Conscious Cat

August 17, 2009 13,627 Comments

“Tortitude” – The Unique Personality of Tortoiseshell Cats

Posted by Ingrid

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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13,627 Responses to ““Tortitude” – The Unique Personality of Tortoiseshell Cats”

  1. Bernie says:

    Hi gang, Well yesterday, my area had huge Thunder and Lightning Storms all day, with heavy downpours, wind and flooding. There was damage all around. Now to get to the story behind this. Freedom, my rescued Russian Blue, mother of Justice, my Tortie and Liberty, my grey tiger tabby, sat inside the window in my room. The window was open, and the sills are wide. She sat there and never winched at the lightning show or the roar of the thunder, the whipping winds and heavy rains. She had been a feral for so long this storm didn’t faze her. Some of the mist of the rain sprayed onto her coat and all she did was give herself a good grooming. This little gem, is a wonderful gift to me. She fears nothing, except the open door to the outside (since she once went out, ran and would not come back to me). I left her out there and within minutes she was at the back door and now she runs into another room when the door opens. So while Steeler and Kasey left the state of PA know they were together and causing a lot noise and rain, Freedom was here and saying bring it on. The other kittens, weren’t fazed by the storm. I was able to leave the sunroom windows open and the kitty trees held Liberty watching the storm and Justice and Dajudge (my Torties) took up residence in another protected window sill off the porch, well protected. So when I look at Freedom she is small and solid in stature but she is huge in courage. :)

  2. Kym says:

    I have a rare male tortie, and his personality is just like what is described here! He is so independent and fearless. He tries to fight with my dog (who is a small terrier mix). My dog just sits there while Blaze (the tortie) is jumping all over him. He is attached to me and follows me everywhere. He has the loudest purr and meow I’ve ever heard! One time, he ran out of water and he made sure people at the other end of the house knew about it. His calico sister, Lily/Ginny (we keep changing her name), is much more calm than he is. Blaze definitely has tortitude!

    • Ingrid says:

      That is so cool that you have a male tortie, Kym. Feel free to post photos of him on our Facebook page. Blaze sounds like he’s read the book on tortitude!

    • Jay says:

      Welcome Kym and Blaze. I know Male Torties are rare ( or were as we never heard about them until recently – now they are popping up all over :) . Or Ingrid’s Blog is attracting them). I am Jay in eastern Pa. I have just been given the opportunity to add a male Tortie to my family. His name is Diver. Please tell us more about Blaze – how big is he, is he friendly to other people and animals and such. Blaze joins Doodlebug, Terror and Diver on Ingrid’s site which should really increase the popularity of this great Tortie Blog.

    • Jay says:

      Kym, did you post any pictures of Blaze on Ingrid’s FB page ? I would love to learn more about him. My E-mail is warlock9@ptd.net
      I know so little about Male Torties other that they are rare, I now have Diver and he is so Un Tortie. Total opposite of Stirfry. He is big with huge paws while she is small and compact. He is super friendly and makes friends easily whether the other cat wants to or not. Stirfry is —- well Stirfry.
      I so want to learn more about Blaze.

  3. Luana says:

    I adopted a charming miss – Mz.Brownie – about 3.5 yrs. ago. She is a beautiful tortie who is as sweet as the day is long. She blended very well with my other 3 adoptees. She even likes the Jack Russell that visits weekly. She is my shadow and my constant companion. She has a VERY loud purr but a soft mew. She gets along well with everyone and is always curious about whatever you are doing, whether it is eating or writing or reading. She pretty much leaves the computer alone – her brother Mr. Beau has the computer duty. he he Sadly enough her previous owners had her completely declawed on all fours. So she doesn’t go out hardly at all. I only allow my kittiez to join me on the patio for short periods of time. The first thing Mz. Brownie does when she goes to the patio is to go to the succulents and start munching on them. NO NO!! Then it is back in the house with her. I love ALL my kittiez and the JR but she is a special baby.

    • Ingrid says:

      Mz. Brownie sounds like a wonderful girl, Luana!

      • Luana says:

        Oh Ingrid – She truly is. She loves to sleep with me but has to be on the outside closest to the edge of the bed. I worry about her falling off because she has no way to grip the bedcovers as she goes to the floor. So I end up holding her most of the night. She’s Happy! Since I am new to this group I shall have to figure out how to navigate here and post a picture or two. Not used to this type of a forum. But I will figure it out.

        • Ingrid says:

          Welcome to our tortie family, Luana! You can post photos on our Facebook page (link in the sidebar) – we’d love to see Mz. Brownie!

          • Luana says:

            I do not do FB. Can I post without being a member??

          • Ingrid says:

            I don’t think you can post to Facebook unless you have an account, Luana. And BTW, no need to fill in the “website” field here when you leave comments, you can skip that. Email is the only required field :-)

    • Jay says:

      Welcome Luana, Mz.Brownie and Mr. Beau to Ingrid’s Tortie group and family. We love our Torties and our other cats who are non-tortie and there for subjects of the Torties :)
      We never have control of the how our cats were treated before they came to us ( or before we learn more about procedures). I had 2 of mine front declawed before I found this blog and then learning how cruel that is. My Tortie Stirfry was declawed but then it was more of a survival procedure (for me). Stir was a feral and for the 1st 2 years I had her she never learned to retract her claws when striking at me. When she was fixed I had them also do that also. Now 10 years later she still strikes at me along with bites. But she does love me and shows it. But she is one of those Torties that can go from soft and cuddily to demon cat in seconds and then back as if nothing happened. Harry did an article on it called Petting Aggression which Ingrid has posted. She along with my Tortie w white – Tabatha are the only ones of my crew who can go outside with supervision. Both head straight to the grass to be chewed – and then sometimes thrown up on the carpet minutes later. Please tell us more about the antics of Mz.Brownie and Mr. Beau.

      • Luana says:

        Hi Jay! Thanks for the welcome! I am new to this sort of forum but I will get the hang of it and maybe I will be able to post a picture of my beautiful Tortie and the others. The beginning of my cat lady life didn’t start until 2001 when I adopted Mr. Bailey & Mz. Mikki. I had a profession that took me away from home for days at a time and it would not have been fair to an animal before that time. Since the first two, who sadly enough both died soon after getting them, I went to our local shelter to check out the adoptees. I had Mr. Bailey for 1.5 yrs. and just couldn’t come home to an empty house after having him greet me all the time. That is when I adopted Mr. Beau and Vesper, a large black feral kitten. Then a few years later I found a litter of 5 and the mama who was starving to death. I fostered them for the shelter and when they were old enough to be clipped they were returned to the shelter. Lil Girl (another black ASH) was the only one that was never adopted because she is not horribly friendly. So I took her back and that gave me 3 cats at home. Then a couple years after that a neighbor asked if I knew of anyone who could adopt a young cat. I said let me see …. DUH!!! Fell in love with her – lock, stock, and hairball – immediately. So I met the surrendering parents and they agreed that their kitten would be a fine addition to my home. So I have the four of them. Mz. Brownie has all sorts of funny little quirks that I shall write about along the way. But for now that just gives you a little idea of who I am.

        • Marg says:

          Hi Luana … I love your posts and the phrase “lock, stock and hairball” … ! Welcome aboard!

          • Luana says:

            Thanks Marg. I hope to write more about my Torti. Mz. Brownie in the upcoming days. Thanks for the welcome. Cheers, ^jj^ ;o))

          • Jay says:

            Luana, I to loved the phrase “lock, stock and hairball” . We find on here that cats are like chips – ya can’t have just 1.
            Bernie on here just had Steeler, who was a 1 house 1 cat Tortie. When Steeler crossed the Bridge 2 years ago she was devastated. But 2 kittens showed up and then their mom. Now Bernie has 4. Harry and Bernadette on here are multi cat families and foster parents.
            I am just an animal lover and collector. 3 barn critters ( 2 mini horses and a mini donkey) and now a family of 6 cats ( 4 Torties) all of who were rescues/feral cats. I have 2 “Rare” Torties – Diver who is a male and Stirfry who is the direct descendant of a Saber Tooth Tortie.

