Between her harsh early life and that a cat that was that fearless and fierce could become such a pet in a home setting made her very endearing. She was a soul cat for sure.

        • Glen, Kasey picked you and not only became your special Tortie but a cat of the whole blog. We all mourned when she crossed the Bridge. Steeler was waiting for her and not long after Stirfry went to meet them. Those cats will never be forgotten and thru Ingrid’s Blog are known world wide.

        • My first cat Feebee was definitely a soul cat. But then, I had Amber, and then Buckley. They, too, were soul cats – all three of these cats changed my life in ways I never could have imagined. Feebee led me to my career in veterinary medicine, Amber inspired this blog, and Buckley, with the book she inspired, launched my writing career. I’m sure Allegra and Ruby have great things in store for me, too. 🙂

          • I guess I have to thank all 3 but especially Amber for having you write the Blog. Without that I would have never found my friends on here. Because of that and your book signing in Falls Church VA. I met you, Bernie, Bernadette and the Shubins and the Shubin 7 (cats). And I got to meet Brooke – a Tortie with Stirfry’s Tortitude. And later Steeler who was Stir’s equal.

            Hopefully when your new book comes out there will be another signing where we can all meet again.

          • It certainly would be appropriate to have a tortie family reunion at a book signing for a book on Tortitude! Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

      • Yes you know (Bernie and Glen). My soul baby was and always will be my Steeler. The most beautiful Tortie who ever rescued a human, and the most ferocious Tortie. I referred to her as my “Little Terrorist”. She made the most wonderful kitten to me and I miss her to this day. She picked me and I will always be grateful, that little bundle of Tortie decided I was the one she wanted to spend her life with, and she did.

    • Just one? Maybe I’m super lucky (or maybe I’m just so old that I’ve been able to be honored with more than one special cat over the years.)

      First, there was Ted, the orange kitten who chose me at the shelter and who I adopted even though I did NOT want another cat. He followed me to the bus stop every morning, delighted in chasing dogs, loved to play fetch, and was more “human” than many humans I’ve known.

      Then there was Allie, the torti kitten I did not want to adopt when my daughter brought her home, but who quickly insinuated herself completely into my life and my heart.

      The last one (so far) was Muggsy, the feral who showed up on the porch half-starved and who would not allow me to touch him for over a year until the day after I lost Allie. I was feeling extremely sad over her loss, and went out to the front porch where I sat on the steps, crying.

      That day, Muggsy, who up until then would never let me touch him, came onto the steps, sat beside me and leeeaaannned against me in what I accepted as a gesture of comfort. Shortly thereafter, I was able to make him a housecat and he became the third, and so far, the last, of my soul cats.

      • Gail, it sounds like Muggsy was one of those special cats that are very sensitive to a human’s feelings. He knew what you needed then and let you know then that he would protect you. What a wonderful feeling when they accept you and let you know that you are trusted. You are so lucky.

        • Yes, Muggsy was special. He was definitely a feral cat and had been living in the woods near our house for at least four years before he discovered the food I had left out on the porch for an outdoor cat that we had at the time.

          The vet estimated his age at six years old when I was finally able to get him in to be neutered. For a feral, he was amazingly gentle–never bit or scratched (unlike Bumper, the other feral who adopted me, who would attack with teeth and claws at the slightest provocation.)

          It took him awhile to get accustomed to being an indoor cat, but once he realized that indoor living came with lots of perks, he settled right in. He was always leery of strangers, but he became my best buddy for ten years before he crossed the Bridge.

          • Bumper sounds like my Stirfry. Stir was only 1 when I 1st saw her and it was approx 7 months before she came onto my porch. It was months of hot dogs to lre her even close to me. And then after she was finally an indoor kitty that I found she had Tortitude. She would go from sweet & innocent to crazed killer in milliseconds. And then back.
            But after she came to trust me she would play. But her idea of playing was slapping with her paws. Mostly with claws retracted but sometimes when the ” Tortie change” hit her claws and teeth came out. Even years later it was her way of playing. Bernie found ever with her claws removed (before I found out how cruel that is) that she had a hard left paw. She was a small cat but all muscle. Even being the smallest of my 7 cats then she ruled the house. No one dared cross her and when she went to the food dish they all left. Frankie tried to eat next to her but a low growl made him leave.

          • Bumper started coming around when he was a kitten. At first, he wouldn’t come to eat if anyone was in the vicinity, but he would stalk off into the bushes, making a gargling sound. I have never heard any cat make that sound before, and it was pretty strange.

            When he got a little older, he would show up, demanding to be fed, but would often attack me the minute I opened the door to fill the bowl. I started wearing high rubber boots and welding gloves trying to avoid getting slashed to pieces by him.

            He wouldn’t let us touch him at all, but after a very long time, he would shuttle between my husband and I and bump his head against our legs (hence, the name Bumper) but any attempt at touching him would end badly–for us.

            After I trapped him and got him neutered, I figured he would be a barn cat for us, but he had other ideas. One day he showed up at the door leading out to our deck and the minute I opened the door, he came in and let us know that he intended to STAY in.

            What really surprised me with Bumper was that he really, really tried to learn what type of behavior was acceptable once he became a housecat. A couple of times having a “time out” in the bathroom after attacking me or one of the other cats and he realized that attacking me or the cats was NOT a good idea, and he became an absolute love bug.

            Sadly, he had a congenital heart defect and had a fatal heart attack when he was only five.

            As far as little cats ruling the household go, years ago I adopted a 15-year-old tortie from the shelter. Ana had been abandoned by her people at the age of 14 when they moved away and left her.

            She had been in the shelter for over a year because nobody wanted to adopt such an old cat…so, of course, I did. She was with me for only a year-and-a-half, but she ruled the house. She was tiny, but none of the other cats dared to cross her. Anastasia was the epitome of tortitude.

            Oddly enough, not long after Ana went to the bridge, I adopted another long-haired tortie that was 8 years old from the shelter. I can’t be sure, but I think Punkin was probably one of Ana’s kittens. She looked exactly like Ana, but she had, unlike her mother, a gentle personality.

    • For me it was my sister’s first cat. We found him on a street of the city we lived in while we were in college (we’re twins and went to the same schools!). I just looked at him and I had to take him home. I didn’t even think about it..while my sister was pointing out all the cons of taking him, I was already picking him up. I couldn’t keep him but my sister’s boyfriend said he would. He was in our lives for almost 14 years. He wasn’t mine but I always felt like he was, if just a little bit. He died of cancer in March.
      He’s name was Calvin and he was different. He almost behaved like a human sometimes. He would just look at you as if he was trying to read your mind or see your soul. Some peopke found it a bit disturbing! But there isn’t a person who knew him who didn’t feel his passing.

    • Jay and everyone here, Oh Yes indeed, Steeler, was and will always be my soul cat. She rescued me when I really needed rescuing.She would not give up until she got her forever home. She is irreplaceable and always will be. She had the face of an angel and the Tortitude of a Mighty Lion, but she loved me, as I did her. I would jokingly refer to her as my little Terrorist. Jay, your Stirfry had her look and unlike Steeler’s sweet look, Stirfry’s look was something like, you better think about that and then run. Glen’s Kasey, was his special soul cat. She was in the same category as Stirfry and Steeler. Rumor has it Kasey could take down a Grizzly bear and I believe it. Brooke, Harry Shubin’s tortie, she ruled the house and the humans. They were and are always going to be remembered with love and I am forever thankful that Steeler rescued me.

      • “Rumor has it Kasey could take down a Grizzly bear and I believe it.”

        Kasey always did like a good scrap 😉

        She would growl at some things she saw outside.

        Early one summer morning, I heard her snarl (a sound not of this world) followed by her bodily hitting the screen, trying to get at something outside that must have come to investigate the window, I imagine it didn’t stop running for a while, whatever it was.

        If the other cats were squabbling in another part of the house, she would run towards the sound to get in on it.

        However, she was very friendly with people.

        Gigi, on the other hand, is a timid, gentle giant sort or torti.

  15. I’m the proud owner (or proudly owned by!) of a 7 month tortie named Becky. I definitely see a lot of tortitude in her. She’s also the most talkative cat I’ve ever seen. At first I actually thought she was in pain or something and I would worry about her. Now that I’m used to it I find it charming and funny!

