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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14,559 Comments on “Tortitude” – The Unique Personality of Tortoiseshell Cats

  1. I have not been on in a while, but follow all the Tortie stories. My 1st cat was a Tortie with White. Later took in a Tortie that had Tortitude to the extreme – Stirfry. Sadly she crossed the Bridge in Sept 2014. She shared this Blog with Kasey, Brooke and Steeler as a unique crew. I took in a Male – Diver in May of 2014 and when Stir crossed, he took over as the Alpha cat. He rules with a soft paw unlike Stirfry who ruled thru fear. Diver has 0% Tortitude and loves everyone, especially little kittens. And they sense that as they come out to him where they would hide from others until they find their place in the house. A year ago I took in a Dilute Torbie ( Tortie w stripes ) and her baby from outside. She was a very friendly cat . Did not plan on keeping her , but would foster her until I found a home for her. So she became Mama Cat and her baby – Kitten. Now over a year later , I still have her and the names have not changed. But Mama Cat is gentle will all my others but if pressed will let out that Tortie snarl. I have seen 8 cats on the bed either sit up with alarm or run out of the room when that happens. Tequila, my House Panther and most Feral will not mess with her. Diver and Mama have never had words so no idea who would back down. They treat each other as equals. And both love the latest set of brothers who I took in after their mother left them on my porch last Spring. I have 13 cats now, but will always have a Tortie.

    • I have a tortie. I love her dearly but she’s extremely persnickety about how I pet her. If I pet her the “wrong” way I’m in trouble. She will either run away or even attack me. I am 63 and have had cats all my life. I found it interesting to learn about the personality of torties. I vouch for it most definitely. She is 7 years old now and I think I’m finally getting the hang of it hahaha. The other day she got me good. Bit and scratched me arm. But it was my fault for not petting her “correctly” lol.

      • Hi my tortie girl is “scruff” and she has tortitude alright she’s a wee character and loves coming up onto my knee when i am watching tv for a snuggle and cuddle. I adopted her from cats protection 6 years ago and she’ll be 16 around February .

    • If it had white it wasn’t a tortie, it was a calico. Torties have No white color, that’s part of the definition of the tortoiseshell. Just a reminder.

      • That is not necessarily true. Calicos have tricolor patches. If the tricolor areas dominate and there are only a few areas that are white, and if the patches have the distinctive marbled tortoiseshell pattern, they are considered torties with white. And to make matters even more confusing, in the UK, calicos are often called torties.

        • We have 3 cats. One is a male ginger/white. The other 2 are sisters. One is definitely calico being very white and lots of black znd ginger patches on head and back. The other is a beautiful tortie with a white bellie and paws. From above she is only marbled. Lying on her back she is almost completely white bellied. This tortie is the sweetest and most talkative of the lot. Almost bites never and usually grabs us with no claws. Cudles last until the human stops. The calico is the most tortie like. Silent. On her guard. Very selective. Now and then does not like contact.

    • I have a tortie and confused her with a calico until told the difference. She definitely takes tortitude to the next level I can go by her and pet her for a nano second and next thing I am hated on. She will do something look at me with that eye and say “so what I did it, what you are going to do about it? I am a cat I do these things” She helped my rag doll during winter by keeping her kittens warm bathing them had to lock her out so mom could take care of her kittens. She definitely owns me and the house the only cat she is afraid of is my Maine Coon Cat and only because size and then not!!!!

      • Stirfry was that way. A hair trigger and anything could set her off. The other cats learned to leave her alone. My Maine Coon Tabasco was not around then, and at 21 pounds looks intimidating. But Torties don’t take size into account when they are riled up. Stir was around 10 pounds. But that was 10 pounds of MEAN. Glen’s Kasey was not a big cat either, but she hunted and brought back critters bigger than she was. He said if Big Foot existed, she would have dragged him in to prove who the boss was. Pretty sure Torties are directly related to the Sabretooth Tigers as a direct descendant and not thru many generations as other cats

    • I do TNR on the complex where I live. I trapped Spice Girl (Spicey). I call her that because she looks like someone sprinkled cinnamon all over her black coat. There are quite a few tortis here. It took me about a year and a half to be able to pet her. Eventually she began to come into my apartment at night and spend the night and let me love on her and now it is an every night occurrence. She is sassy. She demands her food. She demands petting. She does bite, but it’s the type of love bite that doesn’t break the skin. She will bite my foot if I don’t give attention just when she wants it. She is all around my feet when I walk all the time. She is completely mine and devoted.

  2. We lived in Laredo, TX. It’s a border with Mexico. We just lost our Persian 14 y.o. boy and were never again plan of having pets. We were packing to move to NC in a month. It was 11:30 p.m. and I was in a bed. Suddenly, the little kitty started crying under my bedroom’s window and my heart started pumping. I said “No, and no, and no” to myself. But I opened the back door in turned the light on. A very tiny kitten jumped out from the bush. OK. I will give him/her some milk and that’s it. I brought her milk and went back to bed. Period. After 3 days I went out to check the mail. It was 10 pm. I was returning to the house with a bunch of mail in my hand. We had a one car garage, so the second car was on the drive way. Suddenly, the same tiny kitten jumped from under my car, stranded infront of me and said loud “meow”. You? Again? After three days? I was shocked. This is the long story about my struggle to say No to that tiny tortie girl. I took her, because she came to me. Her name is Mexie. She is getting her 8 y.o. in first week of May. She is small, elegant and rules the house. I love her without brain. She is my life. My husband has a special duty to pet her. Otherwise, she demands to be caressed. And it’s only from him. I don’t have such problem, because she sleeps with me and comes to me any time she wants to be kissed 🙂

      • hello. what a wonderful feline community! i am so grateful to have found y’all. it is a relief to realize that there is no judgement here. i have a multi-feline household. my spouse grew up in a dog-centric household-his mother is a groomer who does not like. I have never known life without a feline…my parents found a calico kitten on the way back from my “due date” appointment at the hospital- I ended up being born a month late. the calicos name was kitty and my mom claims she never left her side and slept with me from the day I came home until i was 9. sadly she was a not very happy with the move to san diego from l.a. and disappeared a few weeks after our move. Littermates Lilith (tortie) and Euclid (orange/white tabby) picked my spouse and i as familiars three years ago. ..and we didn’t get them fixed in time. I found out two years ago that i am unable to have children. But Lilith and Euclid and a neighborhood Maine coon tomcat made sure that we would have little feet running around..32 little paws. Yep.. Lilith had 8 kittens. 7 males and 1 female .5 of them are Euclid’s and 3 of them are the mysterious maine coons kin. We lived in a vineyard in the Santa Cruz redwood forest and it was a wonderful experience to help ease the grief of not being a child bearer – we didn’t plan on keeping all of them however my spouse – they guy who grew up in a dog centric house – kept putting off placing an ad. we had an agreement that if I was helping Lilith with supplemental feeding ( super challenging until I watched a vid on how to bottle feed-I think it was ingrids YouTube ,but not certain?)
        if so ty so much.
        my spouse was the one who was to make sure they found their safe forever home & chosen familiar.
        we had agreed to keep 2 :obsidian (tuxedo and Euclids) and the only female Skoshi Chan (diluted tortie and also Euclids )
        Omg! Hahahahaha as I am typing this Mohi (cream and orange and 10 lbs1/2mainecoon1/2 Lilith ) just literally jumped on my head and is balanced on my head to watch me type -we refer him and his two full brothers ,Nuit (cream orange &13 lbs) and Bast ( black and gray tabby stripes with white socks and a small patch of orange &6 lbs) as tabicoons.
        Genetics are a trip!
        We lost
        Skoshi on the 8th of September this year. It’s been very difficult for all of us- I’ll share what happened in another post . I am not ready to talk about it. It was a horrific tragic hit snd run incident at a vineyard in valle de Guadalupe Baja California. We looked for her for hours. I looked up and saw a vulture who guided me to her body and I have never felt such a gut wrenching sadness before and i sat with her singing icaros to support her soul journey across the rainbow bridge and wrapped her in lavender and rosemary (her favorite bushes to play around in our former garden) and her favorite fur rug -I can’t write about it yet. We are all still grieving.
        If anyone has any input on how to cope with the loss in a bonded multi cat household with the parents and siblings. We are a close knit family-we’ve had a very tough year .. we lost our home in the wildfires last year in Santa Cruz and have been nomadic ever sense. Yes,my felines travel in a converted school bus. All 10.. of them have been such a positive force for us .
        Now we are 9.
        I like to think that I am pretty tuned in – I have some Clair gifts and studied Energetics. I am a medical cannabis grower ,Yogini and a horticultural therapist. I lost my wellness center and my nursery in the CZU fires as well as my home. In the midst of the pandemic. The past year has been really rough for us. The saving grace is our love and trust in each other. The felines have taught me that sometimes you have to just kneel down and honor the cycles of nature.
        It may sound kooky but I do hear my familiars and they talk to me , some are more chatty than others
        We are very bonded.
        Skoshi loves butterflies and moths.
        When I was gathering the wood for her pyre I could feel her walking by me as she had done on our vineyard. Then a yellow butterfly came and sat on my hand. I have had a butterfly flying around me every day at the same time that we’d typically go walk the vineyard to water.
        I feel it’s skoshi chan and have seen the feline familiars engage with the butterfly in a similar way as they did with Skoshi. She loves to play. We miss her earthly presence however I understand that she is always with us .
        Thank you for reading this post if you’s so long and I really needed to process that. I do feel less heavy with grief..