  4. Erin says:

    I would like to share that my family and I were so truly blessed to have our beloved tortie Tiki with us if only for a brief time. My husband and I have two small children ( boy age 3 and girl 19 months) and were throwing around the idea of adopting cat for sometime. Since it was the holiday season we decided it would be the perfect time to set out in search for our little ” Christmas kitty”. We had done our research and were hoping to find a tortie cat with all the spunk and energy to keep up with our wild little ones! Well, we found her a few weeks before Xmas at the humane society. She was the first kitty to come up to us as if she was saying “Pick me ! Pick me!” And of course we already had our minds made up that she was ours because she was the only tortie out of about 12 kittens! As soon as we brought her home she fit right in ! We also have a dog , one fish and one bird. She made friends with everyone I’m not kidding ! She loved to play with bottle caps and she would even dig them out of the trash to play with ! She would keep us entertained for hours playing fetch with the bottle caps, digging out socks out of the laundry , those are some of the things I will miss the most about her. She had the sweetest personality but I can’t she had torti -tude at least not too a “T” that is because she was never fiesty or tried to “run the house” so to speak . Definatly unique but not diva like. Even when my kids would be torturing her chasing her around the house and what not, not ever did she show any aggression toward us. She also use to come into my daughter’a room every night and listen to story time with them , I kid you not! Her sweet loving soul truly touched my family’s hearts in such a way there are not enough words to describe . I sign off with a heavy heart now .. My dear Tiki may you rest in peace . You will be missed more than you will ever know and we loved having you in our family for a short but sweet 7 months. Forever in our hearts little “Teeks”

    • Ingrid says:

      Tiki sounds like she was a very special girl, Erin. I’m so sorry she was only with your family for such a short time.

    • Luana says:

      Erin – Having lost my two cats – one after only a month of her – I feel your pain. How nice for Tiki to have made you and your family her last visit on this earthly plane. I still love my Mr. Bailey, a tiger stripe, and will always remember him fondly. Because of his wonderful personality I became a “Cat Lady.” Now that I have my sweet tortie, I would not hesitate to adopt another one when the time is right. But four cats is sufficient for the time being. Bless your hearts.

    • Luana says:

      My heart goes out to you and your family. Thank goodness that Tiki was able to have you in her life and you had her’s in your’s. Bless your hearts. I tried to post a response a little bit ago but it wouldn’t take it – hopefully you will read this one. I still miss my Mr. Bailey but because he was such a wonderful boy, it opened up my life to adopt more kittiez and to become a “cat lady.” Our departed furry friends will always be remembered and cherished.

      • Erin says:

        Luana-
        Aww thank you for taking your time and giving me some encouraging words in these hard times. I believe there is a special place reserved up in heaven for all of our furry friends. What an awesome site this is where tortie and other cat lovers can unite! Before we adopted Tiki ,I remember going on here and getting a kick of all of the fabulous tortie tales posted. The last two days have been almost too painful to bare , but I find comfort in knowing that people like you understand. Tonight we are having a special ceremony for our sweet girl. She will be buried next to a tree that she loved to climb and overlooking the creek in our backyard. I also made a headstone with her name spelled with bottle caps that she loved to play with.

        • Ingrid says:

          The ceremony you have planned for Tiki sounds lovely, Erin, and what a wonderful idea for a headstone! We’ll all be with you in spirit.

          • Erin says:

            Thank you so much Ingrid. I know that someday when our hearts have taken the time to heal properly, there will be other special kitties to touch our lives. Tiki was our first tortie, but I have a strong feeling she won’t be the last !

        • Jay says:

          Erin, that sounds like a wonderful way to say goodbye to her Spirit as she joins our others. On here we think that when you hear Thunder it is our Torties playing and keeping the others in line. Tonight they are calling for T-storms. I will listen for Steeler and Kasey ( our Tortie Warriors) to welcome Tiki. She will be safe and happy.

          • Erin says:

            Aww bless your heart! It gives me great comfort in knowing she will have two new playmates up there to show her the ropes and introduce her to many other friends . How ironic about the chance of thunderstorms tonight ? I hope they have a great welcoming party for her in heaven tonight !

          • Erin says:

            One more thing, Tiki loved spaghetti so I hope they make her a big ol’ pot of it tonight . She liked the sauce but especially love playing with the noodles ,hehe

          • Erin says:

            P.S. Don’t think I’m a bad cat mom, I never gave her a plate of spaghetti … SHe would just always find her way over to the leftovers, lick the sauce off the spoon and even dig noodles out of the sink ! One time she dug a piece of brocolli out of the sink and played with it for like a hour ! She was all creeped out by it but couldn’t get enough at the same time! Such a weirdo !

          • Glen says:

            Sorry for your loss.

            It has been just over a year since I lost Kasey, and I still have a tough time with it.

          • Jay says:

            Glen, we all mourn the loss of Kasey. She was one of the few on here that were respected and feared by all other animals. But thru you ( and Ingrid’s Blog) she will never be forgotten. All cats are loved but few are loved by thousands.
            We had storms last night and Kasey and Steeler were heard. Tiki was welcomed by open paws.

          • Erin says:

            Hi gang . That’s so good to hear that Tiki was welcomed last night by her new family . I would like to share some pics of my little angel but unfortunately I don’t have a FB.. I was thinking of setting up a FB page in her honor. Advice is welcome ;-)

        • Luana says:

          Erin – I promise that there is ALWAYS hope! These times are hard – VERY HARD! I cried for about 1.5 yrs. before I could recite the death of Mr. Bailey. But BECAUSE of him, I knew there would be other kitty souls in my life. SO MUCH SO!!! I am a very logical yet sentimental person and since Bailey had been my first cat pet, I was devastated but also knew that I had to have more of that uncomplicated love that cats can give. I know that dogs are the same but cats are totally different beings. I love what you are going to do for the ceremony for her. Awwwwwwww the special bottle caps will make it all the more memorable. Bless you – and know that Mr. Bailey is over the rainbow and playing with her already! Huggggz to you and the family!! ^jj^ ;o))

          • Erin says:

            Thank you my dear ! It warms my heart to know that Mr. Bailey and Tiki are playing up in heaven together . The ceremony last night was very sweet and I could feel her spirit watching us. I gave a short eulogy and layed her to rest with her favorite leopard blanket. We are going to plant some seeds ( not sure what yet, suggestions?) over her this weekend. I got the idea from a book we rented at the library. It’s called ’10 good things about Barney’ I picked it up a few days ago to explain to the kids what happened to Tiki.

          • Ingrid says:

            The black and gold of black-eyed susans or sunflowers always make me think of torties.

          • Jay says:

            Planting seed over Tiki’s resting spot sounds great. Pick your favorite flower for the color and maybe some Nip. Remember it grows like a weed. I have it planted in my yard and it provides enjoyment for outside cats, friends at work furry ones and ones in my family.

          • Erin says:

            Yes I was thinking of sunflowers as well ! I started a FB page for Tiki last night. Bare with me though,It’s just getting started and I don’t know how often I will update it.. but you guys can check it our if ya want !

          • Ingrid says:

            Erin, the link you provided did not take me to Facebook – I’ve removed it. Try copying the URL of your Facebook page – that should work. :-)

          • Erin says:

            100004946119096%40facebook.com

          • Jay says:

            Tortie Code ??? :)

          • Erin says:

            Haha sorry kinda a tech dummy here!

