“Tortitude” – The Unique Personality of Tortoiseshell Cats

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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14,461 Comments on “Tortitude” – The Unique Personality of Tortoiseshell Cats

  1. Glen
    July 19, 2016 at 10:22 pm (1 week ago)

    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.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 20, 2016 at 5:47 am (1 week ago)

      I have a feeling she will be ruling the house pretty soon, if she isn’t already! How is Gigi doing with her?

      Reply
      • Glen
        July 20, 2016 at 6:37 am (1 week ago)

        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.

        Reply
    • Jay
      July 20, 2016 at 8:29 am (1 week ago)

      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.

      Reply
      • Glen
        July 20, 2016 at 9:27 am (1 week ago)

        I’d love to have a video but the events are hard to predict in order to be able to take then.

        The random nature of the events keeps Tim alert.

        Reply
      • Ingrid
        July 20, 2016 at 4:12 pm (1 week ago)

        LOL Jay!

        Reply
        • Glen
          July 23, 2016 at 9:22 pm (6 days ago)

          New milestone today, 7 month old Freyja is now the same weight as 4 year old Tim; 9 pounds.

          Reply
  2. Glen
    June 19, 2016 at 7:43 am (1 month ago)

    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 😉

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 19, 2016 at 4:54 pm (1 month ago)

      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 🙂

      Reply
    • Jay
      June 27, 2016 at 10:35 pm (1 month ago)

      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.

      Reply
  3. MuddyKip
    June 9, 2016 at 10:12 am (2 months ago)

    My little Peanut has “tortitude”, lol.

    Reply
  4. Glen
    June 5, 2016 at 7:30 am (2 months ago)

    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.

    Reply
    • Jay
      June 5, 2016 at 7:45 am (2 months ago)

      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.

      Reply
      • Glen
        June 5, 2016 at 4:02 pm (2 months ago)

        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.

        Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 6, 2016 at 5:57 am (2 months ago)

      It’s so hard to keep a high energy kitten quiet! I’m glad the liquid medication worked better.

      Reply
      • Glen
        June 8, 2016 at 12:18 pm (2 months ago)

        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.

        Reply
  5. Glen
    May 23, 2016 at 8:40 pm (2 months ago)

    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.

    Reply
    • Jay
      May 23, 2016 at 11:55 pm (2 months ago)

      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.

      Reply
      • Glen
        May 24, 2016 at 9:16 pm (2 months ago)

        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.

        Reply
        • Jay
          May 25, 2016 at 1:01 pm (2 months ago)

          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.

          Reply
  6. Glen
    May 13, 2016 at 12:32 pm (3 months ago)

    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.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      May 13, 2016 at 4:10 pm (3 months ago)

      It does sound like she’s going to be a big girl!

      Reply
  7. Jay
    May 9, 2016 at 12:21 pm (3 months ago)

    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.

    Reply
  8. Glen
    May 6, 2016 at 8:14 pm (3 months ago)

    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.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      May 7, 2016 at 5:55 am (3 months ago)

      Ninja tortie!

      Reply
      • Glen
        May 7, 2016 at 7:09 am (3 months ago)

        Gigi is also playing with her in the cat tunnels.

        It is quite a sight to see 16 pounds of fluffy torti act like a kitten.

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          May 8, 2016 at 5:21 am (3 months ago)

          Oh, I love hearing that Gigi is playing with her! That’s wonderful!

          Reply
    • Jay
      May 8, 2016 at 9:30 am (3 months ago)

      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.

      Reply
    • Kellie
      May 17, 2016 at 4:03 pm (2 months ago)

      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

      Reply
  9. Glen
    April 24, 2016 at 3:02 pm (3 months ago)

    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.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      April 24, 2016 at 3:50 pm (3 months ago)

      It sounds like Freya is rapidly taking over! 🙂

      Reply
      • Glen
        April 24, 2016 at 4:14 pm (3 months ago)

        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.

        Reply
    • JAY
      April 26, 2016 at 9:14 pm (3 months ago)

      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.

      Reply
      • Glen
        April 27, 2016 at 12:49 pm (3 months ago)

        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.