  3. Although no one will probably see this, my story is unique. After years and years of begging for a cat, one followed my Dad home on his three mile walk through our neighborhood, darting from tree to tree, and finally speeding in through our front door and laying on our living room couch as soon as he opened it like she owned the place. That cat is my tortie named Shadow, and I’ve had her for 6 years now. She sleeps with me every night and allows me to hold her as long as she’s getting pets, but she usually only does this with me or my mom. If anyone else tries to pick her up, she allows them to but she meows extremely loud, shocking everyone because she’s usually very quiet and independent. She plays, but only when she wants to. Her favorite thing is exploring our backyard and sun basking on the pavement in the summer. I love her to death and from the start have always seen her as being my god given gift. Shes our first of three cats, and i can tell how her personality differs from the other two. I plan on always having a tortoiseshell, their personality is much too similar to mine for me to ever consider not having one. 🙂

  4. Kiki is my second Tortie and displays all the extreme “Tortitude” in your article. I adopted her from the Humane Society in May. She was 4 years old then. She does seem a bit bi-polar as she will demand attention and then when I start petting her she tries to bite and claw me. Usually, without too much determination, just a reminder that she is in charge. She is very demanding and talkative. She is also a lover and loves to cuddle. When company comes over they are hounded by her for attention. She is not shy about anything. Can’s stand to be shut in a room, or be shut out of a room. I am disabled and have trouble reaching her on the floor so she has adjusted to jumping in my lap, sometimes for just a minute and then wants down. She sometimes goes into berserker mode and runs from one end of the house to the other several times, or playfully attacks me when I do move around. She also claims the top of my double recliner as hers and quite frequently just lays there and demands my attention every time I move around. She climbs anything and everything and loves all heights. I love her and can tell how much she loves me. Torties are the best cats in my experience.

  5. I have a tortie her name is Jasmine. She is an only pet/child. Lol. Her attitude is definitely very bipolar as I say. She is a very sweet kitty. She was a recuse from the pound and is 3 years old. She doenst bite anyone but me, however she loves me very much at the same time. She is very vocal she wants hat she wants and when she wants it everyone knows. She is by far the best kitty I’ve ever had. I wouldn’t trade her for the world. She is definitely my cat and she let’s me know who owns who. She has been that way since day one. I love her so much and the feeling is mutual. She is very high maintenance at times. Buy I acb deal with that.

    • My Hannah wants to bite me also but I am sure that is her way of loving me. I have to tell her no though because at 75 my skin is very thin and I bleed easily lol. I understand your love for your baby because I feel the same way. They certainly are unique kitties and are just as devoted to us as we are to them. Or, maybe, they are just more demanding than other cats are so we are owned not the owner. lol

      • She is very demanding. But that’s my fault. She is just very spoiled. I love her so much. I have to tell her no when she bites me also..

      • I am amazed at how smart Hannah is. she pays close attention to what I am doing and what I say. I have learned to tell her what I am doing and show her things and tell her the word for them. I don’t really know how old she is but she was very young when she showed up at my feet rubbing all over me. Her people were nowhere to be found and she was pg. So, I think she was in heat and wandered away to find a friend and got lost. Dogs and cats can wander far away and people only look close to home for their pets. Talk about love at first sight. 🙂 I have 6 boys that are rescue and Hannah is very small but she keeps them in line with an iron claw.. I should have named her Cleopatra, rolf.

        • Both the cats in this story have been gone a while now and they are missed. Both are well known to long time posters, here.

          Taz was a 23 pound orange guy.

          I took Kasey from one of our company facilities when she was around 9 years old. We had her for 5 years and she and I had quite a bond. he was a 13 pound, short haired, dark tortie. She was good with people but liked to fight other animals, and was very good at it. She was known as the Warrior Queen.

          I was sitting on the floor paying attention to Taz, who was on one side of me, Kasey was on the other.

          As big orange guys seem to do, he playfully bit my hand.

          Without hesitation, Kasey shot across my lap and “rolled” him and drove him off, very protective, then she rubbed around me for pets.

          However, she would bite my fingers, too. Apparently, other cats were not allowed to do this.

          Our present torties are long haired, and are both actually gentle and have never bitten any one.

          • Nothing worse than the wrath of a Tortie. Especially a Warrior Queen. Taz was lucky she was in a good mood and let him escape. I know she did not let others escape at the Company site where her job was to keep the area safe. She took that personally. Luckily she was rewarded with a forever home and love. And her story was told around the world.

    • My girl cat is 2 years old a tortoiseshell she’s 12.60 lbs. She’s a big girl and I want to get her to lose 4 lbs. I also have a 6 month old black and white cat she’s very active.

      • Yes get that extra weight off her as she could get heart disease, diabetes for example. My tortie is 11 and weighs 11.4 lbs. My vet is always after us to keep her weight down.

  6. we got our 1st tortie, Seveena on oct 7. we were told she was 6 weeks old but I’m thinking she was only 4. her mommy got crushed in a auto repair yard when they were moving cars around and she was only kitten found. well, let me say I am her human. she is always on me with me or looking for me. she is a wild girl who will nip in a snap and then lick u. she purrs instantly when I speak or hears me get out of bed. From 0ct to feb she slept with me until recently she sleeps in cat bed on dresser mere feet from me and after gf gets up to feed everyone at 2:45 am she returns to my bed to bathe and sleep next to me till I wake up and get out of bed. she’s a food hog who growls at the bigger cats and will go bowl to bowl till all are empty. she is a tortie thru and thru. feisty, hot tempered and has made me hers without question since day one. unfortunately my tuxedo, Taz and orange tabby Jessie both request my attention too and Taz has had to show Seveena (our 7th cat!) who runs the house!

    • Seveena sounds very much like our Kasey was.

      People that have been here a while know that Kasey was very friendly with me, and also with other people but was very unforgiving of other critters.

      Kasey liked to fight, and was good at it. However, I could pick her up and do just about anything with her.

      Our 2 year old dark, longhair torti is different. She grew very big, quickly, has a dark face and a piercing stare; one vet said “she looks like a wild animal”.