          • Erin says:

            Gotcha , thanks Ingrid :)

          • Ingrid says:

            Nope, that’s not the right link, either (link removed). Why don’t you friend me on Facebook, and I’ll find the correct link for you? :-)

    • Jay says:

      Erin, so sorry for your loss of Tiki. She was blessed that you gave her a forever home and she gave her whole heart to you. It hurts when they leave us but knowing they will watch over us until we meet again helps. I lost my big lovable Pumpkin last year and just last month adopted Diver. He has Punky’s personality – big, lovable and friendly to all. Even plays with Frank by wrestling and then going to the food dish together afterwards. Keep an eye open, Another cat ( Tortie or not) will probably show up when you are not expecting it. Read Ingrid’s story about Steeler and how she sent 2 little ones to Bernie.

      http://consciouscat.net/2012/06/13/liberty-and-justice-a-tale-of-loss-faith-and-kittens/

      And here is the beginning of how I got Diver.

      https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.610283892353737.1073741842.108049852577146&type=1

      • Erin says:

        Jay – how nice of you to reply, thank you for sharing such sweet stories . Having cats (or any animal for that matter) around is a comfort unlike any other. After they enter our lives , we are forever changed for the better I believe :)

    • Marg says:

      Erin, I’m so sorry for your loss. It is truly a hard thing to get through – thankfully other animal lovers understand and you will definitely get a lot of understanding from everybody here. Our cats take a tiny piece of our hearts with them when they leave us – they always have our love and we are left with our beautiful memories.

      • Erin says:

        Thank you Marg. It’s very tough but I’m so thankful there is a place like this for all of us who have such love and understanding for all the special torties out there !

    • Pam says:

      Hello Erin,

      This is so sad. I have a tortie, too, Quito, and I love her to bits! She meowed her way to my heart as a young homeless cat in a parking garage in L.A. Such a loud meow! She hid under cars, so so scared and meowing all the while, but I was determined to rescue her and I finally did. She’s a hoot and wrestles with my little dog. I have a sign in my house that says “You had me at Meow.” You never said how Tiki died, how did she die?

      Pam

  5. Erin says:

    Thank you for your kind words :-) She really made a lasting impression on our hearts in her short time here .

    • Jay says:

      All our furballs do – but it seems Torties grab our hearts and never let go.

      I love all of mine but Stir is my soul mate.

      • Erin says:

        How very true my friend . Torties really are one of a kind. This morning has been really tough. I find it hard not to break down and crumble . I know I have to be strong for my kids but my heart is just shattered. My poor dog Shelby is heartbroken too. She keeps searching for her little buddy but I think she must know. The good news is my kids are too young to fully understand . Jackson my 3 year old is taking it better than we expected. I know my heart will eventually heal but in the eye of the storm right now and I keep reminiscing on all of her funny traits. We use to call her ” buckin’ bronco” because she would always jump up into the air almost like a meer cat on her back legs to get pet. I just miss her so much!

      • Luana says:

        Jay – I have to admit that my Mz.Brownie is one of my favs but Shhhhhhhhhhh, don’t tell the others. Mr. Beau is my other one. he he Somehow I knew that torties were special and she is proving it every day.

  6. Mel; Leelu & Stitch says:

    Well, Leelu and I had an adventure that wasn’t very nice.

    So we had to switch cat foods for a while and Leelu got dandruff that we couldn’t brush out or comb out. Therefore the dreaded bath had to come into play. She ended up biting me when we rinsed her off for the last time and she dug pretty deep with her teeth.

    I’m all healed up now and Leelu apologized via lots of cuddles but it was definitely an adventure we aren’t likely to repeat.

    • Jay says:

      I have bathed mine when fleas came in last year. It went frame long cries with some, devastated looks from others. And Frankie who is a lovable Tuxie turned Tortie and fought and bit. I know where you are coming from. Leelu is now probably back to her lovable self but she let you know that the “Demon Cat” doesn’t need much to be conjured back out.

      • Mel; Leelu & Stitch says:

        She’s a lot like a calico when she’s not wet. Sweet, squishy 20lbs kitty who loves to be cuddled.

        The second you bring her to the bathroom when it wasn’t her idea? Well… The Demon Cat we don’t see elsewhere springs to life.

        I think it has to do with the streak of white that’s slowly growing that we call the ‘happy streak’ seeing as it didn’t show up until six months after her adoption into our home. Maybe it calms the ‘Tude a bit?

        • Ingrid says:

          People seem to be divided on whether the addition of white amps up or calms the tortitude. :-)

          • Mel; Leelu & Stitch says:

            Mmm. Well, I’ll take Leelu as she is, spazziness, zoomies and all the cuddles I could ever want. :)

          • Jay says:

            I tend to side with Harry that it calms them down. Tabatha has white on her belly, paws and a touch on her nose. She is loving and gentle and will only hiss when confronted. Stirfry seems to reject every white hair that attempts to appear on her body. And you know how she is.

            Styx has no white and has some Tortitude.

            And Diver – he is mostly gold with black sprinkled in. Tortie – yes
            Tude – not even a hint. Still doing a study on him.

        • Glen says:

          “I think it has to do with the streak of white that’s slowly growing that we call the ‘happy streak’ seeing as it didn’t show up until six months after her adoption into our home. Maybe it calms the ‘Tude a bit?”

          Kasey, the Warrior Queen, had a dark face and next to no white, the light parts were few and more of a cream color. She was a fierce torti, but she showed affection to people with the same, fierce intensity.

          Gigi, our long hair, 14 pound “gentle giant” has a ginger face and it a torti with white. She likes everyone, including other animals.

          Perhaps it is a coincidence as far as coloring and behaviour goes, though.

          • Mel; Leelu & Stitch says:

            Well, since I volunteer at a shelter, I see lots of Torties and we had one with no white (her name was Hershey) and she was the sweetest thing I have ever had the pleasure of coming across. She lolled in your arms like a rag-doll cat would and she had the biggest green eyes. She got adopted only a week afterwards and her humans dropped by to tell us that they loved her a bunch.

    • Luana says:

      OMG, this is going to be my 4th try to get this message to you. he he All I was going to relate to you is that bathing is something I do by myself with the exception of Mr. Beau who has to be on the toilet seat lid or wandering the perimeter of the bath tub. He peers down into the water wondering what those bubbles are all about. he he He has never jumped in. Now he and his sissypoo, Lil Girl (Gulliver Gal) are both well acquainted with water as they MUST have their water dripping from the bathtub faucet or the kitchen faucet, mind you that doesn’t include the three bathroom faucets other than the tub faucet. GO FIGURE~~~ he he Good luck bathing ANY cat – Bless your heart! I do understand that the police do have a Kevlar Vest that is bulletproof (not an issue unless you truly have a demon cat) and also one that is STAB proof (usuable for any cat owner wishing to bathe their felines!) LOL

  7. Jay says:

    Ingrid, I was on your FB page. Where are the cat pictures ? I was looking for Blaze and was going to post pics of Diver. Are they in an Album ?

    • Ingrid says:

      They’ll show up on the Conscious Cat Facebook page on the timeline. Open the “Posts to Page” section in the left sidebar toward the bottom, and scroll through the posts.

      • Jay says:

        Found it. I was on Your FB page and not the Conscious Cat one. My mistake. I put up a pic of Diver. Yesterday he was playing with Arianrhod. She would walk under the chair he was in and he would reach down and touch her tail.

  8. Bernie says:

    If some of you are wondering where is Bernie and her responses, Well here it is. I had the eye surgery on 4/9/2014. I had a setback on that and I am only on and off the system intermittently, so as not to aggravate my eye discomfort. So if you don’t hear from me, just know I hope to be able to spend more time on the system than I have been. It may be a little longer, I am hoping all heals quickly now and my sight will be ok and no sensitivity.

    There are many posts that I would like to respond to and I will eventually. Keep telling about your fur babies.

    • Marg says:

      Bernie – you poor thing. You have been at the wars. Wishing you a speedy recovery and looking forward to hearing about the antics of your four soon!

      • Bernie says:

        Marg my site is beginning to improve. Jay Davenport, is right, he may get into trouble now, my sight is getting better. Thanks for your kind words.