    • Alexandra, congrats on your new Tortie. Becky sounds wonderful. At 7 months kittens love to plasy and being a Tortie, Becky has to tell you all about it. And Torties sure do “grow on you”. I have had a collection of 4 at one time. Now after 2 crossed the Bridge, I have Styx and Diver. Diver is special because he is a male. Styx because she has Tortitude.
      But all of my 7 are loved.

  16. Not a Tortie question but I notice that when rubbing the face of Frank that his fangs are exposed and outside his lower jaw and can be felt below it.
    None of the other cats are that way. I think Stirfry’s were but usually the were exposed when walking by any other cat ( a Hiss and Snarl were also used).
    And I see Tabasco has real long whiskers for a 9 month old cat. I know Frankie’s are the longest and he is also the WIDEST. Wonder if Tabasco will grow into his whiskers. If so he’s gonna be a BIG cat.

    • If his fangs have always been like that, it’s probably genetic. If it’s a recent development, he needs to be seen by a vet.

      As for the length of whiskers indicating how large a cat will be, it’s not necessarily a very accurate indicator. It sounds like Frankie may need to lose some weight!

      • I kinda wonder about whisker length.

        Longest whisker here are on 3 year old, skinny, 9 pound Timmy.

        Shortest are on 22 pound Taz.

        Gigi, the torti Empress has short whiskers and she is a cobby 15 pounds.

      • Frankie has very long whiskers and they actually are beginning to curl up a little like a mustache. I think Frankie could lose a little weight, but don’t you tell Frankie he can’t have his kibbles. As for his Canine Teeth, they have always been on the outside like this. He has been checked by the vet before and as recently as Monday last week. His teeth are good.
        Now on the side of my Torties and Freedom. Justice has the fang teeth over the lower lip and trust me, Justice has gone through so much vetting over the past year, they find no problem with her. You can feel them as she rubs her mouth against me, when she is showing her affection. DaJudge does not have the longer fangs. Freedom is a petite matriarch, a stocky matron of my kittens, and her fangs are short, almost like they should have been humans. I know Frankie is ok with his dental and Justice is ok with hers. Justice is a nice weight now unlike Frankie who needs the treadmill for more than sitting. My 3 don’t have long whiskers. Not a single one of them Now Jay’s little Tabasco, has really long whiskers for a 9 month old kitten. He is going to be one very big cat, very big. Most likely he will be bigger than my DaJudge whose stands 18″ high and is 36 1/2 ” in length. My vet says and I agree, her daddy must have been a bobcat. She weighs in at 15# so she is not overweight for her big body. Justice is my delicate Tortie weighing 8 1/2 # and a nice size for any cat. Freedom is 10 #, but she is low to the ground (short legs) but very muscular. She also has the guttural sound of her ancestral big cats and when you hear that come out of this little girl, it is always something “like where did that come from”. So it seems fangs can come in all lengths. Whiskers in Jay’s home, are exceptionaly long by any standard for Frankie and Tabasco. It sure is fun to watch those kittens play. Jay’s panthers Onyx and Eclipse, Tabasco, and his male Tortie Diver, play non stop. When one tires out the others seem to jump in. Now that Tabasco is so long and getting longer and Diver is tall and long, they can stand and reach items off the kitchen counters. Unbelievable. I have never seen such long tall cats like that. It must be the water out there. Jay is learning that Tabasco, Diver, Onyx and Eclipse are smart kittens. They all have learned how to open cupboards and Jay’s clothes closet. He has folding wooden doors on his clothing closet and Onyx figured out how to get those doors to fold open enough to get inside. Jay heard noises coming from his closet last week, and when he looked inside there was Tabasco, Onyx and Arianrhod. I see a slide lock in the closet’s future. Just some fun facts for the day.

      • Frank had his teeth done a year ago, but don’t know if they were that way before.
        I can see Steeler, Kasey and Stirfry having teeth like that as their closest ancestor is the Saber Tooth. But Frank ?
        His ancestors hunted the Wild Kibble and they don’t put up much of a fight.

        • Actually, Kasey did not have visible fangs, but the tips were broken off (I would prefer not to know how).

          Taz and Gigi don’t have visible fangs, but little Tim is a bit of a saber-tooth.

          This is funny since it is Tim, all 9 pounds of him. At 3 years of age he has not got his “big boy voice” basically his challenge noise is indistinguishable from his locked in the closet, rescue me squeak (the only way you can tell it is a challenge is by the body language).

          When Kasey issued a challenge, there was no question what it was.

  17. I just realized I haven’t received a comment notification from this post in a while. I’ve missed out on some news! So I’m commenting to see if I can start up the notifications again.

    • Well, this is not so much news, as I hope it is amusing.

      Gigi, my long haired, ginger face tortie w/white is quite large, at 15 pounds. She isn’t one, but if a search for “Siberian Cats”is done, she looks a lot like one.

      She is very solid and not flexible, as compared to most cats.

      This means she has cat instincts but can’t always fully react the way the instincts tell her to.

      She will often sprawl on the floor, then when I go by, she gets excited and jumps up, or at least tries.

      Her brain/instincts want to execute a supple, quick snap roll, hopping to her feet in one smooth motion.

      Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work the way it should.

      There’s some false starts and thrashing which finally results in her being on her feet, not real smooth; it almost looks like she could hurt herself.

      However, once she winds up on her feet, she scoots ahead of me, like nothing unusual happened.

      • Glen, Frankie has issues looking graceful as he looks like a soccer ball (Black and White and ROUND). But I saw little Tabasco doll over on the bed and fall to the floor. And then look around to see if he was pushed.

        • I like the soccer ball comparison.

          It is funny when they fall, I think because they are usually so well coordinated (well, most of them), that the fall is unexpected; and they react like “that didn’t really happen”.

          • Glen, the “Soccer Ball” look it what really made him become a forever cat. When he was an outside barn cat coming across the street for food and mainly attention I had thought of taking him in. Then one day when Bernie was visiting and we came down my road late at night I thought I saw him lying in a ditch at the side of the road. Thinking the worst I stopped the car at my driveway and ran back 1 block to see if it was him. Luckily it WAS a soccer ball and not a big kitten. Within a week I had him trapped and taken inside.

          • Frankie does look a lot like a bowling ball. He is however the kitten with the loudest purr I have ever heard. He also is so gentle.
            You are right about kittens falling off things. They do act like it was all a part of their plans. Now if Frankie goes rolling off something, I thing we would hear a loud KERPLUNK 🙂

          • Must have been a jolt to see that, good thing it was really a soccer ball.

            At least it worked out well for him 🙂

    • Bernadette, I have been having intermittent notices from here also. I keep looking. I got a few this past week. I don’t know why. Like you, I used to be a chatterbox. Now I am just a squeak. Ingrid, I don’t know why all the notifications aren’t coming thru. Jay had often asked if I seen the post on CC. I don’t. So I come looking.

    • Glen, he doesn’t have to be a tortie. He is a charmer. I bet he is one handful. He has the look of “look what I can do”.

      • Yeah, it was the look that got me.

        I am not sure if the photo “caught him in the moment” or if that was his normal expression.

        It looked like an active expression to me, sort of like Timmy had at that age, and at 3+ plus years, he is still pretty immature and very active.

        • Glen, I am one who likes the first visual impression. That kitten stepping in that manner, now let your minds go for a minute here, which is dangerous because you are going with me and my mind, just look and the first thing I thought was if there were a kitten on either side of this one, they would make the new “Rat Pack” with that stance and walk. Ok so Glen and the older folks here will know what I am referring to. You youngsters, trust us, there was once a group, not musical, that were referred to as the “Rat Pack” and not criminals. So this is my visual of the kitten. He had it going on.

    • So true Glen. Those cats could scare much bigger animals just by a glare or snarl. No one wants to face the wrath of a full blown Tortie.

      • “Those cats could scare much bigger animals”

        Yeah, Kasey would not have considered that little dog a worthy opponent.

        But, she would have gone after it, anyway 😉

        • Maybe a quick Snarl. I don’t think Kasey would even think something that small would be worth bending a nail. Maybe chase it and hope it leads to something MUCH bigger and worth the challenge.

          • Gigi on the other hand, would likely come and rub up against it, trying to calm it down, being big on nurturing.

            Perhaps its the white feet and chest that has the calming effect 😉

            Your right though, Kasey would have used something like that as bait.