      However, she is calm with the other cats and is not aggressive. She is very gentle with people. She is almost always with us but is not happy about being picked up but will be a lap cat.

      They sure can be different.

  7. Our oldest cat is a tortie, but she has always been the most gentle, sweet, calm cat of our three (the other two are an irritable tabby and an energetic Norwegian forest mix). Even the vet says she is an unusually cooperative and sweet cat.

  8. If what I read is correct, she might get a bit bigger, yet.

    My reading indicates that a number of the large, longhair breed (Maine Coon, Siberian, Norwegian Forest Cat etc.) can grow, slowly, up to 5 years of age.

    People who see her intermittently in the past year have remarked that she looks bigger than the last time they saw her.

  9. As I write this, it is Dec. 25, 2017.

    Freyja is about to turn 2 years old, I estimate her to be about 14 pounds, she is very big, now and also very clever, calculating and still quite active.

    She has outgrown Tim, our 5 year old orange guy, who is at 9 to 10 pounds, and is also quite active.

    Oddly, there has not been much in the way of Christmas Tree attacks or damage. The younger cats don’t seem to be as interested as I thought they might be; and Gigi, the Empress Of The House, finds that Christmas Tree attacks are far below her dignity.

    The tree is good for a den, they take turns relaxing under it.

    However, bows on gifts were not an option this year.

    The first three packages had bows, which Freyja promptly and efficiently removed within 2 minutes of them being placed under the tree.

  10. i am so happy to find this site because I adore my tortie. She is laying in my arms as I type this. I have been rescuing cats since I was 4 years old ( I drove my mother crazy, lol) Hannah is the first tortie for me and such an amazing cat personality. I feel bad that I don’t love my other cats like I love her. It is sad how many cats go astray because they hadn’t been “fixed” and took off the mate and got themselves lost. Sad that people don’t look far afield for their lost pets and give up to soon in their search. Hannah showed up in my yard. She announced herself by meowing at me and rubbing against my legs. She was Pg and I guess was ready to take over a new person because she had gotten herself lost. I was unable to find her owner and I became her new person to see to her demands. ROFL

  11. Hi 🙂
    I recently got my cat ” kya” and I have some questions. she’s 5 years old and unfortunately her previous owner had no choice but to give her away, Ive never owned this type of cat before, so I have been doing lots of research on her. Her transition to my home has been really hard for her !! I’m wondering about her scratching the furniture, is she just trying to show me who’s boss ? I feel like she’s crying a lot but could it be she is just talking? She has also been scratching at the front door. Why does she only do this at night? she has bit me as well ! I want to give her a happy ,secure and loving life,where all her needs are met. so I would really appreciate your feedback and some tips to get her through this transition.
    Thank you
    Nicole & Kya

  12. Had a funny thing happen the other day.

    For those that don’t know our cat family, there’s Gigi an older, long hair torti with white, Tim, the 5 year old , 9 pound orange guy and 1 1/2 year old Freyja, a 13 pound long hair dark torti who is starting to resemble a Maine Coon as she gets older.

    Tim likes to play with her and she likes to play fight. Before she was 1 year old, she already had over a pound advantage on him and is now at least 4 pounds heavier than him.

    Being orange, this does not seem to sink in to him. He will start something, bother her, and not quit.

    I was in a room that looks out on the hall recently. As is looked into the hall, Tim ran into view and paused, with a slightly haunted or harassed look.

    I said as a joke, to him “what’s after you?””

    I no sooner said that and I got my answer; he took off down the hall and Freyja darted by in hot pursuit.

    • He should learn, never piss off a Tortie, as once riled up, hey will finish what you started. At least Freyja probably left him off easy with a swat or nip on the hind end. Kasey would have not been as nice.

      • Yes, Kasey did not grasp the idea of play fighting.

        To her, the fight was real, there would be pain, someone else’s.

        Preferably involving a worthy opponent, I never saw a more fearless cat that was so skilled in the “feline martial arts”. A by product of her nature and hard upbringing, but, she was very friendly with people.

        Fortunately, Freyja has had a gentler upbringing here at home. I think she could have been much like Kasey in the ferocity department.

        • It seems that all the Feral ( Eclipse & Keisel ) cats I took in along with the barn cats or unwanted or unneeded cats ( Styx, Tabasco, Tiger and Onyx) cats I have taken in got along pretty good and play fought but never viciously. Only my Stirfry that was Feral and a Tortie acted like Kasey. Fighting was exactly that and never for play. Bernie’s Steeler same way. Probably not because they were Torties but maybe Tortitude amped that up.

  13. My tort is cat Mocha is fifteen years old. We got her at the animal shelter when she was just a kitten. She lept up into my lap and started kneading and purring. Ever since then, she’s been “my” cat (or rather I’ve been “her” human lol). She tolerates my mom and dad ok, but I’m the only person who has ever been permitted to pick her up and hold her. We have an extremely deep bond of love and trust. When I was sick a lot in high school, she kept vigil at my bedside and would not leave me. When she is startled, I can calm her with one touch. She’s very skittish–we think she may have not been socialized with humans early enough because she was an alley cat. Or she may have been abused or neglected. They didn’t know for certain.
    But MAN is she vocal. The tortitude is real here. Mocha actually talks to you in full sentences, with distinct words. Meow-rrrow means hello. She squeaks, literally squeaks, to register her surprise. A combination of squeaks and meows mean she’s happy to see you. A lot of meows together with a rolling-R sound means she is upset. And she gives these little gurgles of displeasure when something is not to her satisfaction. Which is much of the time, being a cat haha. But her purr is as loud as a jet turbine and when I sit next to her on the couch watching television, she will purr for hours on end. She has a very mottled, brindled coat and red war paint stripes on her face, and one larger creamy patch at her throat, but is otherwise very dark, a true chocolate tortie. Which is why my sister called her Mocha. She also has red rings around her tail, so we think there is some tabby in her genes somewhere. I love her. Tortoiseshells are my favorite.

  14. & here I was thinking Nebula was a calico! The only white patches she has are under her front right paw & back left paw, a few strips horizontally on her neck under her chin & itty bitty white paches around each inner or outer corner of her eyes, besides that she’s a black baby with white/cream under fur with orange hue patches all over her coat. I’m so glad I made this discovery today! She’s just about 5wks old now so I’m not sure about how to rate her “tortitude” but she is such a sweetheart & a momma’s girl. I’ve only had her for almost 2wks & let me just say that it took her less than a week to litter train & just a day (without me being home, I stacked pillows) to get on/off my bed (once I got home I removed them & she bravely just leaped & climbed her way back on over & over again like a “look at me, look at me” notion. She’s so conscious & aware to visuals & music. If I’m watching a music video/listening to music on my laptop she’ll come by & lay down in front of it & watch, sometimes approach and touch the speaker & tilt her head at the screen. I had Coraline playing one night & once the garden scene came on she stopped what she was doing & looked at the screen & watched the magic. She was so hooked, it was adorable & luckily I recorded the moment. I had recently left her with my grandmother as my family & I went on a short vacation for the weekend (a mere 3days) & once I got her back she cried for me the whole drive back to my town while my younger sister tried to hold her calmly. (grandmother lives in the next town 12 miles away) I finally just said, let her go & she crawled herself to my lap, up onto my shoulder & licked my jaw & stopped her crying so I held her against my chest with one hand & watched the streetlights & fell right asleep. She gives me kisses every time she’s with me & loves for me to nuzzle her neck with my nose when she’s sleepy (her purrs intensify) & she always comes to me & stares at me with her loving green/blue eyes every time I call her name. She’s so special to me & I’m just as obsessed about her as she is about me.