        My four, have not stopped surprising me with their silly behavior. Now that the windows are open, they are being entertained by birds, rabbits, deer, groundhogs, and yes, even a skunk, or as we in the country refer to them as “Country Kitties”.

        Things are very active here. Freedom, the momma, who had been so feral, when I rescued, is a sweetheart and has become the free kitten she wasn’t able to be outside. She plays and chases the others, especially in the early, very early AM, around 2 AM to 5 AM it sounds like a herd of buffalo are running around upstairs on the wooden floors. It has gotten to the point, that it is so normal for them now, that most of the time I just sleep thru it.

        I will be so happy when my eye is completely healed and reading and typing will not become a problem. That day is coming and I am feeling very confident about that.

        There are so many great posts that have gone up on here, but I have only been able to read some of them before my eye would blur and run. Hope to get around to let these folks know, what a crew I have and at the same time learn more about everyone’s little fur babies.

        That includes Ms. Gracie. Hope she is doing fine. Tell your Mum I wish her well and am delighted to hear she is going on her special holiday with her very special daughter.

    • Jay says:

      I’m in trouble now. Bernie is getting her sight back.

      And she will also see when I’m packing a cat or 2 in my suitcase.

  9. Ingrid says:

    Okay, here we go, everyone: the correct link to Tiki’s Facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004946119096

    Erin, she looked like she was such a sweetie. I can’t even imagine how much you must miss her.

  10. Erin says:

    Hi all, hope everyone had a good weekend. Ours was sure eventful! I swear life is full of surprises ! We are now the proud family members of a 7 week old? gray kitten. A friend of a friend of my husbands volunteers for out local cat rescue org. He is part of the trap nueter release program and has successfully trapped ,spayed and neutered all but a few of the cats living on his property. The friend of my husbands told the cat man about what happened to Tiki and wouldn’t you know that one of the cats on his property had her litter and all but one was given away to good homes. I couldn’t stand the thought of having the poor little guy thrown outside to just sink or swim. And thus, operation save kitty swung into action this am. We had to drive up to the top of the mountain where this guy lives. And let me tell you it was a pretty heltor skeltor mission getting there! My poor Toyota corolla was barely able to make it! But once we got there, I knew we were doing the right thing by rescuing this little guy. He is doing great now, eating solid foods and even used the litter box already . I’ve never taken care of a kitten this young before, so it’s a learning experience for sure! Any advice would be greatly appreciated:) he looks like a russian blue, which just so happens to be my other favorite breed or whatever you want to call it. I feel like Tiki would be of our decision . They sure would’ve been cute together :) we are thinking of naming him Rush. Other names I like are: Foggy, Cosmo & Presley…. Hubby said no to Presley, but still pushing it lol. Anyone have any good ones?

    • Bernie says:

      Erin, Hi and welcome. I am Bernie. Steeler was my Tortie and occasionally called my little terrorist, with loads of Tortitude, a perfert contender with Jay Davenport’s Stirfry and Glen Tortie, and Warrior Queeen, Kasey.

      After Steeler passed over the bridge in April 2012, I did not want any more kittens. Then as I soon learned, we don’t pick our little ones they pick up or are sent to us by our little ones that passed over that rainbow bridge. In Glen’s case, Gigi came into his life just before Kasey had to leave. I believe Kasey arranged that so that Glen would be ok when she had to leave, but as we all know when our little loves ones cross that bridge, we are never OK, but we go on. So the moral of this long way around is, you are not an exception, your precious Tiki may have passed over the rainbow bridge, but she is still working her magic for you. She, undoubtedly had a paw in having you go get the little baby to love and keep in it’s new forever home.

      You will be fine with the kitten. I had Steeler send me 2 kittens on the same day. I took my window screens and made a large playpen with them, complete with a large flannel backed tablecloth, turned plastic side down, 2 kitty beds, toys, a little kitty tower, a litter box, their food dishes and water bowls. From there I gave them all the love and attention they could handle. So if this is any help to you, it worked for me. They were litter trained, immediately, and learned to eat and play with each other and with myself and yes Jay Davenport made a trip to my home to see these little ones the first weekend after I got them. So thank Tiki, she is on your shoulder. I vetted the kittens within days of getting them, just to make sure they were healthy. Spaying/neutering came as they grew older.
      So love this little one, it is a precious gift.

      • Glen says:

        ” In Glen’s case, Gigi came into his life just before Kasey had to leave. I believe Kasey arranged that so that Glen would be ok when she had to leave, but as we all know when our little loves ones cross that bridge, we are never OK, but we go on.”

        Yes, that’s the way it went.

        They had a few months together. Kasey was actually tolerant of Gigi and would let here get close to her, sort of a tortie recognition.

        Gigi has been a big help and it went both ways, if she had no come here, she would have likely wound up in a shelter, where this gentle giant, long hair tortie would likely not have done well; I guess we helped each other.

        • Harry says:

          I’m not surprised if Sabrina sent Bobby our way. It was just a few weeks after she was gone that Bobby and his litter came in, in a trap – all ferocious little 5 week old feral furballs. Had it not been for that meeting, even though he looked exactly like her 6 months later when we crossed paths a second time… and maybe she sent him to complete the task she could not, integrating all our cats together. He is out and about with the other cats most of the time now, he’s convinced Piper to do the same, after years of she and Sabrina living in our bedroom. In fact, the two of them were out all day today, even when no one was home. He’s really balanced all the relationships. Let’s hope he can do the same for his sister… She has started leaving the room now, but hasn’t met Brooke… yet!

          • Bernie says:

            Harry you know our little ones that passed over have a way of coming back to us, most of the time to help us. So it took Sabrina a little while to find the right fit for the rest of her fur baby family and her human servants. She chose very well. Now she will guide Polly, gently, to continue the closeness of the little ones. Happiness comes when we least expect it. Bobby, is the peacemaker, Sabrina waited to find for you all.

          • Jay says:

            That is the hard part. Meeting the family is one thing. Meeting a 100% Tortie can be frightening.
            Hopefully the other cats will warn Polly to step lightly around Brooke. If you don’t get noticed right away you will be safe.
            It was 3 days before Diver met Stir and with only a glace from her he walked as far off the bed as he could before he jumped down. No Growl, no Hiss – just a glance.

    • Ingrid says:

      Congratulations on your new family member, Erin! I, too, think Tiki had a paw in this development :-)

    • Jay says:

      Erin, what a great way for us to start the week. Knowing that a kitten was sent to you by your beloved Tiki. As Bernie said – you don’t pick the cat but they pick you. Their is a plan by our loved ones that cross that they send someone to help your heart heal. They are never forgotten. We tell our new ones about their predecessor and tell their history and how they made you a better person. The name is up to you. Give the little one a few days and the name will come to you. All of mine had their names match their personality. Arianrhod KNOWS she is a Goddess, Diver is full of energy and jumps and dives off everything and stick around and you will learn how Stirfry got her name.

      • Erin says:

        Thanks Jay. The little guy is doing great so far. Full of curiousity and doesn’t seem to mind the madness of our house ! Will keep you all updated!!

  11. Erin says:

    * I feel like Tiki would be proud of our decision *

    • Jay says:

      We know she would be. She is watching over you. Last night we had storms and I heard the Torties playing.

  12. Bernie says:

    Jay, Glen and Erin, we had terrific thunder and lightning storms this past day. Steeler and Kasey are stirring things up big time. I am sure Tiki is right there wonder what’s with these two new friends.

    • Erin says:

      ⚡️⚡️⚡️

    • Jay says:

      Stirfry was by the window when I got home from the concert. It had just started to rain when I pulled in and put my critters away. Was dumping lawn clipping up in the pasture that I stopped to pick up from a friend . Lighting was flashing and I said hello to Kasey and Steeler. The other cats usually leave when it gets loud. But Stir has no fear and she enjoys listening to Tortie talk.