  18. A cat was dumped off on me at my acreage, and she is a tortie. I moved into town and now is my house kitty. Thanks for this article, I now understand her better. She is a real loving cat, needy, vocal, jumper, scratcher, and crosses her front paws while sitting down. I have never had a cat quite like her. She is so playful, and getting into everything. In a few more months she will have broken all the clutter dust gathering things. A good thing! And interesting to see her tactics of destroying them.

  19. I have a tortie calico. She is chocolate black and cinnamon with a white neck and white booties. She is the cutest cat I’ve ever laid eyes on. Boy does she have catitude! She is very talkative. She tells us when she’s hungry. She tells us when she’s wants to go onto her catio. She tells us when she’s tired and wants me to go to bed so SHE can go to bed. She also has a bit of OCD and likes to bring us 5 toys in a row while giving us a deep throat meow to let us know she’s coming, enjoying every praise for her gifts. She has a very jealous streak that leads her to body-checking her tuxedo brother (that is double her weight and size) for taking up to much of her humans attention. We adore her spirit. She is a joy!

    • Torties don’t take size into account when they want something. Your little girl is the Boss and let’s her big brother know it. Luckily all he got was body checked. 🙂

      • Do you have any experience adding a non tortie female into a home with a female tortie? My tortie Arya is just not having it! They are both roughly four years old and I am keeping the new kitty separate for now but when they get a glimpse of the other walking in and out of the room there is a lot of hissing and growling going on! My Tortie makes sounds as if she is possessed by the devil! With her jealous nature I am afraid it will be hard for her to accept the new kitty. I also have always felt she was longing for a companion to cuddle and bathe as she tries with her brother who just won’t have it. Any advise would be wonderful!

        • I am not the person to ask about putting cats together :).
          Our “Experts” on here are Ingrid, Bernadette and Harry. They have dealt with thousands of cats and getting them together. I think all have written articles on introducing cats to each other. Slow and gradual is what I remember. I never listened and just threw the new one into the herd. So far it has always worked. My former Tortie – Tabatha always took the new one in and now Diver ( my male Tortie), Onyx – house panther and Frankie – Tuxie all seem to welcome the new one and let them learn the ropes. Diver followed and hisses at my latest – Tabasco. Guess a new smell. But on day 3 was grooming him and now they play together like litter mates. I put a video up on my FB page of them playing just 2 days ago and just recently on 2 other Tortie pages on FB.

  20. I now have three Dilute Torties.
    Sami Cat (Samantha) I adopted two years ago. She was rescued by a no-kill shelter from a hoarder that had 125 cats being kept in deplorable conditions. She was sponsored by a local pet shop where I met her and it was love at first sight. She is literally the neighborhood welcoming commitee, and wants out when the children from the elementary school up the block are walking to and from school. She sits on our front porch until she sees the children approaching and runs out to greet them in the street in front of the house. The children stop and pet her and then she comes back on the porch and wait for the next group to come down the street. The also welcomes home our neighbors as they come in from work, and is the only cat I have ever owned that will come when called by name. I call her my cat-dog . This weekend I went to our house I’m the country to find someone had dropped two beautiful very young just weaned dilute Torties. The temperatures here are dipping into the thirties at night and they would have been no match for the wild animals. My husband , son and I spent two days coaxing them out with food and finally won their trust and now they are home safe and sound with us as new additions to the family. I was just beside myself with concern because they were far to young to fend for themselvesm, and I was shocked at the cruelty of someone casting them aside for no other reason than being females. When they have settled in a bit and fattened up some off to the spay/ neuter clinic for spaying and shots.

  21. I thought of Kasey today, as I often do.

    The office I work from is on our 10 acre dock site in a rural part of the north shore of Lake Erie.

    We get a lot of wildlife visiting, today it was two, almost adult sized, foxes.

    A co-worker remarked that his 22 pound Maine Coon would likely chase them off (though he is an indoor cat).

    We checked out a website about red foxes and he may be right, it said they avoid altercations with large, adult cats.

    Then I thought that might have included Taz when he was younger.

    HOWEVER, there would have been no contest with Kasey, she would have likely sought out a confrontation, and I am sure that she likely did, more than once, when she was at the compressor plant, before I brought her home.

    • Glen, you might not know but as Bernie thinks of Steeler every day and I think of Stirfry. Whenever we talk about the Kasey’s name is mentioned. Those 3 plus Harry’s Brooke really got Bernie and I started on this blog. Kasey was an Elite cat as Torties go. I thought my Diver was rare as he is a Male Tortie and 1 in 5000. But after following all the Torties on Ingrid’s blog along with a few on Facebook, I think ours are even more scarce. Maybe being tossed out, mistreated and in Stirfry’s case Feral had an affect on their Tortitude but they had it to the extreme.

      But everytime Bernie and I visit and look over old pics of out girls, we talk about how much they are missed and how Kasey was ours as much as yours.

  22. Gawd it’s been forever! Anyway, just wanted to check in and let everyone know the girls and I are doing well. Strangly enough, Shanks, who came along and stopped Monkey from bullying Peaches, had become Peaches’ bully. My “Metal Voice” doesn’t phase her either, she’s totally oblivious. So I’ve started, at the first sign of aggresion, calmly picking her up and shutting her in the back room for a little while. Her and Monkey and still besties, so by the time I let her out, she’s so glad to see Monkey, she’s forgotten all about bullying poor old elderly bitchy Peaches

    • Good to hear from you, Lynn, and I’m so glad all is well with the girls. Sounds like you’re handling Shanks perfectly, um, I mean, purrfectly.

    • So glad to see you back on here Lynn.
      You are one of the origionals. And I remember Shanks had “gender” issues as you thought she was a male. Poor girl was totally confused.

      Now my Diver had people confused as everyone thought he was a female as he was a Tortie – Now that is a simple mistake. And Diver does act more as a Mom as he loves everyone – especially kittens.

      But, glad your back on and expect to hear more from you.

    • Hey Wildchild, good to see you here. Shanks a bully?? Really??? Considering his Cat mom put her thru an identity crisis, I am surprised she hasn’t had to go to Cat Therapy. Like your approach to protecting Peaches. I had DaJudge, youngest tortie, try to be a bully with Justice and Freedom. She acted like a linebacker and would throw her weight at them. Then the day came. Yep. I had Freedom to the vet and she wasn’t happy. So when I let her out of her carrier and she entered the dining area, DaJudge was standing full body side at her ready to throw her weight at her. Freedom had it. She pulled her lips back and let out a hiss, like one of the truly big cats, at DaJudge. End of DaJudge bullying. DaJudge is no longer a bully and to this day does not try to bully either Justice or Freedom. So whatever that noise Freedom did meant, it was all that was needed for DaJudge to be broken from all bullying tactics.

  23. On Wed., Sept. 23rd, I took a vacation day to get some things done outside, around home.

    Gigi would prefer that I stay inside with her.

    It seems to be OK if I leave the area, but if I am out in the yard, she knows it, and thinks she should be with me.

    For the first 3 or so hours I was out, she waited by the back door, something she only does if I am out in the yard or working in the garage.

    Kasey used to do this too but Gigi might just be even more prone to it. In some ways, I feel bad for her, waiting like that.

    • Every night I come home from work I have 7 cats waiting for me. The 2 kittens/youngest ones – Tabasco and Onyx try to be 1st, Diver is always there and Frankie pushes his way thru as he loves scratches. Styx walks over slowly for a sniff to make sure it’s me and then a chin rub. Eclipse used to stay away but now will run to a nearby scratching post and claw like crazy. Then I can give him an ear scritch. Arianrhod is always last and will let me stroke her fluffy tail and give her head rubs. Being a Goddess she needs special attention. Bernies cats on the other hand will show up maybe when she comes home. And that is only to make sure she brought in treats.

      • Glen and Jay. I am not one to “envy” what others have. Having said this, I do, in this area, envy all, including you and Jay, who have their little ones come to them as soon as they come thru the door. My girls are aloof. It is just as Jay has said, mine don’t come to greet me, oh no. Not even if I shake a treat bag. They are so spoiled and independent, they will show up when they are darn good and ready and that could be a few minutes after I come home or an hour. Yep, in this home, I am the “outsider” so to speak. 🙂

        • Although tonight, Gigi was denned up downstairs and must have been real comfortable, because she did not come up when I came home; this happens occasionally.