  15. My cat Nutmeg is 15 years old. My family has had her since she was about a month old. We found her as a small kitten in a parking lot. She was going to be taken to the pound (and quite possibly put down) if no one took her in. Of course, we just had to. She started off with very few markings; her fur was stripy but very light in color. After about a year her fur gradually got darker. She isn’t one of those super dark/super light tortoiseshells, she’s right in between. Nutmeg has these adorable eggnog-colored whisker cushions and little splotches of eggnog on her paws, as well as her stomach (which is mostly eggnog color). She has both black and white whiskers. She’s not one of those super fluffy cats with the fur consistency of a ragdoll, but she’s not a sleek shorthair either. She’s got a perfect amount of fluff that makes her the cuddliest cat I’ve ever met. She’s also got green eyes, which doesn’t seem to be as common among tortoiseshells? I’ve seen a lot with yellow eyes, but not green. As far as behavior goes, she drools, in small little droplets that leak from her closed mouth. She only drools when she’s purring A LOT, which she does. Her purr can be heard from several rooms away if it’s quiet enough in the house. Also, she has never meowed. She makes a small “meep” sound when she’s just talking to us, and will emit a “row” kind of sound when she’s hungry (usually in the middle of the night). It’s good to know that her behavior is normal among her type. My family has been worrying for years that something is wrong with her.

    • Nutmeg sounds gorgeous and like a wonderful kitty, Kim. All of my torties have or had green eyes. Ruby’s started out yellow but turned green as she matured.

    • “She makes a small “meep” sound when she’s just talking to us, and will emit a “row” kind of sound when she’s hungry (usually in the middle of the night).”

      That is similar to my Kasey (sometimes called the Warrior Queen), whom I lost in May 2013. She made similar sounds, and some other noises that I describe as “not of the world”;.

      Freyja, our 1 1/2 year old long hair, dark tortie makes similar sounds, too but doesn’t meow either. It is funny to hear these small sounds because Freyja is a fair size an still appears to be growing a bit.

  16. Freyja was into the vet yesterday, June 9th, for her annual check up.

    She actually behaved quite well.

    She was 12.7 pounds, at about 1 year, 4 months of age; she is just big, not overweight. When she was in the carrier, it felt like I had Kasey in there.

    The vet said she was in very good shape.

    The vet also commented, unsolicited, that Freyja looked like a wild animal in her appearance. 😉

    • Sounds like she’s a worthy successor of Kasey! Cats aren’t fully mature until they’re about two years old, so she may still grow a bit more!

      • I have heard that about cat growth, it will be interesting to see how much more she grows.

        I have jokingly said that having Freyja is like having an exotic pet. 😉

  17. It doesn’t seem that long but it was 4 years ago today we lost Kasey, the “Warrior Queen”, I still miss her very much,she was what Ingrid refers to as a soul cat.

    Now we have Freyja, whom we adopted when she was 8 weeks old, in March 2016. She has a few “Kasey traits” and is a long hair, dark torti. She is sill growing, she is big and will likely get bigger yet. She is very clever, has tortitude and is very playful; I think Kasey would have approved of her.

      • Freyja is starting to do some things like Kasey did. Kasey was not a lap cat but when I had the foot rest up on the recliner, Kasey would lie between my ankles. Freyja has started to do that.

    • Wow, 4 years already. Kasey is mentioned between Bernie and I when ever we talk about Steeler and Stirfry. Cats with Tortitude to the extreme and how they picked who they would live with. Kasey knew she found love with you compared to the ones that treated her badly at that plant. She was so lucky when you took her home.

  18. I have a torbie named Hauna. A good 90% of the time, she is the absolute sweetest, gentlest, most affectionate cat you’ll ever meet. But for the other 10%, her tortitude shows its patches… and that’s when she makes SURE you know she’s not happy about something!

    I love that side of her though; keeps you on your toes! XD





    • I read this and could totally agree with all you say. My cat smartie passed away on Sunday. My husband and myself are finding it terribly painful. She had a very special personality and we will miss her badly. I was sad and heartened to know we aren’t alone in our grief. I hope my smartie and your Sheba are having fun together in heaven. Best wishes Julie x


  20. My tortie is named Jezebel and she is 14. I adopted her with her sister, a ginger tabby and her brother, a gray tabby. She has never gotten along with either or them and would vastly prefer that she was the only cat around. Unfortunately, her brother died a few a years ago, but since Isabel, her ginger sister, has a very dominant personality, they fight for territory constantly. Jezebel has this odd characteristic of almost begging for a fight. Isabel may have done nothing but Jezebel will start hissing at Isabel which creates a very tense situation. I live in a small apartment and have a hard time “catifying” the place so that they each have their own territory. Jezebel is also very sensitive to touch. I have to remember that while Isabel enjoys heavy strokes and scratches, Jezebel tenses up and glares at me when I try to do that with her. On the other hand, she is very affectionate and doesn’t protest if I pick her up and hold her. She is independent and defiant. Once I had to drive the three of them across the southern part of England because I was moving. Two minutes away from my old home she cleverly pissed through the front door of her carrier onto the car seat. So I let her out of the carrier. When we stopped at a rest stop, she darted out of the car. I went into full panic mode, but after she looked around and realized that she had no idea where she was, she climbed right back into the car. We spent a good part of the trip with her sitting on the dashboard while the other two sat (and yowled) unhappily from their carriers. It was a very, very, very long trip……..

  21. Freyja is now over a year old.

    This dark, longhair torti is quite big now at 12+ pounds but she still plays quite hard. With her dark face and piercing stare, she makes even play look like serious business.

    She has retained a serious fascination with water from a early age.

    Anything with water in it cannot be left where she can access it. She knocked a 1/2 full glass of water off the table. Amazingly, the glass remained intact but there was water all over the place.

    Watering plants is also “interesting”.

    Water bowls have to be heavy ceramic or glass. She is totally fascinated by stainless steel water bowls, no mater the size, they will be moved around and often dumped upside down.

    • I can’t believe she’s a year old already! Interesting that she is so fascinated with water. If you don’t already have a fountain, you may want to consider getting her one!

      • It would be interesting to see what she did with one.

        I know what you mean about it being a year.

        She’s big, too; she dwarfs Tim and is longer in the body and stands taller than Gigi, already.

  22. Madame stole my heart. She was a homeless cat in Inverness, Al. who adopted us a her family in 2010 when we moved into our new apartment. She definitely had tortitude. Once my wife gained her trust and she started coming around to eat every day. Eventually we let her in our home, had her spayed and she enjoyed for 4 years sharing our home with us. She would divide her time between sleeping, eating and playing with us and hunting for chipmunks outside. Eventually she got very close to me, and became my buddy. She would wake me up at 4:00 am, when she was indoors, in order for me to watch her eat. If I didn’t come, she made sure she voiced her displeasure. If I came and left, she would come get me and would not eat until I came back. Eventually getting up at 4:00 A.M. became a normal part of my life. We loved her.
    Then in 2014 we had the opportunity to move to South Florida with my wife’s family. They had a cat and dog, and we thought about giving Madame to someone, but that idea was quickly shot as depression gripped us with the idea of leaving her behind. So we took her, and she adapted to the dog and other cat.
    Unfortunately, allergies began to torment her to the point where she was very ill at times. She was a small cat, with beautiful eyes, and weighed 8 lbs. After the allergies got a hold of her she became very ill. We took the best care we could of her, but she went down to 4.8 lbs. She was allergic to everything in south Florida.
    I took her to her vet a least 2- 3 times every week, to try to figure out what else was wrong. She was not suffering in any pain, but she had bouts of dizziness that we took care of with medication. Through all of this she remained a playful cat with me, and always eating with me, and of course waking me up at all times of the morning so I could feed her.
    Unfortunately, on Feb 9th 2017, she had a massive heart attack and died. My heart is still broken, and will be for a long time, as I try to get used to not having her around any more.