      • Harry says:

        Brooke is afraid of thunderstorms. I think she worries that she’s upset Steeler and Kasey…

        • Bernie says:

          Harry, I doubt if Brooke is afraid of upsetting Kasey and Steeler. More likely she is telling them “I hear you up there, but I don’t want to play with you”. So she takes to another chore. :)

  13. Erin says:

    Hi Bernie ,
    Thank you for writing such an inspirational message. I was honestly on the fence about having a new kitten so soon after Tiki’s untimely ending on this earth. In no way do I want to be disrespectful of her memory, so it means a lot that you say she had a “paw “in this beautiful surprise . Thanks for the advice as well. Little man is making himself right at home and playing with the newspaper as we speak :)

    • Bernie says:

      Erin, now you have to work on an appropriate name for the little guy. I know you will love him unconditionally. Tiki is purring. There is something to there being a sense of the unknown. I just accept that some things have no explanation. I truly am one who loves my little gifts from Steeler’s paw. She had a couple of paws in this one, but she made sure this time, I did get another Tortie, named Justice, and a tiger tabby named Liberty. She also made sure Justice did not have the “Tortitude” that Steeler was famous for. She has some Tortitude, but nothing compared to Steeler.
      Be happy with this little guy. Blessings from paws are precious.

  14. Alicia Mari says:

    I got my first tortoiseshell as a young teen. My Jazzmine lived to be twenty four years old. Is that the norm? I recently adopted a year old dilute tortie. Just curious if Rosie can expect the same.

    • Ingrid says:

      24 years? Wow, that’s a long life, Alicia! Living such a long life is not a tortie trait, but I hope your Rosie follows in Jazzmine’s paw steps!

    • Jay says:

      Welcome Alicia Mari and Rosie. You were certainty bless to have 24 years with Jazzmine with you. We wish the same with Rosie. I do not have a Dilute ( one more to complete the set ? ) but think the Tortitude is not as strong at least as far as the interaction I have seen with my Moms Torties.
      Tell us more about Jazzmine and Rosie.

    • Bernie says:

      Alicia Mari Jazzmine gave you many years of happiness. What a wonderful life she must have had. I can’t speak for how long or short a lifespan is for the little ones. They decide. I think you made a good choice in adopting another little fur baby. I hope she gives you and you give her many years of fun and happiness. Let us know how she is doing, ok.

  15. Troy says:

    Went To Gander Mountain to look for some fishing stuff. Little girls were holding fluffy white kittens to adopt. I stopped and asked what was in the cage under the table. They said some ugly cats. Well I looked, and they were ugly, however one was spread eagle about foot on the side of cage and I said, I will take it. That was 11 years ago. My two girls named her “Spaz” and me and her was friends for a long time. She would walk with me out to woods, set in the deer stand with me, in the shop, at the creek. She was better than a dog. She slept between me and my wife every night, except when she wasn’t outside making trouble. Her only fault was she like to ride on cars..Been more than one time her little paws would slide down the windsheild at a red light in town. Would freak me smooth out.
    Yes, we started checking roof tops and rear spare tire carriers every time we left. Her and I liked the outdoors and she was there every step of the way. I remeber how she would harass me when I shot my bow. One night she just went missing. Owls, coyotes, old age, I dont know. I miss her.

    • Bernie says:

      Troy, I am sorry for your loss of Spaz. She sounds like she made an excellent partner for you. Losing a loved fur baby that way has to be the very worst, always wondering “what if”. Perhaps one day, somehow you will know or find her.

    • Jay says:

      Trot, welcome to the group and I feel so bad that Spaz is gone. She had your same love of the outdoors and she really loved you. I used to have a cat that followed me around when I went outside. When I built my barn for my horse and goat I built a small house for her. I could see she was going to have kittens. Then one day she did not show up. 3 weeks later I was in my garage (did not go in much in the winter) and found her dead. She had gotten in by climbing up thru the back but could not climb the wall to get out. I was devastated and swore I would never have an outdoor cat. Between cars, hawks, dog and some mean people it is too dangerous for a cat to be outdoors. I still feed Ferals but have taken in one who wanted attention more than food. That is my blue eyed Frankie. But when a cat disappears and you do not know why is hard. I hope you will save the life of another cat ( taking one that others reject des save that life). Get him or her chipped and vaccinated and let it be an inside only kitty. If outdoors have a harness so wandering too far won’t happen.

  16. Mel; Leelu & Stitch says:

    Leelu likes oatmeal (untouched from the stove with a bit of milk on it) and we managed to catch some pics of her nibbling it off the designated kitty spoon! She’s in my lap and she’s lost a bit of weight (nothing too concerning) from chasing Stitch and being chased in return. Hope everyone’s having a good weekend!

  17. Jay says:

    I hope everyone is voting on the Petties !!!!!!!

  18. Harry says:

    Huge progress with introductions at the Shubins – and testimony for going slow and letting the cats set the pace. Bobby is now out of the bedroom most of the time, even overnight, and though he and Brooke don’t particularly get along, they coexist without much problem. PHolly has gotten quite friendly with Bobby, and he comes back to the room to play with her. Just as he did with Piper (who often leaves the room now) he nudged her out into the world. She has now been asking to leave the room, and has several times met Brooke. There was much mutual sniffing, some nose touching, and they can play and eat treats close to each other. Neither seems to find the other much of a concern! Hard to believe, but after years of closed doors, I think that we will soon be able to leave the door open all the time. And the rest of the family still mostly doesn’t know about PHolly…

  19. Bernie says:

    Harry, this all sounds great. I think the pecking order has been established and accepted. Brooke is still “Top Cat” and all respect that, therefore she is more inclined to grace them with her calm presence. I hope those doors stay wide open. Nothing like a free roaming home for humans :)

  20. Caitlin says:

    Hello, my name is Caitlin and I am a proud tortie mom. I have five cats all together and two of them are tortoiseshells. I was reading a few comments on here and it’s nice to find a website full of people who love their torts as much as I do!! I rescued my first tortoiseshell Ruby almost two years ago and I can’t imagine life without her. She definitely has “tortitude” if I’ve ever seen it. Compared to the other cats she is something else, in a good way. Ruby is almost always mewing and I love how she mews back at me when I talk to her. I’m not sure exactly how old she is but I’m guessing she’s about three or four because she has a lot of energy. Ruby can be very sassy but she’s also a wonderful cuddle bug. She loves to be tucked in and held. I adopted my second tortoiseshell a couple months after I adopted Ruby. Her name is Willow and she’s actually a dilute tortoiseshell tabby…or torbie. Willows personality is very different from Rubys but they do share a lot of the same characteristics such as mewing constantly and loving to be tucked in. Willow is a lot more mellow and is always found cat loafing in front of the patio door. I love all my cats but I have a huge soft spot for my torties :)

    • Ingrid says:

      You have a Ruby, too, Caitlin! My Ruby is the cat on the right in the header on this site, she’s also on the cover of “Purrs of Wisdom.” Feel free to post photos of your Ruby and Willow on our Facebook page.

    • Jay says:

      Welcome Caitlin Ruby and Willow. ell us more about your Torties and other family members. How many in total?

    • Bernie says:

      Catlin, it sounds like Ruby is a talker. I had my Steeler, who would go around talking to herself, or as I would say her imaginary friends. I know the how good it feels to have the little one mew back at you as you are talking to her. It is surprising, but I swear they do know every word we say and are responding. So she is full of Tortitude, wonderful. That one of the special personality traits of a Tortie. Some have a whole lot, other just enough to let you know who is in charge. Willow sounds like a gentle and cuddly girl. What a difference between the two. Then again, how can anyone not love these precious little ones.

      • Caitlin says:

        Ingrid,

        Your Ruby is gorgeous!! Before I adopted my Ruby I had no idea what a tortoiseshell cat even was. They really are beautiful cats :) I do not have a Facebook but people in my family do. I will take a picture with my two torties and have one of them post it. What is your Facebook page called?