          Usually though, she is waiting 😉

  24. Kittens that don’t grow up?

    Does anyone else have one?

    Tim has just passed his 3rd birthday and shows no sign of slowing down.

    Pretty much has two speeds, sleep and run. He has the activity level of a 12 week old kitten. Everything is to play with and any stimuli results in joyous running through the house.

    He seems smart enough, just mentally immature.

    I don’t know if it is nature or nurture. He arrived three years ago, young enough to still require bottle feeding. He has basically only known this house and that people are here to feed, look after and entertain him, so I think that may be a contributing factor.

  25. I was thinking this morning that Gigi could come under the description of “Cats that look fierce, but aren’t”.

    She was in the kitchen with the classic torti stare, wild looking.

    This is just an appearance because she is actually very docile, friendly and attentive, and she can do those expressions, too.

    Kasey, on the other hand, could look fierce, and was 😉

      • Could be.

        She was at the vet for her annual check up yesterday.

        All is well but she is 16.5 pounds, could stand to lose a bit but she is a big cat.

        She was very well behaved at the vet. Basically, she just lays down and looks at me, the vet and his assistant can pretty much do anything that needs to be done without adverse reaction, then at home, she does not hold a grudge about the trip 🙂

  26. I have 2 dilute torties. They have lots of different shades but instead of brown based they are grey based. Found as kittens about 7 weeks on my front porch.

    Was gonna give to no kill shelter cuz I had 3 senior cats already, 17+, and my wife was bedridden and quite ill. But when I said I was leaving to bring them she started crying so that ended that as I would have done anything for her.

    Now these cats are fully insane. Run through the house with puffed tails and bodies at 200 miles an hour. They talk up a storm to the point people think it’s a trick.

    Anyway the real story is my wif passed, bless her, and I learned that a friend found those two cats and didn’t know what to do with them. My sick wife, was never mentally sick thank god, told them to leave on porch and leave.

    So she set me up and she is now part of these two very crazy girls whom follow me like dogs. They are truly a blessing.

  27. I looked at today’s Calendar. Sept 1’st

    1 year ago I lost my Soul Cat – Stirfry
    Because of her I made many friends here on CC.
    And met a few feline companions of some on here.
    And learned how unique Torties are and how some have Tortitude.
    And some very few have it to the extreme. Steeler and Kasey were her equals. Stir had no back down in her and loved almost no one. But she loved me. I will see her at the Bridge, but for now she is my angel and watching over me.

  28. Hey all,

    I haven’t posted in some time but wanted to share. We recently moved to a new apartment which my younger two cats (Smudge and Bitsy) took in stride. It was Gus, my adult tabby tom, threw a fit. Not a happy boy is he!

    Smudge, my pastel torti, fascinates me. She is getting more and more color to her coat the older she gets. She’s just past her 2 year mark and when I showed her to the woman who fostered the litter she came from, she didn’t even think it was the same cat! Besides the black & chocolate smudges on her face and her orange ears she has deep mocha spots on her torso and she is getting streaks of orange throughout her entire coat. It looks like she is starting to rust 🙂

    I was wondering if any of your torties ‘whine’ at you. My Smudge is particularly fond of Temptations kitty treats (aka kitty crack). She has gotten it into her head that any time I lay in my bed she should get treats so she sits and stares at me and makes this pathetic little sound high in her throat. She is so persistant it reminds me of kids in the check-out isle asking mom for candy.

    Such a sad, sad kitty 🙁

    • Hi Kate, I had to respond to your comments about Smudge. You asked if any of us have Torties who get their snacks in bed???? HUM, well yes, mine do every night and as soon as they see my eye open in the morning. I had a soul Tortie named Steeler, the light of my cat world. She had been my 1st cat ever. Well I spoiled her rotten. I kept treats under the pillow on my bed for her. She would sleep on the pillow beside me. Yes she would let me know she wanted her treats. Only her way was putting her one paw, with claws extended, and lightly touch my arm. She got her treats and fast. She passed. I now have 2 Torties, Justice and DaJudge and a Russian Blue, Freedom. So if I didn’t know better I would say Steeler has spoken from the kitty heaven and told them about the treats under the pillow routine. I can’t speak for the others, but yes mine get treats in bed day and night. I keep a cover sheet over my blanket just so their “crumbs” don’t get onto my bedcovers. They are picky. There are certain flavored treats they will eat only a part of and leave the rest. So, yes, I share your little ones habit with all 3 of mine. Treats make for happy kittens and they don’t care about the time.
      I truly enjoyed your tale of your Smudge.

    • Kate, Smudge is such a great name for a tortie! I have a friend here in Australia who called her tortie “Egg” because it looked like somebody had thrown scrambled egg at her … My tortie, Gracie, likes to chatter … sometimes it’s hard to keep her quiet! And she likes to be “really helpful” by helping when we put clean sheets on the bed … makes a 5 minute job a job that lasts for 20!

      • They are such funny little critters, our torties. Miss Gracie hates the smell when we open a bottle of valerian sleep tablets, but give her the container when it’s empty (and not washed out …) she’s in cat heaven. She also loves to rub her face against the plug from the hairdryer when it’s just been unplugged (I think it has a weird hot metal smell, but … what would I know?)

      • Ingrid,

        I did love your article 🙂 My little ones always think that my dinner is something that they want to eat but end up turning their noses up too.

        One of the other characteristics about Smudge that makes her so different from my other two cats is the amount of face marking she does. It seems like everytime I look at her she is rubbing up against something. She also makes this really high pitched meow (especially when she is marking everything that I am shedding when I get home from school/work) that sounds like “Mine!”. Cracks me up every time.

        She really likes to smell my shoes for reasons I will NEVER understand! Yuk 😛

    • Kate, all my cats (7 as of now) make different sounds. Frankie (my Tuxie) has a meow with a question mark after it – sound like he is saying Me ?.
      My Tortie Styx has a bark and when eating will come up to my fave a bark at me.
      When eating I rush to the bedroom and close the door. Locking it and placing a chair up against the doorknob might be needed. All mine love people food.
      I have met Bernie’s 4 (Justice, Freedom and DaJudge (Liberty crossed the Bridge) and none of them even pay attention to people food. Now, I did meet Steeler and she loved KFC chicken and sometimes roast beef. And I did get to find her asking for treats under the pillow. She asked once with slightly extended claws. The 2nd time she asked the claws were out and blood was drawn. She was one of those rare Torties that Tortitude was displayed 24/7. She was the boss and very dangerous. My Stirfry and Glen’s Kasey had the exact makeup. Top cat and woe to others that get in their way or piss them off. Now those 3 are waiting across the Bridge for us.

  29. Haven’t posted in quite awhile, but just wanted to let everyone know that my daughter has joined the torti congregation.

    Come to think of it, though, the pastel torti she adopted many years ago would qualify as well. How could I have forgotten about Callie, known at the shelter years ago as Madonna because of her nasty attitude.

    When we went to see her, however, the shelter volunteers were in absolute shock that “Madonna” allowed us to pick her up and pet her. Usually, she would rip anyone to pieces who tried to pick her up. When my daughter decided to take her I brought in the carrier, and “Madonna” simply walked into it without protest.

    She still has tortitude, but (and this drives my daughter crazy) any time I visit, Callie is purry and sweet and just curls up on my lap and bestows many kisses on me.

    Callie is getting up in years (18) and my daughter’s other cats are also getting older, so she has been thinking about adopting another cat. She was checking the local shelter pages and came across an older bonded pair of a big orange male (Aslan the Great Lion) and his small torti companion (Queen Lucy the Valiant) and fell in love.

    Aslan is 13 and Lucy is 8 and both were found as strays together several months ago and are totally bonded. They had been at the shelter for some time and no one seemed to be interested in them, but my daughter (I guess I raised her right) knew she wanted them.

    I went to visit them today, and they are great cats. Little Lucy is the more gregarious one and obviously will soon be exhibiting her tortitude!

    • Gail, so nice to hear a story on Tortie adoptions and what a perfect pair. So glad she took them both. Tortie pick their companions and love them fully Both feline and human. Once accepted you are never forgotten. Bernie Tortie’s Justice and DJ would come to see me hours after I swtopped to visit. But when Justice had a near death experience and I helped her thru it, she now rushes to greet me when I stop in. Torties never forget.