    • Hi Isidore it is 1 month on February 9 that my most beloved dsh tortie died and I’m still feeling the pain the same way that it happened on January 9 2017.I cry night and day and the pain in my heart is a torment that I wish God will help me cope with this pain.As I’m writing this now I’m crying, I’m not used to not having her around the house greeting me in the morning when we both wake up and getting mad at me when I sleep late and she’s already vey sleepy.I feel so empty and what I’m doing now is read the comments on the net and watch other photos of dsh torties here.I can’t bear to watch my Sheba’s photos or short videos I might die of too much grief cause I’m a senior living alone in my home my husband is abroad.

  23. I have a tortie, and she definitely has tortitude!
    Her name is Ember, and she’s only 2 years old. I got her at a cat auction at a Petco, and I’m so lucky to have her! She was almost taken from me, and I know if I put her down while holding her in the store, I would have lost her! I think she chose me more than me choosing her.

    She’s bonded to me so well, and everyone knows that I’m her human, hahaha. And when she doesn’t get her way, she vocally lets me know, and it’s kind of funny/cute. But even though she’s a little bit of a diva, she’s the sweetest animal I know.

    Before Ember, I had a calico named Salsa… Sadly, I couldn’t keep her, so I gave her to a nice and loving home, but I did have her for four years, and she was very docile. She wasn’t really a diva, or a leader, and a total opposite of Ember. I loved Salsa, and I love all cats, but I do believe that my tortoiseshell is my soul cat.

    • We have two torties, both long hair.

      Gigi, the “Empress” at 17 pounds and 9 years old. She came along 4 years ago when her owner passed away. She is a big, slow moving cat, quite smart, very docile and friendly.

      Freyja, just turned 1 this month. She is also a big cat already, not to heavy, just large, with a tail like a Somali Cat. Freyja is very active and plays hard, I think she will remain kittenish for quite a while. She likes to play with our 4 year old, 9 pound orange guy Timmy, who she surpassed in size/weight late in the summer of 2016. Freyja displays the “attitude” a bit but is friendly with people.

      Ember sounds like a lot of fun 🙂

  24. I am fortunate to have adopted what I was told is a “Diffused” Tortoiseshell from a shelter in October 2015. Shelby is approximately 5 or 6 years old, and is mainly all black. But she has mottled coloring throughout her body. She’s a big girl – weighing in around 14 lbs and big boned. I’m a firm believer in “tortitude” – as this cat has certainly shown it more than any other I’ve had! She’s very jealous of the other cats in the house – Hissing, growling, and even fighting with them. She’s very loving with me, and WOW does she have a loud purr! One downside, she’s a bit aggressive. It may come from her time in the shelter (she was there for 2 years). But she often nips at me (my hands, fingers, nose). Most of the time it’s gentle enough – but every now and again she’ll snag a good one. That aside, I love her dearly and am so glad she’s in my life!

    • Wow, Shelby’s behavior sounds very much like my “Warrior Queen”, Kasey, who I lost in May 2013, and still miss quite badly.

      Kasey did “hard time” at one of our company’s facilities, until I took her home in 2008. I think partly by nature and partly due to her surroundings, she was quite aggressive and a skilled fighter, I have never encountered another cat that was so fearless. In spite of this, she really wanted to be a pet cat and fit into home life very seamlessly.

      However, she was also fiercely affectionate and a very loyal companion.

      She liked brushing but after 5 minutes, she would bite my fingers. I was sitting on the floor one day and had her on one side of me, and Taz, who was 1 17 pound orange “gentle giant”. Taz took a playful nip at my finger, the next thing I knew, Kasey flew across my legs and rolled him with a tackle. Apparently, she was the only one allowed to bite my fingers. 😉

      I think what is unique with cats of this basic character is that with their fierceness, they decide to be your friend, they can’t be made to do this, it is their choice.

      I wish you many years of enjoyment with Shelby.

  25. I’ve had my tortie for four years now, while she is bold, I have never come across a more affectionate cat in my life. Not once has Mynx ever scratched/bitten anybody, although she loves hunting outdoors, and her and her sister are constantly hissing at each other. She loves nothing more than cuddling up on the couch/simultaneously crushing my chest or giving me a dead leg, she’s a big girl!

    I don’t know if she qualifies for tortitude, but she is certainly unique. I love my baby

  26. My son rescued a tiny, feral tort about six weeks ago, and we named her TFK (Tiny Feral Kitten) until her personality emerged. She has tripled in size and is known as The Demon Sonya. Never have I encountered such violence, savagery, enthusiasm, and love in a cat. It’s as if she is living all nine lives at once.

      • Sounds like Freyja. We took Freyja home in march 2016, she was just a tiny thing and for the first week, we were concerned she wasn’t eating enough.

        All that soon changed, and she is not done growing quite yet.

        Freyja is also quite “enthusiastic”.

    • lmao, wow sounds exactly like our Seveena. calm as the night then an explosion of a full grown lioness attacking an idle mouse or lobster toy, an overturned rug, dry food swatted out of the food bowl chased across the kitchen floor then a sprint to attack the table cloth then a run into living room to lay on floor until another cat-usually Ziggy walks by then an attack before she will decide to jump up and lay between my legs like nothing happened. all within 5 minutes!

  27. My lovely tortie died after 12 years 11 months because of cancer. I cant express my sadness. She had my heart more than anything in this life. Take care of your torties well. Life without them is not a real life at all:(

  28. Last week during Gigi’s annual vet visit, we had Freyja along to have her weight checked on their accurate cat scale.

    Gigi was good and is fine, Freyja was well behaved, but active.

    At just over 9 months of age, Freyja is 10 pounds, 14 ounces.

    They thought she was approx. 10% overweight, so her (and Gigi’s) food is being reduced. She is very active and growing, so we have to be careful with the food reduction.

  29. Freyja is continuing to grow.

    Gigi is going in for a routine vet vist on Sept 26th and I might take Freyja in as well, to be weighed on their accurate cat scale.

    Freyja’s mother was a domestic short hair calico, but Freyja must have some unusual heritage back there somewhere.

    She is very much like a torti version of the Somali Cat in this video;

    Including, the cat in the video started off looking like a short hair with a pretty standard tail and grew fluffier as she got older, and the tail changed over to a “fox tail”; Freyja did the exact same thing.

    A lot of the activities are similar, too.

  30. I have had another sign of the coming torti apocalypse this week.

    Those that have known Kasey and seen Freyja say either she is channelling Kasey, or is Kasey reincarnated.

    I have a big 1 hp table saw in the basement and a vacuum dust collector.

    The saw is noisy and the vacuum sounds like a gas turbine.

    I do not run these very often, Freyja has not heard them and she is not deaf; she can hear the drawer with the cat treats from the oposite end on the house.

    I had to run the saw and Freyja was in close proximity.

    I started the dust collector, figuring she would scoot, she did not.

    Then I started the saw, figuring that would be it, she hung around for that, too.

    The only cat I have seen do that previously is the Warrior Queen, this is getting very odd. 😉

      • I know Bernie’s Steeler would ride on top of her vacuum and Bernie was always worried about her tail getting caught. Of all my cats, whenever I took the vacuum into the room they fell over each other getting out. Stirfry would watch and even when I was within a whisker of her face she would not move. Totally watched but had no fear. And yesterday I was vacuuming the basement ( you would not believe how much cat hair collects in the corners from 7 cats) Diver, my Male Tortie was watching but did not move until the nozzle got close. And even then he just backed up. I know Diver has a hearing problem, so maybe that had something to do with it. The only time I ever saw Stir scared was the 1st year I had taken her in, I carried her outside to let her look around but was afraid she would run off if let down. I walked towards the road to get my mail and when I was about 5 feet away she freaked out. As soon as I walked back towards the house she settled down. Apparently when she was a feral, something scared her at the road. She was never going to be an outside cat so that did not matter. I had her indoors for about 13 years until she crossed the Bridge.