        Jay,

        Thank you for the welcome!! I am 24 years old and am already a crazy cat lady according to my family and friends :) I have a total of 5 cats who are all rescued. I have an orange tabby named Orbit who I adopted with Ruby, my first tortie. Both of them were at a local cat shelter where I live and I was actually only planning on getting Orbit because he had been at the shelter for about 4 years and I wanted to save a life :) Someone at the shelter suggested I adopt another cat so Orbit would feel more comfortable. My boyfriend was the one who picked Ruby. I wanted to adopt a baby pure black cat but Ruby caught my boyfriends attention and he really wanted her. I can’t tell you how happy I am about letting him pick Ruby because she really is a wonderful cat, no matter how sassy she is!! A few months later we took in our second tortie, Willow. Willow wasn’t technically rescued from a shelter, but she is rescued from a friends home who’s dog was way too hyper. Willow was just a baby at the time and was constantly being tormented by this dog. He would chase her all over the house and willow would hide in every space that she could find. She did however make a full recovery from hiding all the time and is extremely friendly with the other cats and loves people. My fourth cat came from Oahu, Hawaii. I spent months over in Hawaii with family and needed a cat :) my boyfriend and I did the long distance thing for a little bit, and he agreed to the idea of letting me get “one” more cat. He was here with the three cats and I decided to adopt my gray and white spotted tabby from a cat organization over there. I’m not sure if you have heard about the cat problem over in Hawaii, but it is awful. There are so many cats over there and not enough homes. I once counted 36 cats at a bus stop and there was even more hiding. Anyways, Noodle is from Hawaii and I found him on petfinder.com. I picked Noodle because he was one of the more harder cats to adopt out. He was only one years old, but he was left cross eyed due to entropion eye surgery. Noodle is by far my most naughty and wild cat, but I can’t imagine not having him. I flew home with him on the plane and needless to say I will never do thAt again!! :) he hated it. My last and final cat is a moo cat nAmed Domino. He was a Christmas present to me and he came from the humane society. My story may sound a bit hoarder-ish but I swear I am done getting more cats!! Five is a lot but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

        Bernie,

        Yes there definitely is a difference between my two torties!! Ruby has much more tortitude than Willow does but both are really sweet. People who come over to my house always seem to be drawn towards the torties too. Torties are really something and I love having them :)

        • Ingrid says:

          Caitlin, the link to the Facebook page is in the sidebar – it’s called The Conscious Cat.

        • Jay says:

          ” I am already a crazy cat lady according to my family and friends :) I have a total of 5 cats”

          Well, according to Harry & me – 5 is a good start.
          and
          “I swear I am done getting more cats!! ” – yea, I’ve heard that before – especially from those with 3 or more when they only had 1.
          Remember – a cat pics you and there is no control about that.
          Diver my latest is a male Tortie and I always wanted one. He just appeared on Craigslist and Bernie saw it. When she called and asked me if I wanted him there was no hesitation -YES !!!!!!!
          Diver is the gentlest of cats and fits in great. Both at Bernie’s house and mine there was no separating and slow introductions – he wanted out and in with everyone. Like Harry’s Bobby – it was I will force everyone to love me.

  21. Kristie says:

    I work for a woman cleaning her house…she has a tortie…she absolutely loves me…as soon as she hears my car she meets me at the door and follows me from room to room as I clean. She gets jealous of the broom or mop I think because she will come in and attack them so I stop and pet her :) My client is amazed at how she likes me so much, she has not seen her take to someone like that. I owned a tortie when I was younger ( had her 14 years) they are my absolute favorite cat.

    • Ingrid says:

      Sounds like that tortie knows a tortie lover when she meets one, Kristie! She sounds adorable.

    • Bernie says:

      Kristie, it sounds like you have been chosen by a Tortie to be her friend. You already know that is a special feeling. When a tortie bonds with a human, they stay bonded. You are very lucky. Enjoy her company as you work.

  22. Pam says:

    My husband and I had to make the most difficult decision to have our beloved tortie, Deena, put down just last week. We are reeling in sadness and grief. What a personality she had! She was a rescue, but really, she rescued us. We were so blessed to have her with us for just a little over ten years. It was one of the hardest things we’ve ever had to do. After we’ve had some time to grieve her loss, I’m absolutely sure we will get another cat, but now that I’ve had a tortie I don’t think we can have any other breed. Absolutely amazing creatures!

    • Ingrid says:

      I’m so sorry about Deena, Pam. You’ll know when the time is right to open your hearts and your home to another tortie. Be gentle with yourself during this difficult time.

    • Marg says:

      Pam, I’m so sorry about Deena. Words don’t really take away the hurt, but in a little while wonderful memories will start to erase the pain a little.

    • Glen says:

      I am sorry to hear about that.

      I know how you feel, just over a year ago, I lost my rescue tortie, Kasey, my Warrior Queen. She was what Ingrid calls a “heart” or “soul” cat for me, as it sounds like Deena was for you.

      It is still tough but over time I find I start to dwell more on te happy memories about her.

      • Bernie says:

        Glen, your Warrior Queen, Kasey and my little Terrorist, Steeler, have been causing havoc with all the thunderstorms for some time now. It is nice to feel they are still letting us know who is in charge. I to miss my little one, time does not erase those memories.

    • Bernie says:

      Pam , I am so sorry for your loss of Deena. The pain you feel is so real and I know you will always love and miss her. I have gone through the loss of my precious tortie, Steeler. On this site many of us have lost one or more fur babies and everyone of us know your pain. I said I would not have another cat after Steeler. Well, I think you may find that you don’t really decided when you get another tortie. Another tortie will chose you and your husband. It happened to me. Torties are amazing and so full of personality, all different. Your new Tortie will find you.

  23. Kat says:

    I have a year old tortoiseshell cat and think about getting another cat soon (when she about 2 maybe). She accepts new cats pretty well, but I don’t know what type of cat I should get. Could you maybe give me some advice, if it not to much trouble.

  24. Glen says:

    Yes, Kasey took about 6 weeks, and the old “Warrior Queen” coexisted with the others but was never close with them, she just didn’t attack them, most days ;)

    Gigi, the gentle giant long hair tortie took 1 1/2 days which was nice but very unusual.

    They are all different, I hope things get better for you.

    • Harry says:

      They are indeed all different. Sabrina, in the 4 years we had her, never was able to work out her issues with Brooke, despite all our efforts (homeopathic remedies, many consultations with a behaviorist and lots of working sessions). Bobby never met a cat he didn’t like, including those who didn’t like him. After a few weeks of work, he simply decided he was going to MAKE Brooke like him – last week I saw him head-butt her, and she put her paw on his head, held him down for a moment and licked him – clearly telling him she was the ruling tortie, but no longer aggressive to him. Granted, we did plenty of work with the two of them, but it was his personality that made the difference. The most amazing thing was that Bobby convinced Piper to be brave, leave the room, and coexist with Brooke as well. I don’t know what he said to her, but it wasn’t anything we did as we had been trying to normalize Piper into the general population for years.

      Brooke has met PHolly several times, but we suspended that work until we return home in July. I think, though, that PHolly is much like her brother and that it will not be a huge problem.

      • Jay says:

        Congrats Harry on Brooke’s breakthrough. Some cats want to get along with everyone and will insist on being friends. Diver seems to be that way and Frankie somewhat. Diver has become friends with everyone and will chase and play with Frank, Arian and Styx. Tabatha he leaves alone as he knows she is an older cat who doesn’t want to play. He still will not approach Stirfry and Stir is not going to change for anyone.
        We were all pulling for you to get Bobby (and PHolly) and it seems like that was the right thing to do. You were just slow on getting him. :)

  25. Glen says:

    Little Tim is 2 years old now and a small 10 pounds.

    Mentally, he is about 8 weeks old in mental maturity.

    He does not meow but just squeaks like a small kitten.

    When he is active, playing, and happy, he makes a steady stream of chirps and warbles.

    His mission in life appears to be to play and annoy the other cats.

    To humans the sound is cute but yesterday morning, Gigi had a different viewpoint.