  30. I wonder if anyone else’s cats do this;

    If I leave the house on a non-work day, Gigi will wait at the back door for me.

    Last Saturday, I went out and she saw me go.

    I came back about an hour and a half later, and she was curled up by the back door waiting. This is the only time she curls up by the back door, it is not one of her preferred spots, otherwise, so I know she was there to wait for me.

    • Glen, Gigi has become your shadow baby. I think it is great she waits for you to come back in when she knows it is not a work day.I would say she is rather intelligent. My Steeler would lay in the sunroom and greet me when I came in from outside. Whether I went shopping or working outdoors, she would be there, always. Now this crew, well, they are something like, oh well, she’s back. The have become to comfortable and “lazy” to even greet me when I come home form being away.

    • There’s nothing better than a cat waiting for you to come home. Since I work from home, the only time I get to see that anymore is if I come back from errands or another outing around feeding time. 🙂 Then, both girls are sitting at the top of the stairs (I live in a split foyer home) waiting for me to come home.

    • Glen, unlike Bernie’s cats (who will greet you maybe), mine are always there to see me when I get home. I work 2nd shift so 12:30 – 12:45 as soon as I walk in the door there is a line. Right now Tabasco and Onyx (my kittens) rush to be 1st. Frankie loves attention so it usually right behind with Diver not close behind. Eclipse who once was feral will come to see me and will scratch at a post or tower to show me how dangerous he is. Styx will come to get her greeting and Arianrhod (my Goddess) will grace me with her presence and allow me to pet her fur.

  31. Hi there. I’m so glad I found this article. I’ve never owned a tortie before and this describes my baby girl to a T. She’s what you mentioned is known as a diluted tortie. She has dark grey, cream and ginger coloring. She’s 2 years old and whenever people comment on her, I say, She’s little but feisty. She dominates her much larger calico sister and tries to face off against raccoons. She does have a temper but fortunately if you annoy her, she just gets up and leaves. We always say she has two speeds, full speed and asleep. She’s also pretty friendly. She’ll come check out new people while her sister hides and actually tries to befriend dogs and other cats. I’ve never had another cat like her. Thanks so much for the article. It explains soooo much. 🙂

  32. It is funny to me how some cats will select a favorite territory; Gigi is very definite.

    She has the full run of the house and is comfortable anywhere there and divides her time through most of the house, but she voluntarily spends a lot of time in the basement.

    The basement is unfinished but is dry, heated to 70F in the winter, cool in the summer with enough windows to allow light in, nicely. It is cluttered here and has numerous cat beds and a large cat tree. I also have my computer there.

    Gigi likes to have me there with her. For some reason, she loves to lay on a cat bed about 5 feet away from my computer and just watch me and visit.

    If I am upstairs, she tries to lure me into the basement. If I start walking to the vicinity of the stairs, she runs ahead and tries to “trick” me into chasing her downstairs, with the expectation that I will stay there.

    It is funny to see her run down the stairs. Her back legs work just fine but due to her size and short legs, when she is in a hurry, she hops down the stairs with both back legs kicking in unison, which makes for an amusing sight when you are following her.

    • With Allegra and Ruby, their preferences of where they like to hang out vary, sometimes with the seasons, and sometimes, for no discernible (at least not to me) reason.

    • My girls hang out in whatever room I am in. They shadow me around the house. The Matriarch of the 3, Freedom, says if you want my presence you will have to come to me. The forties, are like, hey mom, what are you doing, we can help. Trust me. They are great help. I usually just end up laughing and quitting whatever I am doing and just pay attention to them. That is what they want if I am busy, they want me to pay attention to them.

  33. Today I took my car to my automechanic to get inspected. While there I saw a Tortie cat walk into the shop. I got my camera out to take a picture. When I did Dave, the Mechanic said “Don’t take my cat”. (9 months ago I aguired a small panther that Bernie named Onyx from his car lot late one night). His son then brought out a little black cat from her latest litter. I found out that this is Onyx’s step brother as his mom was that Tortie. Seems that evven when I get new additions to my family, there is always a Tortie involved.

      • Marg, NO please NO MORE. I hope Jay reads this. Enough already. He will fill the house and have to live in the barn soon. 🙂

      • Harry, I don’t think Jay told him. However, this is may be one of those cases where it may not be heeded or received well. I hope he would get her spayed. I agree with you.

        • Harry, Bernie, couldn’t agree with you more. Poor old mama cat … our second cat was a stray who had at least a couple of litters before we managed to catch her and get her desexed. She was my first Tortie (Cheeky). She was such a little feisty thing, I’m sure her growth was stunted because she was having kittens when she was only a baby herself.

          • Maybe Jay can approach the subject with him. They do have a TNR program in the area and it is inexpensive. I will mention it to Jay when I talk to him. Some people just don’t see the problem they are causing by not doing TNR. I am also a strong proponent of chipping. If someone is going to let their little ones out, then there should be a chip and collar so if it gets lost someone can return it.

      • Hey all, that’s the 1st thing I told him. Pet Pantry in Lancaster only charges $10 to spay or neuter. He was not interested. He has his shop on his farm.

  34. It has now been 4 weeks since I adopted Mozaic, and it has gone so well! I still miss Zesty terribly, but having the two girls to focus on really helps. I knew I had to get another tortie, and she is so cute, and is playful and affectionate and is getting along amazingly well with Topaz too.

    She had been hidden away in a shelter for at least two years (they estimate she is 3) and luckily I found her quite by chance, since she was not listed anywhere.

    We both had to endure her two weeks in isolation (in my small apartment’s bathroom) while waiting for a clean bill of health but she has had the run of the place since July 6. We also both had to endure giving her the most awful tasting (or so I have read) medicine as a precaution since she tested positive for giardia antibodies, twice a day for 12 days. I was off from work and she hid under the bed almost the whole time from July 6 til I went back to work July 14. Who could blame her. But she has not hidden since the 14th and is a delight.

    She had had so many firsts, the first full night spent sleeping on the bed with me and Topaz two nights ago, jumping up into my lap while I was at my desk today. (she would climb into my lap when I sat on the floor, but this time she jumped up into my lap.) I never saw a cat go so berserk as she did the first and so far only time I played with her with a laser.

    I saw Topaz go to her today and lowered her head so that Mozaic would groom the top of her head (like I had seen her do countless times over the years with Zesty), but Mozaic had no idea what to do apparently, but I thought that was a great sign all the same.

    • It sounds like things are going wonderfully well, Susan, I’m so glad. A little tip if you ever have to give Metronidazole again: place the tablet inside a gel capsule before giving it, that way, the cat won’t taste it.

    • Congrats Susan on you newest family member. She now has a forever home and will have so many firsts. The laser is always a fun toy. My Pumpkin would come running when I yelled LASER!!!!. As to grooming Mozaic will learn. Onyx learned when Diver started to groom him.

    • Susan sounds like your little ones are getting well adjusted to each other. Mozaic will learn the grooming by Topaz. It takes a little time, but they seem to have an instinct to return the favors.

    • Susan,

      I have been wondering about this “bowing so the top of my head can be groomed” behavior. The only cat in my brood of three that does this is my tortie Smudge and she only asks her sister Bitsy to do it…never my other cat Gus though they get along fine.

      I often think Bitsy gets the short end of the stick since Smudge is a shorthair and has never had a hairball as far as I can tell. Bitsy on the other hand is a longhair and is constantly working to keep up the grooming. She never gets any help and I can’t say the same about this half-pint not having hairballs. 🙁

  35. An announcement – over the weekend I got a call from my brother-in-law. Their landlord found out they had a cat ( it was his daughters who came home) and said they have to get rid of it. He was going to take it to a shelter. The cat looks like Dewey – The Library Cat from the book. His name was Little Bit, but it did not fit. I was asked to use the name Tabasco after a friends cat who is FIV. The name fits. I put up some pics on my FB page.
    Now I have . Catching up to the Shubins 🙂

    • Love the name, Jay … and he is just so adorable … You could have called him Sriracha … ! Your brood is expanding … but I guess there’s always enough room and enough love for more … !

    • I saw the pictures, a young “orange guy” 🙂

      I have found that orange guys are usually active and slow to grow up, mentally.

      Taz fit that description up to about age 10, at 3 Timmy is very much in that mode 😉

      Tabasco looks to be quite friendly in the pictures, doing the head butt at a young age.