        Reply
        • Glen
          April 27, 2016 at 6:21 pm (3 months ago)

          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”.

          Reply
          • Jay
            April 27, 2016 at 9:37 pm (3 months ago)

            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.

          • Glen
            April 27, 2016 at 9:47 pm (3 months ago)

            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.

          • Ingrid
            April 28, 2016 at 5:29 am (3 months ago)

            She was channeling Kasey 🙂

  10. Glen
    April 12, 2016 at 9:23 pm (4 months ago)

    “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.

    Reply
  11. Glen
    March 21, 2016 at 5:02 pm (4 months ago)

    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. 😉

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 22, 2016 at 5:00 am (4 months ago)

      She sounds like she already has major tortitude! 🙂

      Reply
      • Jay
        March 22, 2016 at 6:07 pm (4 months ago)

        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.

        Reply
        • Glen
          March 25, 2016 at 8:35 am (4 months ago)

          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.

          Reply
          • Ingrid
            March 25, 2016 at 3:29 pm (4 months ago)

            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.

          • Glen
            March 26, 2016 at 9:24 am (4 months ago)

            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.

          • Glen
            April 2, 2016 at 7:40 pm (4 months ago)

            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.

          • Ingrid
            April 3, 2016 at 6:00 am (4 months ago)

            How is Gigi doing with her?

          • Glen
            April 3, 2016 at 9:10 am (4 months ago)

            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 😉

          • Jay
            April 6, 2016 at 12:33 am (4 months ago)

            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.

          • Glen
            April 6, 2016 at 12:26 pm (4 months ago)

            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.

          • JAY
            April 12, 2016 at 7:43 pm (4 months ago)

            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.

  12. Harry
    March 21, 2016 at 2:26 pm (4 months ago)

    Not sure how that happened… I was trying to say “Congratulations, Glen!”

    Reply
  13. Glen
    March 14, 2016 at 3:57 pm (5 months ago)

    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.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 15, 2016 at 6:22 am (5 months ago)

      How exciting! I can’t wait to see pictures!

      Reply
      • Glen
        March 16, 2016 at 8:35 pm (4 months ago)

        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.

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          March 17, 2016 at 5:00 am (4 months ago)

          So exciting! I can’t wait to hear how everything goes.

          Reply
          • Glen
            March 18, 2016 at 7:34 pm (4 months ago)

            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 😉

          • Ingrid
            March 19, 2016 at 4:33 am (4 months ago)

            Sounds like a perfect set up. I can’t wait to her how everything goes.

          • Glen
            March 19, 2016 at 12:11 pm (4 months ago)

            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.

          • Ingrid
            March 19, 2016 at 4:00 pm (4 months ago)

            Sounds like you’re off to a good start!

          • Holly
            March 20, 2016 at 10:01 am (4 months ago)

            Sounds like she is loving the new home. Can’t wait to see the photos.

  14. Glen
    March 13, 2016 at 7:53 pm (5 months ago)

    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). 😉

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 14, 2016 at 4:44 am (5 months ago)

      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! 🙂

      Reply
    • Jay
      March 14, 2016 at 7:51 am (5 months ago)

      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.

      Reply
  15. Glen
    February 29, 2016 at 6:57 pm (5 months ago)

    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.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 1, 2016 at 5:49 am (5 months ago)

      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.

      Reply
    • Jay
      March 1, 2016 at 8:41 am (5 months ago)

      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.

      Reply
  16. Lindsey
    February 25, 2016 at 2:55 am (5 months ago)

    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!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      February 25, 2016 at 5:59 am (5 months ago)

      Your new torties sounds wonderful, Lindsey. I love that your boyfriend is getting an education in tortitude 🙂

      Reply
  17. Glen
    February 20, 2016 at 3:48 pm (5 months ago)

    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

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      February 20, 2016 at 5:09 pm (5 months ago)

      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.

      Reply
      • Glen
        February 20, 2016 at 5:24 pm (5 months ago)

        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.

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          February 21, 2016 at 5:46 am (5 months ago)

          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.

          Reply

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