  31. Freyja is continuing to grow, both in size, and fur length.

    She has not lost that soft fur, perhaps she will stay that way since she has passed the 6 month mark.

    She is funny in that she has not problems with balance, running, jumping etc., she doesn’t seem to care if she falls off of things.

    The other day, she was scuffling with Tim in a chair and she fell off, on her back but apparently, this was not a problem, she sprung back up and drove him off the chair.

    Another time, she was on the back of the couch and Tim happened to walk under her. She didn’t pounce, she just wiggled around and deliberately fell off the couch back, onto him; then the scrap and chase was on. I have never seen falling onto an opponent used by a cat.

    Two days ago, Tim was sitting beside a toy, he was ignoring it. Freyja charged at him and spun around, body slamming him with her hind quarters (and she is getting bigger and heavier, so this was very effective). It sent Tim flying and he decided to run off, quickly. She was left in possession of the toy which she proceeded to bat around.

    I don’t know where some of this behavior comes from, I think our fierce little torti is making it up as she goes.

      • Gigi and Freyja are doing very well together, now.

        Gigi has a calm energy and it is sort of like things were with Kasey and her, I don’t recall Kasey getting aggressive with Gigi. However, Freyja interacts more; probably because she has been raised with Gigi.

        While Freyja is rough with Tim, she and Gigi greet each other and give a greeting rub. Freyja does not try to engage Gigi in playing. They will also eat from the same bowl.

        It is great the way this has worked out.

    • I have seen those signs along the highway that say “Watch for Falling Rock”
      You need one that says ” Watch for Falling Cat ”

      I sure hope your taking video’s of this.

  32. I mentioned to a buddy the other day that we no longer have a kitten.

    She has Grown into a CAT, rapidly!

    Freyja continues to grow at what seems like an impressive rate. Her spaying is now a distant memory and she is very active.

    Because of her size, I sometimes expect more adult behavior, but as goes with her age, she is still in the “everything’s a toy/a bit nippy” mode. This will subside, in time; when she wants attention, she is quite affectionate, she just has a lot of energy to run off 😉

    • I’m glad to her she’s doing well! Most cats won’t mature until they’re about two years old. Some, like Ruby, who is going to turn 6 in September, never do 🙂

    • They grow up so fast.
      Maybe because we see them every day, we don’t notice how big and more Regal they become but suddenly there is a Cat where a Kitten was yesterday.
      That happened with Tabasco – he went from a 3 lb. kitten last June to a 18 Lb. CAT today. Bernie noticed that when she picked him up.
      Freyja is adorable and looking more like Kasey every day. Not having that harsh upbringing she probably never develop that killer instinct but will have Tortitude. In the genes. And like Ingrid said – maybe a cat in size but a kitten in personality. Tabasco and Onyx still have that kitten personality ant both under 2 years old but Arianrhod went from a kitten to Aloof Cat personality before she was 1.

  33. Freyjay was spayed on Thursday, June 2nd and came home late that afternoon.

    As of Sunday June 5th, all seems well.

    She has left her incision alone and so has not had to wear a cone or body sock, but she has presented some other challenges.

    Pain med.’s; this is the 1st time she has been pilled and it turns out she is basically “un-pillable”.

    She also does not understand she need to take it easy, the first day, she was kept in the sun room with the cat tree and other toys removed, but, she still jumped on the furniture and at one time, fell off the back of the couch.

    Took her to the vet on Friday June 3rd, she was OK with a bit of swelling, so they said she needed to be more confined.

    Consequently, the big crate she was in at nights as a small kitten came back out. Now she is incarcerated for her own good. She is doing OK in is, she gets let out periodically with supervision and goes back in when she gets too active. It is going to be a long couple more days.

    As for the pilling, the vet substituted some pre-loaded syringes with a liquid, oral pain med. This goes down much easier and the added benefit is she sleeps more, which is good, when caged.

    She would really like to get out to resume roughing up Tim, but that is on hold for the next 6 or 7 days.

    • I have a few “un-pillable” cats. Frank and Arian. 1st to catch them, then to hold them without giving blood. Then last to get a pill or syringe in the mouth with out head turning so it goes in the ear instead. I hope Freyja is easier. Sounds like Tim gets a short rest.
      But so glad her surgery is over and the worries are over.

      • Even Kasey could be pilled.

        Even when you think you have had success with Freyja, she will spit the pill out some time after.

        Yeah. it is nice to have the surgery done and have her on the mend, I will be even happier about it a few days from now when she continues to heal up.

      • My Sheba was different, when I take her to the vet she’s so afraid of injections that her fur just shed off from fear as the vet told me that’s anxiety.But when we get home and she needs to take some meds I just tell her to open her mouth and she oblige, and swallow whatever pill I put in her mouth.She even remembers the time to take her meds and she will stand by the fridge door where I store her meds and vitamins and call me, and wait patiently when I can’t attend to her immediately. When she tries to go out of the house I just tell her don’t go out Sheba some bad guys will come and get you,and she will return inside right away.Now she is gone and the grief I feel never abate it even got worst.

      • Things are going well.

        Her medication were finished last night.

        Her incision id healing up very well.

        She is no longer being crated but will be kept in the sun room and/or apart from Tim for the next few days. If she is with Tim, she wants to engage in very rough play fights and though she thinks she’s ready for that, she needs to finish the recovery process, first.

  34. Freyja and Gig are playing together in the cat tunnels and are socializing.

    The playing is quite entertaining, given Gigi’s size.

    Freyja continues to grow at a good rate, hard to believe, but she is booked in for spaying on April 2nd. She is looking like a cat now, instead of a kitten, even if she behaves like a kitten.

    • It’s one thing to have a Tortie kitten showing Tortitude. But if she grows up in the shadow of Kasey,those are big paws to fill. She will be a full grown cat with Tortitude. This will be a very exciting year to see how thing turn out. Tim and Gigi better be ready.

      • Tim, as a typical active orange boy, played rough with her when she was smaller and is now paying the price. She is playful with him but in an unrelenting, torti way. Now she is closing in on him in size and is more active than he would like, now.

        She is different with Gigi. She an Gigi approach each other and pass by with a gentle rub on the way by.

        They play in a bit more quite fashion; either chasing each other in the tunnels or taking turns swatting something on the floor. They don’t get into the wrestling, I guess the Empress is too dignified for that and Freyja seems to be good with that. Its not because Freyja is intimidated by her, that seems to be tough to do but Freyja does treat the older “tortie with white” more gently.

        • More like the Empress is getting on the good side of Freyja before her Tortitude fully blossoms. Then it will be too late. Too late for Tim.

  35. A weighty question. 😉

    Freyja had a routine vet visit yesterday, they really like her at the vet.

    They weighed her on their accurate cat scale, she is now 5 pounds 2 oz., at 18 weeks of age.

    I wanted to see what everyone’s impression was of a weight like that, at 18 weeks.

    She is not fat, the vet described her as long and lean. The vet thinks she might be a big girl as an adult.

  36. My Tabasco is getting way bigger than when I got him last Summer as a kitten. Being an orange cat and having big paws I figured he would get big. Plus having Frankie, Eclipse and Diver show him how to eat he gained weight fast. Today I weighed him and he is 17 1/4 lbs. Diver, my male Tortie is about 13 lbs. but can still take him in a play fight but Tabasco is getting p into the range of my Pumpkin who was 21 1/2 lbs. and Glen’s Taz who was 22 lbs.