    • Thank you Marg, Ingrid & Glen.
      I meant to say 7 as to the number of cats. That key doesn’t always work unless pushed hard.
      Tabasco is VERY active. Playing with, or attempting to, Onyx, Frank, Diver, Styx and Eclipse. Arianrhod keeps her distance – Goddesses should be approached only when given permission. Diver hissed at him the 1st day but now ignores him or watches. Frankie and Onyx play with him often. He was an only cat at my brother-in-laws and was scratching the FUNnature. Here is is too busy too. As to growing up – Frankie hasn’t yet.

      • Footnote: The GODDESS, as Jay calls her, behaves just like that. She says in kitty talk “bow down to me you peasants”. He has her so spoiled, I truly believe she knows what a goddess is.

    • Jay, please don’t play catch up with the Shubins. It takes 2 working to keep up with those cats. You are a single paying household. Time to say “The INN is FULL”. Harry, explain the $ to Jay. The older they get, the higher it goes. Having said this, I just love this little orange guy. He is high energy and gosh I haven’t seen that much energy since the energizer bunny.

  36. I went today to a Petco to see a tortie that I thought I might adopt (it has been just over 6 weeks since I lost Zesty) and I signed the papers and everything, (I do not have her yet, they will keep her for me until early July when I go on vacation) and I can introduce her to Topaz, my remaining kitty.

    But the second I left the store I had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. That is no way to be feeling after getting a kitty and it stopped me cold.

    I think maybe it is too soon, I still miss Zesty so much, or perhaps she is not the right kitty for me.

    I texted the girl I had been dealing with since yesterday and told her how I was feeling. She said nothing is set in stone at this point. I am planning on going to her house Tuesday to see the kitty in a different setting than a Petco, where she seemed stressed.

    Maybe I need to wait until I am not grieving so much, and I had hoped when I found the right cat, I would just know it. And this is the first kitty I have looked at.

    What do you think? Is it normal to feel this way? I don’t want to make a mistake. My overriding thought is that I do not want another cat, I want Zesty.
    Maybe that feeling will lessen in time…I really felt panicked today. Like what had I done.

    • Zesty can NEVER be replaced so don’t think that way. But when you go to sleep think of Zesty and ask her. Will she want you give a cat a forever home in her name ? I Bernie and my cases cats were sent to us ( Justice and Liberty for Bernie and Onyx and Eclipse to me ). They brought us joy and happiness. But our Torties are our Soul Cats and thought of every day. Storms yesterday and today brought Thunder. We KNOW that was Steeler, Kasey and Stirfry letting us know they are OK and watching over us.

    • I think it’s absolutely normal to feel this way, Susan. You may simply not to be ready for another cat yet. I wish there was an easy answer, but there just isn’t. It’s different for everyone. I know you know that you can’t ever replace Zesty, but until you’re really ready to open your heart to a new cat, you may want to wait a little longer.

      • Thanks Ingrid. I have decided there is no rush. I am going to visit a few shelters and meet lots of cats (yay) and fall in love with many I am sure, and when it feels right, I will bring a new forever cat home with me. I am still going to see Claire tomorrow after work as well.

    • Susan,

      I truly know the feeling that you are describing. As Ingrid said, you may not be ready for another cat but only you can know the answer that is in your heart.

      One question I have…was signing the papers at Petco on this tortie an impulse thing or “I’m in love with this cat” thing? Even if you felt that instant connection with this kitten while you were with him/her, I think that having doubts once you were separated could happen to anyone. Especially someone that had such love for a soul cat like Zesty.

      I know you want Zesty back. I lost a pet almost 10 years ago and still come to tears when I think of him. But just like people, the love for our animals isn’t the same. It doesn’t mean that you will never love a cat as much as Zesty, but it will always be a little bit different. But different doesn’t mean better or worse.

      You won’t be betraying Zesty by giving another cat a forever home. But I would implore you not to make an impulsive decision either.

      • There are a number of us, here, that have lost soul cats, Steeler and Stirfry come to mind, along with my “Warrior Queen”, Kasey.

        Intellectually, I knew Kasey was older when I rescued her and that she would not be with me as long as I would have liked. I thought I was prepared for her loss, but of course, I was really not.

        My situation was different, Gigi needed a home while Kasey was still with us, we took her in. Ingrid has posted her story;

        Kasey, who was normally very dominant with other cats, actually accepted Gigi and was never aggressive with her.

        After I lost Kasey, even with Gigi here, I looked for torti cats and kittens that were up for adoption. I guess it was an attempt to cope.

        Maybe if Gigi had not come along, I think I would have looked harder and brought one home.

        I realized that even if I brought one home, she would not be Kasey and someone said that I already had a torti, Gigi, who needed me and was starting to bond, here.

        Gigi is not Kasey, obviously; she is very different. However, she has her own qualities that I really appreciate and she and I have formed a tight bond. I am very pleased we gave this big girl a chance.

        Everyone is different in how they react, I could comment on what I would do but that’s me, the others have made some good points.

        • Thanks Glen! I appreciate hearing everyone’s thoughts on the matter. I will get out there to a bunch of shelters and meet a lot of cats and perhaps fall in love with many, and when the time feels right, I will bring a new forever cat home with me (and perhaps, if not a tortie, a tabby, they speak to me in some way and are so beautiful.)

      • Hi Kate,

        Thanks for your time in commenting, I appreciate it. I did not ‘fall in love’ with her on the spot, but it was not an optimum place to meet her, she was stressed just being there and I did not even try to hold her, but tomorrow after work I will go to where she lives (she has been there 2 years, with 15 other cats presently) and meet her where she is most comfortable and see…

        I know I will get another cat, if Topaz allows it (she is 14 and it was the three of us for the last 10 years) … but I have decided not to rush it, but just go visit a lot of local shetlers and meet lots of awesome cats and see what happens. No matter when I adopt, there will always been tons of cats needing forever homes. It breaks my heart that every cat cannot have a forever home, it really does.

        My dream if I could afford it, is to have a shelter with lots and lots of cats, but it would have to be done right, with vets on site, and people there just to socialize with the kitties and lots of space and a safe outdoor environment as well. It will probably never happen but it is still my dream.

        • What a beautiful dream!

          I think your plan is a good one and I have no doubt that you’ll meet a furry friend that will steal your heart (and maybe Topaz’s as well).

          My heart also breaks for every animal that needs a forever home. Just this weekend a friend was trying to sucker me into adopting another cat. I had to stand firm though it was extremely hard! But I live in a small one bedroom with 3 cats already, I’m a woman and I’m single. If that isn’t the Crazy Cat Lady starter pack I don’t know what is. 🙂

          Good luck in your search. My thoughts are with you as you let Zesty pass over the bridge.

          • Love the crazy cat lady starter pack!

            I am single (divorced) as well and in a small one bedroom apartment and would love to have 3 cats, but the limit is two here (I have been tempted to sneak a third at times in the past.)

            That is my other dream, to be a crazy cat lady, lol, nothing sounds better!

  37. Tim met up with a bit of tortitude today.

    Gigi is a “kinder, gentler” torti and usually puts up with and/or runs away from his immature foolishness. his is unlike Kasey, whom he respected and feared.

    However, tonight was different.

    Gigi was sprawled in the sun room in font of the screen on one of the patio doors, she loves to sniff the outside air.

    Tim came up to her and did that sit with an aggressive posture in front of her, ready to pounce. This looks funny because he is small for coming up on three years old, he is barley 9 pounds, but she usually runs away from the youngster.

    This time, she rolled on her side into the typical defensive posture and gave him the stare that said “if you come within reach, I will open up a can of torti, and pour it all over you”.

    He spun around and retreated, giving her a wide berth for the rest of the time she chose to be in the sun-room.

    • But we all know what Kasey would have done. Tim would have run thru the wall leaving a cartoon image as he got away from her. No one messes with a Full Tortie.

      • Tim pushes the line pretty hard, but he does know when it is best not to.

        Kasey was with us for the first year of having Tim.

        With Kasey, the event I described would not even have begun.

        One time when he was about six months old, I happened to see an example of this.

        Kasey was on one side of a piece of furniture, unseen, but Tim heard her.

        A sound was good enough for him, he crouched, then spring and launched himself as he rounded the corner (he was likely hoping it was Taz, assuming he planned that far ahead).