    Just after I woke up, at the other end of the house, I heard a series of chirps and warbles, regularly punctuated by Gigi’s hissing and growling.

    • Jay says:

      Gigi is just talking Tortie. She’s telling Tim who the Boss is. And if he doesn’t behave she’ll have Taz sit on him.

      • Glen says:

        She likes Tim and plays with him but sometimes she has enough of the “youngster”.

        On Sat. morning, I was moving slow and she jumped up on the bed.

        Tim followed seconds later, in a rare mood.

        She talked tortie for sure, she turned and hissed him off the bed, then as he ran down the hall, she turned and asked very calmly and nicely for pets.

  26. Jay says:

    Sitting in bed with Stirfry in my lap, Styx beside me and Diver at my feet. I picked up Stir and gave her kisses and she hissed and growled. Diver looked up. I told Bernie that Bobby tamed Brooke. Diver gave me a look that said ” I’m no Bobby”

  27. Rhoda says:

    We have a 14 year old tortoiseshell-tabby lynx point Siamese mix named Taffy. She was 12 when we got her and I would say she has “tortitude”. She rules our blue point Siamese male with an iron paw, despite being half his size. One minute she’ll be washing his face, the next boxing his ears. We made the mistake of trying to introduce another female cat prior to our male cat and she nearly tried to kill the poor thing.
    She’s a spoiled and affectionate little princess with us, especially my husband. She orders us about and knows how to get what she wants, when she wants it, including walks on a harness and lead. She has two dog friends that she touches noses with when we meet up with them out on the street.
    Her previous owner was an elderly lady who had to go into a nursing home, and we were told that “she’s been a princess all her life”. Not true! A family of mice moved into my composter over the winter and she’s been demonstrating her likely farm cat origins by catching and swiftly dispatching them. Unfortunately, she’s nearly toothless so eating them is somewhat of a challenge, except for the babies that are small enough to be swallowed whole.

    • Ingrid says:

      Taffy definitely sounds like she’s read the book on tortitude, Rhoda!

    • Jay says:

      Welcome Rhoda and Taffy. She does sound like a Princess – Torties know they are the top cat and deserve respect. Mine kill the mice also but are so well fed don’t eat them. More like Hacky Sack
      Poor mice.
      So glad you rescued an elderly cat.

  28. Jay says:

    It’s Petties time again. Ingrid’s nominated for Best Overall Pet Blog and Bernadette’s The Creative Cat for Best Cat Blog. I am glad I can vote for both.

  29. Jay says:

    Went to vote on the Petties site.
    Saw this
    “Voting for the the 2014 Petties Awards Finalists has been temporarily closed due to a technical problem. Voting will reopen on Thursday July 10th.

    We apologize for the inconvenience.”

    Guess I have to wait till tomorrow.

  30. Ronna says:

    I have a tortie that we found as a kitten in a junk yard. We named her Maggie, short for Magpie (like the bird) because she steals stuff. When we first got her, we came home from work and found articles of our clothing behind the sofa that she had drug down the hall from the bedroom. She is VERY talkative. After we do laundry, if we don’t put it away, she will drag socks or underwear down the hall in the wee hours of the morning while talking to us saying look what I did. She jumps on counters or tables, sits there and pushes stuff off just to watch it fall. She is a beggar for food, and there is nothing she won’t eat. She too just plays with small bugs and rodents, tossing them about. She thinks she is also a princess and sleeps only near me. Our only problem is her urinating. She goes through stages of doing this on things in the house that are plastic (not sure why only plastic items). We had to buy special expensive litter just for her to keep her from doing this…but we love her anyway.

    • Ingrid says:

      Klepto Tortie – I love it, Ronna.

    • Bernie says:

      Ronna I truly enjoyed reading about Maggie. She sounds like she is just as she should be. Mischievous and fun. I had a precious Tortie, Steeler, who like your Maggie was a klepto kitty. She would steal my watch or bracelets and hide them behind a chair. At first I thought I was losing it, then one day I watched as she was dragging my watch to the chair. I left it there for a day or so before I retrieved it. Steeler was a one person, one cat house. She was full of Tortitude. Your Maggie pushing things off tables, counters, etc., sounds like Jay’s Tabitha. She is older (14 or 15) and she still pushed things off the table. So far I have a new family of little ones, and pushing things for fun is always happening here. I think it is a learning process for them. Pens are their favorite things to roll around.
      Maggie’s urine problem, might be the litter. Is she declawed? Sometimes the litter hurts their feet. I don’t know. But that is an area that you have options to try. Like placing a doggie mat for her. She might go on it. Place it where she goes the most often. Hope to hear some more on Maggie. By the way, welcome to this unique group.

  31. tortielove says:

    My 3 year old tortie (had her since she was a kitten) went missing almost a month and a half ago. There are no words to describe how sad I am. My life has changed because of this. We were really close, and I’ve done everything I could to find her but she just disappeared into thin air. I’ve put up flyers, talked with neighbors, gone to shelters, posted online….but noone has seen her. I miss her so much :’(

  32. Glen says:

    Does anyone else have a “wool producer”?

    Gigi is the classic long hair tortie, fortunately, she loves to be brushed and will take just about any amount of it.

    She gets brushed at least every other day, often daily.

    What is amazing is that I get a substantial volume of “wool” with each brushing, and, she never has thin spots in her fur from this, then there is more the next day.

    Too bad it can’t be processed and spun into yarn ;)

    • Ingrid says:

      Actually, it can be spun into yarn – although I haven’t decided yet whether that’s a good idea or just plain creepy :-) http://www.catster.com/cat-chic/5-things-made-out-of-cat-hair-buy-on-etsy

      • Glen says:

        Ingrid

        “I haven’t decided yet whether that’s a good idea or just plain creepy”

        I know what you mean, I was thinking more like a sweater, I think Gigi could supply enough in a year for one. ;)

        • Jay says:

          Glen, my Tabatha sheds more than my mini horse Harley getting rid of his winter coat. I have more fur than cat with her.
          As to the sweater – I heard they do that with dog hair. But imagine getting caught in the rain.
          What will you now smell like – - WET DOG !!!!!!!

    • Bernie says:

      Glen, I have my 4. 3 shot hairs and 1 med. hair. I burst and comb constantly and I keep getting more and more “wool” from them. It seems to never stop. Luckily mine enjoy the brushing and combing. So it is a ritual. I don’t know that I would agree that it is only the long hairs. Now I will say, Jay will brush and comb his Tabitha and he get so much “wool” off her a one brushing, that it looks like a whole kitten is in that hair. So my friend, like me, just keep brushing. By the way, Steeler did not shed like these ones do. Don’t know why.

      • Glen says:

        “By the way, Steeler did not shed like these ones do. Don’t know why.”

        I used to get some fur from Kasey from brushing, but Gigi is the “top producer” ;)

        Kasey would like to be brushed for 5 minutes or so but would signal we were done bybiting me.

        But when Taz would playfully nip at me, she would immediately attack him, no holds barred.

        Apparently, she was the only one allowed to bite me.

        • Jay says:

          Out Torties are very protective of their chosen Humans.
          Stir is the same way. I may be her chew toy but she wants all the other cats out of the house.

  33. Jay says:

    Tuesday I went out to move a tarp off my VW Trike and put a new one on. Tabatha, my gentle elder Tortie w white wanted out. She can be trusted so I let her out. Moved the tarp, cleaned the barn and other things. Went to work and heard a heavy rain in the evening. Came home and all my cats greeted me except Tabby but not unusual as she could be sleeping. Wed. morning I went out at 9am to go to a Doctors appt. There was a cut Tortie laying beside the front walkway. It was Tabby. I unlocked the door to let her in to get food and water. She is not an outside cat. I will not make this mistake again. Any of my others would have wandered off but Tabby had always been a cat to eat grass and lay outside in the sun.

    • Glen says:

      Thats a scary experience.