  37. Freyja had two more expressions of tortitude this week, at Tim’s expense.

    She reached a new personal mile stone. She an Tim were scuffling and both reared up on their hind legs. However, this time, she was able to push him over backwards, I think this is just the start of this behavior.

    The other one was during another round of play fighting. She took a run at him, did a 180 degree spin and kicked him in the head with a back foot. I don’t recall ever seeing ANY cat do something like that.

    • Glen, would have love to see Freyja push over Tim. Mine do that when they box – get up on 2 legs. It’s all who has the better balance. I can imagine her and Taz doing that. He had the weight advantage.

    • Believe it or not my tortie is exactly the same from the moment she was born. We actually ended up calling her ninja. Seemed really fitting for her personality!! Haha

  38. Freyja has been very busy “exercising” Tim.

    Tim has been the young cat of the hose for over 3 1/2 years and has seemed to be a perpetual motion machine, and young for his age, as might be expected of an orange boy.

    I was used to seeing him pester Gigi and Taz, both of who he had more endurance and interest when it came to activity.

    However, I know realize that he had more endurance than they did and could chose the time and duration of activity.

    Freyja has removed that luxury from the mix. She seeks him out, runs him down and when he gets away, she runs after him, again.

    She chases him and tries to jump on his back and bring him down, she can’t, yet, but she is now almost 1/2 his size and that day is coming.

    The do get along and play well together but he sometimes gets a weary or “save me” expression.

      • Yes, she is.

        She is getting bigger, quickly.

        It is interesting to speculate on how big she will get. I get the feeling she might get as big as Kasey was, 13 pounds at a healthy weight; if she does, she will be bigger than Tim. But it is hard to predict an adult size, we thought Tim was going to be bigger than he turned out.

        The other thing is what she will sound like. So far, not many classic meows, more on eeps and squeaks, also like Kasey.

        I think she would be classed as medium hair. Right now, it is soft like angora, but I have read that kittens often lose that soft, wispy feel at around 6 months of age.

    • Tim is still young at 3 1/2 and the execise will do him good. Always interesting to hear how a kitten’s new voice turns out.
      Onyx still has a kitten squeak and Frankies still has that question mark at the end “me ???” Sirs was always a hiss and growl. But to me is was a slightly gentle hiss. To others – a threat of things to come. And we know Kasey’s was the sound only heard in the deep woods that makes peoples hair stand up.

      • Well, there’s a pretty clear signal when Tim is in for a rough time.

        When Freyja see’s him, if her tail arches and fluffs up as she starts walking purposely towards him, things are guaranteed to get active, quick…………….and, this happens more often than not.

        There is another Warrior Queen behaviour starting to appear. If you go into a hallway and lie on your side across it’s width, eventually, another animal will have to use the hallway and it will be accosted as it tries to pass.

        • Had a very ominous sign this afternoon that the Torti Apocalypse is near at hand.

          I was working at home today and the maintenance tech. for the natural gas standby generator showed up to do a check.

          This involves taking the housing off the unit right outside the sun-room and firing it up without the sound deadening housing. So we have stranger and activities and noise a few feet from one of the patio doors.

          Remember that Freyja is only 4 months old at the most.

          She did not run.

          She sat right up against the glass door watching, with an aggressive pose, all too much like the Warrior Queen would have, this is just the latest in a series of “signs”.

          • Sounds like Freyja is 100% Tortie. The lack of fear and willingness to take on a stranger in her territory. Kasey, Steeler and Stirfry would be proud.

          • Yeah, I was thinking that.

            Funny thing is, there is NO white on her, cream, but not white.

            Even Kasey had a small patch of white on her chest, not that as the theory goes, that it moderated her behaviour 😉

            These cats are something because as fearless as they seem, they show affection with the same intensity and Freyja likes attention. She will stop running around and purposely come running to visit or sit with me. She has also responded to her name for a few weeks now.

  39. “but an ADULT Freyja will be the top cat in your house”

    Jay, I have no doubt of that from watching her. It is difficult to describe but as I have said previously, it is like watching a Kasey kitten in many ways,

    She had a vet visit today for a check and booster shot. She came out of the carrier and “owned” the place. Not afraid, walked around with her tail up, investigating everything. Was good with the vet but didn’t care for the thermometer.

    None of this had a lasting impression on her, once these things were done, she continued her strutting search of the room.

    When she got home, she rested a bit and is now terrorizing Tim.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if she grows to be one of what has been called here, “one of the great cats”, along the lines of Kasey, Stirfry or Steeler. That may be a bit of a premature call, but right now, it looks like she is headed that way.

  40. Little Freyja is doing very well.

    She has met Tim and that went well, we don’t leave them unsupervised because Tim is used to playing rough with Taz and Freyja is quite small, for now. Freyja stalks him though and they play, they have been nose to nose and Tim has rubbed her.

    Oddly, Gigi is a bit standoffish, she is not hostile but does hiss a bit, although Taz used to do that with new arrivals but soon cam around.

    There is one other thing, and it is not just my wishful thinking, others have said it too, she is like a baby Kasey.

    Here is what we see;

    Very responsive and affectionate to people.

    Very observant, aware of everything around her, including things going on outside.

    Very confident, strutting around in a very self assured manner.

    No fear of the larger animals, she seems aware of the size difference/disadvantage but this does not prevent her from stalking them in a very skilful fashion.

    Very strong prey drive, at approx. 9 weeks old, she is seriously watching the birds outside the sun room, very intently. She is very calculating and serious when “stalking” toys.

    We have a few stuffed toys about 1/2 the size of her, today, several times, I put several on the second shelf of the big cat tree which she is getting very good at scaling. Several times, today, she climbed up to them, in spite of their size, she picked one up with her mouth and would jump down to the floor with it and proceeded to maul it.

    Perhaps in a few months, I will have to supervise her play with Tim to protect him. 😉

      • Glen, Freyja sounds like a wonderful little Tortie. She does have Kasey’s look and some of her attitude. Probably Kasey is watching over her as she inspects her new home and ging her help with the greetings. Tim is a wonderful orange kitty and laid back as most seem, so acceptance should not be a problem. Now Gigi is a Tortie and they take time to accept new additions. My Styx still gets upset whe attention is paid to another cat and not her.

        Love the pics of Freyja.

        • Freyja is now playing with Tim, under supervision; he is good with her but he was used to playing rough with Taz and she is still small. They had a great time this morning.

          Gigi is a bit more reserved, at first she hissed and ran away but this is getting better, gradually; something to keep working on. I suspect the Empress, being older and more dignified is not open to having a kitten pester her.

          A couple days ago, there were wild turkeys in the back yard. Freyja climbed the cat tree to get a better look at them. She was all curiosity.

          This morning, we let her out in the main part of the house. There was no fear, she strutted around with her tail up, checking everything out. She found a stuffed toy that is intended for the dog, and even though it was twice here size, she wrestled it and dragged it around.

          I am not sure if it is just kitten fur, or if she is either a short hair with longish fur, or verging on a medium hair. I am getting her used to brushing because I think it may be necessary to do when she is older.

          needless to say, she is doing very well.

          • Sounds like things are going really well, Glen. Freya already sounds like she’s got tortitude and then some! I’m sure she will Gigi over eventually.

          • Freyja is starting to get the run of part of the house, under supervision.

            She is quite bold, not fearful at all and is enjoying herself.

            She is now running with Tim. I cut some openings in a small cardboard box yesterday and Freyja and Tim play “whack-a-mole” with it, taking turns being the mole in the box. She loves this and does not back down. This has been good for Tim because he was really missing his old buddy, Taz.

          • Freyja has showed a couple more indications of “channelling” Kasey.

            When I am in my big recliner chair, she gets up and lays down between my ankles to sleep.

            She and Tim play quite well now, but, even at her still relatively small size, she can get, and keep, him on the run; she is showing signs of being dominant, already.