        When he saw who it was he assumed an extreme air of panic and while it doesn’t seem possible, he defied the laws of physics and aborted his leap in mid air.

        Even though he was only six months old and full of kitten exuberance, he wanted no part of the Warrior Queen.

        • Glen, I can picture that. Same as the Sat. Cartoons – Tim putting on the air brakes and legs kicking, turning around and going the other way full speed. No one wants to piss off the Warrior Queen.

  38. I have a muted tortie named Meka. She is special in her own because she has congestive heart failure too. But that does not stop her! She was diagnosed last year at about 9 months old. I wish I could show you all a picture, because she is just beautiful. Long haired with some white on her chin and paws, looks like she is a Maine coon honestly. She was a rescue from an apartment that was empty. The renters left her 🙁 she was so skinny and cute. But Tortitude? She has it all. We call her Satan because she growls to no end when you pick her up. You can’t touch her tail, she will bite or scratch you. But she plays well with my male tabby and gets into my grocery bags everytime I bring them home. She LOVES when I turn the hairdryer on, sits in the bathroom door wide eyed staring at me while I use it. She is a trip. She sleeps at the end of my bed at night when it’s cold, or at the top of my loft stairs when it’s warm. And when she wants love, you better devote a good hour to her. She will hunker down on your lap and expect you not to move. Since this is the only love time you get for the next couple weeks, you do your best not to move. She is a handful, but I love her.

    • “She will hunker down on your lap and expect you not to move. Since this is the only love time you get for the next couple weeks, you do your best not to move.”

      Ahaha, this is so true with my torti too! She always looks so miffed when I get up before her bi-weekly petting is done, she’s like “I pencilled you in for this?!”

  39. Gigi did something quite extraordinary today.

    I was at work and my wife, who operates a business from home, was preoccupied, working on her computer.

    Gigi came to see her which is not unusual, however, this time she was very active and insistent on getting attention.

    Then when my wife got up, Gigi took off to the kitchen and she followed her.

    There on the electric stove burner was a stainless steel kettle that had been forgotten and boiled dry; it was pretty much getting ready to turn red.

    his was a lucky break, that the Empress had become agitated by this.

    Even after the situation was taken care of, Gigi stayed in the kitchen for a bit, looking at the stove. I guess to make sure all was well.

    I got a call shortly after, telling me how smart Gigi is.

    • Glen, that is incredible! Not only is Gigi a “rescued” cat, she is also a “rescue” cat! We should never underestimate just how clever these little ones are.

      • She has impressed me as being a clever cat in the past, but this time she really showed it.

        I was calling her Fire Watch Kitty, this aft.

    • Glen, that is incredible! Seems to me that you “rescued” Gigi and now she has “rescued” you (and your wife!). Sometimes our little ones are surprisingly clever … !

      • Hah … I thought I had done something wrong with my first comment, so I rewrote it and posted it again … and Murphy’s Law … now there’s two of them … ! I think it’s going to be one of those days … only got 4 hours sleep last night, was tossing and turning like a log in a river. I finally fell asleep at about 1.45am, only to have Miss Gracie wake me up at 5.45am … ah well … what can you do with you have a personal cat-alarm?

    • Glen, what an amazing cat you have! They come into our lives for a reason, if only for one event to avert disaster and potentially save lives. Glad she was there to give a warning.

      • With her talent for detecting potential fire, you might want to consider a name change to “Sparky” (although now that Ingrid has mentioned Lassie that would be a unique kitty name!) 😉

        • That sure made me look at Gigi in a different light, I liked this big torti from first meeting, but this experience was quite unique.

          But I can’t rename her, she responds to that name quite well.

          Her previous family named her and at her age, we didn’t want to change it. They were of French Canadian background, so the French name is not surprising.

          It is French diminutive of Georgine or Virginie, kind of suits the Empress of the House” 😉

    • So glad you had Gigi on watch. I think extra tuna is called for (You probably already did).
      We know Kasey would have done the same thing – or probably torn the stove out of the wall and thrown it outside. Some Tortie are tough.
      So happy that you caught it in time. This should make your local papers.

  40. Not quite cat related but this is for my Cat Family. I had 6 cats, 2 mini horses and a mini donkey when I woke up this morning and let the mini’s out at 7:30am. At 10am I went to vote and looked up into the pasture. Saw Theia ( my mare) with what looked like a deer. It was a baby mini horse. Judging from the ears Buell ( my mini donkey) is the father.

    • Hey Jay, next time be careful how you vote!!!!! Just for the record, you have a new mini MULE not a mini horse or donkey. You explained that to me at length.
      Cute litte bugger, but now what? From the pics and video Theia is a very protective and caring momma. Let the fun begin. 🙂

      • Does this mean Buell is gonna have a “tipped ear” ?
        His ears are the size of most cats (this does NOT include Taz or Punky)

  41. It is going to be tough around here next week.

    I was home on Thursday and Friday, with the technology these days, I can work from home, so I am taking advantage of that when i can.

    Then this is the long week end in Canada, so I am home until Tuesday.

    The “Empress” has got quite used to her person being home, I foresee some separation behaviour on Tuesday.

    • Can’t wait to hear what happens. Just be glad she doesn’t have Kasey’s personality. Swat team would be called in if she did. 🙂

      • One thing about the Empress of the House, she is a calm, gentle creature.

        I came home, was greeted and a good brushing made up for my absence today.

  42. I stumbled across your website while viewing images from my Google search “window ledge for cats”. Ha, what are the chances! I am so glad to have found it, I’ve been skipping around your past posts for the last hour & have already subscribed to your email list 🙂 I’m just loving your site! I’m a fairly new Mommy to sweet, young tortoiseshell kitty Princess Leia, or P.L. for short (my husband is a Star Wars nerd!) P.L. came in to our lives at just the right time. My Mom has been fighting esophageal cancer for the last 2.5 years & her condition & health is declining, so we have many difficult days these days. Some days, the only things that make me smile come from little P.L.-loudly demanding breakfast at 5am, racing around the house chasing toys, balls & shadows or just the way she seems to sweetly ‘reply’ when I talk to her.
    Thank you for your site. I’m so glad to have found a place with like minded kitty lovers & to have found there is a word for my crazy tortoiseshell’s attitude – tortitude! 🙂

    • I’m so glad you found us, Jennifer! Princess Leia sounds like a great name for a tortie to me! All my best to your mom – I’m glad you have P.L. to help you through these difficult days.

  43. I loved reading all the stories about everyone’s tortie and I wanted to share my own.

    I have a 2 year old (what I now know is called) dilute tortie called Smudge. I came to this blog to try and figure out if a tortie who was mostly white was still considered a tortie. But if all that is needed is the markings and “tortitude”, Smudge definitely fits the bill! 🙂

    Smudge lives with her sister Bitsy, a long hair calico who has to be the most laid back cat in the world, and Gus, another rescue/feral about 2 years older than my girls. I originally got the girls to keep Gus company while I was in grad school. He was used to me being around more. Strangely, he and Smudge hit it off instantly but he and Bitsy…not so much. Smudge is the go between and helps keep the peace.

    This is the only way this cat can be considered peaceful.

    She thinks she is Mario Andretti’s race car (not the driver, the car) and uses my bed to bank around the corner into the hallway.

    She flies up and down her (not their…her) cat tree and then chases her tail around the top level. She will pause on occasion to look at me upside down during this process and check to make sure I’m watching.

    If she simply can’t wait to get up the cat tree she will jump and spin and dance and chase her tail around on the floor instead which I have never seen a cat do.

    She DEMANDS treats. I can’t remember who wrote that their cat sits in front of their computer tilting their head just so until treats are produced but this must be a tortie trait because Smudge does this as well.

    She is the most vocal of my cats and her meow is hysterical. Very high pitched so that when she mews she sounds almost like she is saying “mine!”, “mine!”, “mine!”. (Which, of course, I’m sure she is).

    She is fanatical about marking. I don’t mean she pees but that she rubs her cheeks on stuff. Shoes, purses, the furniture, you name it. As soon as I walk in the door she follows me around rubbing her face on anything and everything I put down…”Mine!”, “Mine!”, “Mine!”.