      Taz is afraid to go outside but Tim is quick and runs first, thinks later. I am always concerned about him bolting and me not seeing him, he is quick.

      At her former home, Gigi was allowed on the deck and apparently did not stray. That was in town, things are a bit more “rustic” here and she doesn’t understand why she cannot come out on the deck when I am out there. There are too many hazards if she were to decide to go further from the house.

  34. Jay says:

    Frankie was not himself the last few days. Did not go onto the back of the bed to fight with Stir for window spare and laid around in the cat cube for the last 2 days. Took him to the Vet. He has a bad tooth and it gets taken out on Thursday Aug 31. Right now he is on a soft food diet.

    • Jay says:

      The Vet and Assistant both thought Frankie was cute and both said ” Look at the length of those Whiskers”

      • Bernie says:

        Frankie is really a very cute little butterball and his whiskers almost reach out about 5 inches on each side of his little face. He is different. :)
        But then so is his daddy!

    • Bernie says:

      Jay’s Frankie is the cutest little tuxie butterball. He is very vocal and is constantly talking and talking and talking. He purrs as loud as a train engine, and a lot too. He never, but never fails to greet me or Jay or any other visitors coming in the door. When Jay told me Frankie wasn’t talking or running to him, Jay knew that something was wrong with him. Then I reminded Jay, how Stirfry hid when she was sick and Frankie had taken to staying in the cube almost all the time. That is a sure sign your kitten is not well. Jay, being the good kitty daddy immediately made an app’t with his vet and sure enough the little one has a tooth infection. Jay is very concerned and would like to have had the vet give a pain med for Frankie. So having said this, I have to ask all of you that follow this group, “Why don’t vets give some kind of pain relief for these little ones when they know they are in pain?” Why is this so normal in the vets care. The little ones feel pain just as we do. Well July 31 is a long time to wait to take care of a bad tooth for human, let alone a kitten. I only hope Jay and little Frankie can get to that date quickly. I love that little butterball.

    • Bernie says:

      Just a quick note to help Jay out here. Frankie is scheduled for oral surgery on July 31 not Aug 31. But then we can all understand why he could make that mistake. Don’t fret Jay, Frankie will be OK. You I am not so sure about. :)

    • Ingrid says:

      I’m sorry to hear about Frankie. Ten days is an awfully long time to wait for a dental procedure if the infected tooth is giving him this much trouble. All my best for a quick recovery!

  35. Sonja says:

    Hi! I have a male torti. His name is “Mister” and is the cat I share my home with at this time. Really for the first time that I can remember. I love cats and dogs too. Mister is just that he is the man of the house. He showed up on my front screen porch one day about 2 years ago. He was very friendly and after loving on him a bit, I found that his front claws had been removed. I could not believe that someone would allow any cat to be outside, let alone this big beautiful guy. I posted signs in my subdivision because someone may be missing him. He might have just ran out the door in a moment of adventure need.?. Anyway, thankfully no one replied. So he is the man. I lost my Kitty boy about 6 months ago who was a beautiful light beige boy who I rescued from a vacant lot across the way from my house. He was just a baby but had a set of lungs that I heard from a good distance. He was a gentle soul and he loved me as I loved him. I have had so many beautiful cats and dogs. I have been so Blessed to have been able to share space and time with them.

    -

    • Ingrid says:

      I’m starting to think that maybe male torties aren’t as rare as we thought, given that there have been quite a few who’ve been introduced to me via this post! Mister sounds like a wonderful cat, Sonja. Feel free to post photos of him on our Facebook page.

    • Jay says:

      Welcome Sonja and Mister, I am the caretaker of a male tortie named Diver. The friendliest cat and so gentle. Absolutely NO TORTITUDE at all I have 4 Torties now and definitely now what Tortitude is like. If you look up Tortitude in the dictionary you might see Kasey, Steeler and my Stirfry. These are cats that brought us to Ingrid’s blog and all were 100% Tortie. Sadly Steeler and Kasey crossed the Bridge but when you hear Thunder you can be sure that those girls are getting everyone in line. Tell us more about Mister and how his temperament is. There are so few males I have no idea if they have any common traits. Diver is large and has big paws, coloring is more gold than black ad gets along with all people and cats. Will not take no for an answer when they ignore him.

  36. Janice says:

    I have a dilute tortie calico named SoyaBean. She was a rescue cat. I told the vet I was adopting a tortie, and she asked if I new about “tortitude”. Of course, I didn’t. SoyaBean is just as described. She isn’t too aggressive, although I helped her get over some of that. But, she is the most vocal cat we have ever seen or any of our friends have seen. She was also found by the previous owner; she was an abandoned infant and he HEARD that baby in a soybean field when he was out hunting. I think because he rescued her and brought her home, and she was found yowling, she still thinks she has to vocalize for everything! She even talks with her mouth full. She has so much to say she can’t stop eating before she has to talk and tell me what she thinks. Thankfully, she does not vocalize at night. I love her and her quirky tortitude.

    • Ingrid says:

      That’s too cute that SoyaBean talks even while eating, Janice! That’s the first time I’ve heard that, but I suppose it’s not surprising that a tortie would do that!

  37. Jay says:

    Welcome Janice and SoyaBean Torties are definitely vocal, and some talk constantly. Mine are not talkers but Stirfry will hiss and snarl on command. Diver loves to purr along with my Tuxie Frankie. Bernie had Steeler who definitely carried on a conversation with anyone who would listen and herself if they did not.

    • xntricj says:

      I loaded Soyabean’s picture on my profile, but it’s not showing up. Anyone smarter than me who can tell me why. Maybe the file is too big, but it loaded on the profile. If it was too big, I would think it wouldn’t have loaded there. I’m such a dope about this stuff. Janice

  38. Bernie says:

    Hi there everyone. I have some new for all of my friends here.
    On Saturday, I obtained a little rescued Tortie. She was transported from SC to PA by the URRKN. This had been in the plans for over a month. So Jay Davenport drove in to meet her on her arrival.
    You could not have kept him away. Well she arrived around midnight in a terrible thunder/lightning storm, thanks Steeler, we heard you. Her name is Themis, meaning Goddess of Divine Justice and Law in Mythology. Keeping in the name theme of my fur babies. We call her T-Me for short. Well, she is divine. So today, while speaking to Jay on the phone before he went to work, I asked him to play with Stirfry so I could see how T-Me reacted to the sounds of Stir. I had the phone on speaker and Stirfry is always at the ready. T-Me’s big eyes got bigger and she looked all around to find where that sound was coming from. She did not run away. At the end she came right up to my face to the phone, no fear. Yes, she has “Tortitude” already. I videoed this and put it on my Facebook page. So if any of you would like to meet and see T-Me at her best, with Stirfry teaching her how to act, just go to my Facebook. She is a darling little thing and, yes, she is feisty. Steeler would be proud.

  39. Bernie says:

    Jay asked me to post this for all of you guys to read. His precious tuxie, Frankie had 5 teeth pulled this AM at the animal hospital. They were not all in one spot. He is being kept overnight, because he was not ready come home before Jay had to go to work. Poor little fella, has never been away from home before. Get well baby. You will be back at your food bowl in no time.

    • Xntricj says:

      Hi, Jay. When I adopted SoyaBean, I learned she had a lot of dental issues. I waited until the vet had a discount for Dental Month and she had at least four extracted. She had to stay overnight, and she hadn’t been to the vet much before that. She hates the vet now. But she did very well with those extractions and was pretty heavily medicated during her overnight stay. She was 8 yrs. old then, too. I think Frankie will do very well. Hope so. Let us know how he does. Janice/xntricj

    • Ingrid says:

      He’ll be feeling so much better now that those teeth are gone.

  40. Margaret says:

    Ah … well, at least it’s been taken care of. Poor Frankie will be wondering what’s happened to him – but I bet he will be also feeling better in no time. It’s such a worry when you need to leave them overnight when they aren’t used to it! Sending love and hugs to all from Oz!

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