            I still think she will be a medium hair. Her fur is long and soft, reminiscent of angora. I am not sure if this is “kitten fuzz” or if she will retain it into adulthood.

          • Gig is a bit slower to come around.

            At first she growled, hissed and ran away. Now she just hisses quietly once in a while.

            I can get them to play with a string, together, so that is progress; I encourage her but don’t force her to interact.

            She is the dignified old Empress, after all, and is somewhat above all that kitten foolishness 😉

          • Sounds like little Freyja is becoming a true Tortie and it’s starting to show. Haven’t been any that have been the equal of Kasey, Steeler or Stirfry on here. Just Brooke to hold the title of Tortitude. She has a wondeful look and I so love hearing about her progress.

          • Well, it happened again this morning, this is a frequent occurrence.

            Tim and Freyja were play fighting in my big chair this morning (while I wasn’t in it), this is typical.

            Tim uses his current size advantage and pins her. I used to intervene, but I don’t now. She goes on her back to use all 4 feet.

            Pretty soon, Tim takes off, leaving her in possession of the whole chair. This is a very consistent outcome now of these scuffles.

            Leaves me to wonder how this will progress as she grows. Her feet and legs are big and we think she may grow bigger than Tim, eventually. Kasey was 13 pounds when she was at a healthy weight, Freyja might get there, too.

            Freyja is already showing signs of dominance.

          • Glen – you said “Freyja is already showing signs of dominance”. What do you expect from a Tortie living in Kasey’s house and being watched over by her.
            Freyja is going to be a very interesting one to watch.
            I love watching how Diver takes on his 2 kittens Onyx and Tabasco. Tabasco is now bigger but Diver is the Boss. He wins most times but you can see how he gives up easily to let the young ones feel they did. Tim is probably doing that now but an ADULT Freyja will be the top cat in your house.

  41. New arrival on Sat. March 19th.

    We will be bringing Freyja home from the Fort Erie SPCA.

    She is an approx. 8 to 9 week old torti, and she won us over
    very quickly at the first meeting on March 12th; so much so
    that we put a “hold” on her right away.

    She is fairly dark, with little white/cream, she has an orange
    blaze up the center of her face. She could be either Kasey’s,
    or Gigi’s baby. Pictures to be posted on Facebook.

    She likes attention but is very active, as can be expected for
    her age and for being cooped up with all of her pent up energy.
    She loves to play, but only hits your fingers with claws in, and
    nips with a soft mouth. Both these behaviors will be addressed
    with redirection to toys.

    I worked from home today and we went over at noon to visit
    her and ran her in the visiting room with toys until she slowed
    down (took a while).

    The winterized sun room will be set up for her while she is being
    settled in, prior to introductions. There will be some engaging,
    interactive toys in there, both for her, and our sanity.

    She is a bit small yet for this, but I expect that in time, she will
    give the immature, very active Tim a very good run.

      • Starting to get the sun room ready for Freyja.

        By Sat. morning, we’ll just be able to let her out of the carrier in there, everything will be all set for her.

          • Things are all set for her, will be picking her up shortly after 9:00 on Sat. morning.

            The sun room is a great place for new arrivals. Fully winterized, heated with a thermostatically controlled gas fireplace. There are glass doors to the rest of the house so she, and Gigi and Tim can see each other, without contact.

            We have a large crate with food, water, a bed and litter, there. She’ll go in there at night for the first while to keep her out of trouble. She will be let out into the room during the day. We did that with Tim when he was little and it worked pretty well.
            Two of the outside walls have patio doors, which have blinds.

            Normally, as with Tim, we close the blinds at night so nothing that might come up to the patio doors will scare the kitten. But then, she’s a torti, it might keep her from wanting to get at whatever was outside 😉

          • Got her home at 9:30, as I type this, it is 1:00 and she has been active and playing for 3 1/2 hours. I guess she has had activity deficit from being caged. 😉

            She becoming quite friendly, stops during the “mayhem” for a pet, greet and rub.

            She seems to be quite smart and it appears thought goes into a lot of her play.

            She is what I imagine Kasey might have been like at that age.

            She has seen Gigi and Tim through the glass, so far, everyone is calm so hopefully, that continues.

  42. This will not be a popular move at home, but it is time for Gigi to cut back on the food intake.

    While the Empress was never designed to the one of those slim, flexible cats, 16.6 pounds is too heavy for her.

    She is going on daily measured volumes of food (this is a do as I say, not as I do). 😉

    • Well, good timing, Glen! Read today’s post about a new study that looked at cats’ behavior after they were put on a diet. I don’t think you have to worry! 🙂

    • Let me know how that goes Glen. I know most of mine are healthy and fit but Frankie could cut down on the kibble intake also. Most of his exercise is walking from the litter box to the food bowl and back.

  43. We had to make a difficult decision to let Taz go this afternoon.

    He was 17 1/2 years old and he had been here since he showed up at about 12 weeks of age.

    In his prime, he was a 22 pound orange boy, basically Maine Coon sized.

    He had slowed down a lot in the past year but was still viable, but he began declining in Feb. and stopped eating a couple days ago, he was 18 pounds today.

    I like to remember him as that big, strong, exuberant cat. Up until a couple years ago, if there was something strange or undignified for a cat to do, he was up for it.

    I think he missed his little tuxie girl Morgan, who passed a couple years ago. She was 1/2 his size but could back him up when he got too annoying. They used to play and chase each other through the house when they were younger.

    He sure will be missed.

    • Oh Glen, I’m so sorry. It sounds like he had a wonderful life up until the very end, and 17 1/2 years is a long life, but it’s just still never long enough. I like to think that he and Morgan are playing together again.

    • Glen, I am so sorry to hear this. I remember all your stories on how playful your big orange guy was. He was part of our family here and will be missed greatly. Little Tim I’m sure it upset his big brother is not around to keep him in line. Kasey will be waiting to greet him and show him how nice the Bridge is and Steeler and Stirfry will be beside her as part of the welcoming committee.

  44. Just adopted a couple cats one is a beautiful dilute Tortie! A little over weight but hopefully not for long. She DEFINITELY had tortitude! My boyfriend (never had a cat) is in love with her but keeps asking if she’s ok because she’s constantly “talking” to him while she’s being pet! He keeps thinking she’s mad but I keep reminding him she’s just a blabber mouth! It’s been a real joy to see him bind with the cats so quickly and especially this interesting type! I’ve always loved torties!

  45. I have a general question regarding the likelihood of two, spayed female indoor cats of different ages getting along.

    This is assuming proper introduction procedures are done.

    I know that each situation, and individual cats, can be different, I am just looking for generalities.

    Ingrid, I know has Ruby and Alegra, and was wondering how they worked thing out, as well as any others on the blog.

    I have heard it said that there is the potential for “sparks to fly” but you can’t always believe these generally repeated comments.

    My most recent experience was with Kasey, but that was hardly a normal case 😉 the Warrior Queen, while loving human attention, seemed to see other animals as either prey or opponents (hopefully worthy ones for a challenge). She did seem to show the placid Gigi some respect and was not aggressive with her.

    My experience

    • My experience has been that gender has very little to do with whether two cats will get along, Glen. Temperament is much more important. Slow and gradual introductions will go a long way toward ensuring that two cats will get along. Allegra and Ruby got along pretty much from the start – I followed my gut instinct with them and did not introduce them slowly, although I do not recommend that! I was lucky that after a few hours of some hissing and growling, they decided that they were good with each other and actually started to play.

      • Thanks, Ingrid

        Kasey’s introduction took somewhere between a month and really, never, completely.

        Gigi’s took about 12 hours, if that.

        Two very different torties.

        • This perfectly illustrates the point I’m making in my new book as well as on this site: while torties do share some very distinct and unique personality traits, each cat is an individual.

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