    She has figured out how to open all of my cabinets, even after I put baby locks on them. I even duct-taped them shut and she worried at it until it came off. It was a cabinet that I keep t-shirts in that she likes to use as a place to nap. I hate having itchy shirts at the gym. When I saw what she did, I opened the door and sure enough, there’s Smudge. She just opened her eyes and glared at me. I know she was saying…Jez, shut the door, would ya?

    I describe her as having the personality of Bart Simpson to friends and I love her to death! I have to say, there is NOTHING dilute about this cat’s tortitude. It is fully intact!

    • “She thinks she is Mario Andretti’s race car” – what a perfect description of a tortie’s personality, Kate! Some say that tortitude is even stronger in dilute torties – I’m thinking Smudge certainly supports that theory!

    • Hi Kate … Smudge sounds very much like my Miss Gracie (who is also a dilute!) … yes, “mine, mine, mine” sounds like Gracie too …

  44. I have the sweetest Tortie named Sarah. Twelve years ago she came to me in a tornado as a tiny kitten meowing on our porch. I spent the first couple of days with her, keeping her away from our other cats and dogs, and it was an immediate bond. She was just so loving and cuddly and sweet, and never stopped purring.

    She never liked other cats. At one point, she lived with 9 others at my mother’s house, and she basically lived under the beds hiding from the other casts. But the past 6 years with me she has flourished. She and my 90 lb retriever are the best of friends, cuddling and grooming each other all day long. She is alpha over my little long-haired orange boy Louis, but he doesn’t mind.

    I cannot imagine my life without her. She responds to my voice so happily, her tail always swishing practically smiling. Sarah is my little teddy bear, laying in my arms at night head nestling under my chin. And she is the loudest purrer I have ever heard in my entire life! But I love it!

    Go torties!

  45. Today is a day of sadness and remembrance, although my Steeler, a very special Tortie, passed over the bridge 3 years ago today, the pain and loss is as if it were this morning. She was so much more than a Tortie. Sure she was full of Tortitude and lived it to the fullest. She was also a beautiful, loving companion who rescued me at a time in my life that became the hardest time of my life. She was at my side and stayed with me day and night. Then she had to leave, and my heart has never been the same. This little bundle of kitten, who would go from loving to terrorist in a split second had stolen my heart, given me hope and love when I was truly in need of her solace. She could not meow as other cats, but she would curl up with me and just sense my feelings and became a comfort unknown to me. When she passed over the bridge 3 years ago today, I felt as though my world was completely crashed. There had been so much heartbreak and loss just 3months prior to her having to go. But through so many good friends from this site, and strength from all of these good people, I made it through the darkest hours of my life. There was Ingrid, Bernadette, Jay, Harry, Julie, Rachel, Lynn Glen, Marg, and so many others who pulled together to give me hope and surround me with support and love. I will never forget these wonderful people, they are not just faceless people on fb, these people, most of whom I did meet, are real, loving and giving people. They became my family and to this day, they remain precious in my life and always will. So on this day of sadness and remembrance, there this. To each of you who have walked by my side and held me up though out so many dark hours, know this. If I live 1 day or many years, I will never forget all you did to hold my hand and pull me along. I will always love you all.
    I will try to add the articles Ingrid wrote of my precious Steeler. If the links don’t come thru, it is my fault. Ingrid and the others will tell you “Bernie still hasn’t gotten that right”. So here is my Steeler for all you to share with me on this day.

    A tribute to Steeler

    Steeler the cat, accidental (and unofficial) team mascot

    • Bernie … what beautiful words. It has been a joy and a priviledge to get to know all of you on CC. While I will probably never meet any of you, I count you all amongst my friends! I know we are (and will always be) there for each other.

    • Bernie, thanks for the kind words.

      It is very difficult to lose these special cats.

      She helped you out in many ways but you also provided her with a home and kindness, giving her good comfort and care, a second chance, that she otherwise might not have had.

    • Hard to believe 3 years have gone by so fast. Steeler was the 1st Tortie I heard about on this Blpg that described the same traits as Stirfry. Then I learned of Kasey and Brooke. What a crew they were. Steeler sent you Justice, Liberty, Freedom and DJ to keep you company. Now Liberty is with her watching over you. There will only be one Steeler and we all miss her.

  46. I had never had or heard of torties before I got Zesty 14 years ago when she was 3 months old. I fell in love with her and her tortie ways and after losing her on Tuesday I know I will get another once I can get past the devestation of losing her.

    She was vocal when she needed to get a point across or needed attention and she was not a lap cat, but she chose when to bestow that honor and I always cherished each time.

    She did ‘chicken legs’ just for me (stuck her hind legs out behind her as far as they would go)

    She did ‘scooter bear’. She would begin scoooting away as she was being stroked and petted using the claws on her front feet and after scooting a bit she would manage to turn and scoot right back.

    She perfected her baby act, and I could never refuse he attention when she did.

    She almost always would make you cross the room to pet her.

    She would climb onto my back to be transported to somewhere she needed to go sometimes. I would bend over and she would use me as a bridge between the bed and the chest freezer where she ate her meals instead of jumping too.

    I would throw party mix around the room for her to chase (after she sat squarely on my desk in front of me and would stare at me trying to make eye contact and tilting her head so she looked completely adorable, so that I could not refuse her.

    Her favorite saying was Who’s the baby? Zesty’s the baby!

    Her nicknames were Tiger Bear (the one and onliest), Scooter Bear and Silky Bear.

    She was not very playful, very short attention span, lol!

    She loved having me drape a blanket over my knees or most any surface, her eyes would light up and she would run inside like a kid playing fort and spend a long time there.

    She loved laying on sheets of tissue paper and getting a new box to lay in and catnip and her cardboard scratcher and her cat tree.

    She was tall (I called her rangy) and walked like a wild Tiger does in the wild.
    She was 13 pounds of sweet Tiger Bear and missing her is un-bear-able.

    • Thank you for sharing some of Zesty’s special traits with us, Susan. My heart goes out to you. It’s so painful to lose a soul cat like her. Adopting another tortie when you’re ready to open your heart again will be a wonderful way to honor Zesty’s memory – and I believe that Zesty will be smiling when the time comes.

    • Susan, Zesty sounds like she was a wonderful Tortie. I agree with Ingrid. Honor Zesty by giving a forever home to another. Always make you feel good and you can tell the new one how special Zesty was.
      I am always telling mine about Stirfry. They look at me as if I am talking about the
      ” boogie monster”. I guess to most cats Stirfry would seem that way. She was a Tortie with Major Attitude.

      • Hi Jay, thank you for your comments. I appreciate them. I intend to get another kitty, but I need time to grieve for Zesty.

        I am alternating between denial, anger, desperate sadness, and overwhelming guilt at ending her life at the moment.

        Definitely not the time to bring a new kitty home. Plus I need to see how Topaz copes with being alone after 14 years with her ‘sister’.

        • I know what you mean about time. I lost2 Torties last fall. Tabatha, a gentle Tortie with white, and Stirfry , my soul cat. Only in November did I bring in 2 house panthers and they were not really planned. Eclipse was a feral who I wanted to trap. Bernie did for me. And Onyx who was a kitten at my car mechanics lot and asked me for a home.
          Stirfry is gone but never forgotten. I will see her when I cross the Bridge also. Until then I have little ones that need to be watched over.

        • I’m reading comments backwards so I’m just now seeing this. I’m glad you’re aware that you need to give yourself time to grieve, Susan.

    • Susan, I’m so sorry for your loss. Zesty sounds very special … and what a great name for a torti. In a little while your grief will be less painful and you will start to remember the happier times with her. It is devastating when we lose our little companions, and I’m glad you’ve found a place where everybody here understands. Take care.

      • I am sorry about your loss of Zesty.

        It will soon be 2 years since I lost my “Warrior Queen”, Kasey, my rescue torti.

        I still miss her like it was yesterday, I still have two orange boys, Taz who is 16 years old and little Tim, 3 years old.

        About 3 months before I lost Kasey, we became aware of a long haired torti with white Gigi who desperately needed a new home. At first meeting, there was no doubt about taking her in.

        Gigi has been a great addition and though different in character than Kasey, she has grown very attached to me. I was fortunate she came along.

        • Thanks Glen

          Thankfully I still have Zesty’s little big ‘sister’ Topaz. 7 pounds of playfulness and in charge around here. She had I-131 treatment last year and is back to her fighting weight. She is silver with gold eyes.

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