“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

Tortitude banner for posts with border

14,488 Comments on “Tortitude” – The Unique Personality of Tortoiseshell Cats

  1. Glen
    March 20, 2017 at 8:54 pm (6 days ago)

    Freyja is now over a year old.

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

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

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

    Watering plants is also “interesting”.

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

    • Ingrid
      March 21, 2017 at 4:40 am (6 days ago)

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

      • Glen
        March 21, 2017 at 8:28 pm (5 days ago)

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

        I know what you mean about it being a year.

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

  2. Isidore
    February 13, 2017 at 3:25 pm (1 month ago)

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

    • rea
      February 17, 2017 at 11:00 pm (1 month ago)

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

      • Glen
        February 26, 2017 at 4:33 pm (4 weeks ago)

        It is difficult to loose what Ingrid refers to a a “soul cat”.

        Many of us that post here have, and understand the impact.

        • Bonnie
          March 8, 2017 at 7:01 pm (3 weeks ago)

          I would like to buy the book

  3. Sam
    February 1, 2017 at 1:26 am (2 months ago)

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

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

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

    • Glen
      February 3, 2017 at 1:30 pm (2 months ago)

      We have two torties, both long hair.

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

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

      Ember sounds like a lot of fun 🙂

  4. Paulla
    January 2, 2017 at 11:39 am (3 months ago)

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

    • Glen
      January 2, 2017 at 6:10 pm (3 months ago)

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

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

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

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

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

      I wish you many years of enjoyment with Shelby.

  5. Helen
    December 29, 2016 at 10:47 pm (3 months ago)

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

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

    • Ingrid
      December 30, 2016 at 6:20 am (3 months ago)

      Sounds like tortitude to me, Helen 🙂

  6. Anne
    December 14, 2016 at 9:29 am (3 months ago)

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

    • Ingrid
      December 14, 2016 at 10:16 am (3 months ago)

      “It’s as if she’s living all nine lives at once” – now that’s tortitude, Anne!

      • Glen
        December 16, 2016 at 9:46 pm (3 months ago)

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

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

        Freyja is also quite “enthusiastic”.

  7. izec
    December 12, 2016 at 8:21 am (3 months ago)

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

    • Ingrid
      December 12, 2016 at 8:43 am (3 months ago)

      I’m so sorry, Izec – my heart goes out to you.

      • Glen
        December 16, 2016 at 9:49 pm (3 months ago)

        Sorry to hear that, many here can relate.

        I lost my soul cat, my rescue torti, Kasey in May 2013.

    • haerea "rea"
      January 29, 2017 at 1:17 am (2 months ago)

      Yes very much true izec I know exactly what you mean I feel life is bleak ahead of me I just wish I will sleep away this pain.This is the worst grief I ever experience in my life worst than even my father’s death.

  8. Glen
    October 1, 2016 at 11:13 am (6 months ago)

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

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

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

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

  9. Glen
    September 17, 2016 at 7:35 pm (6 months ago)

    Freyja is continuing to grow.

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

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

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


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

    A lot of the activities are similar, too.

  10. Glen
    August 9, 2016 at 9:00 pm (8 months ago)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Harry
      August 9, 2016 at 10:15 pm (8 months ago)

      Brooke has had a love affair with the shop vac for a long time. It’s a tortie thing 😉

    • Ingrid
      August 10, 2016 at 5:25 am (8 months ago)

      Stranger things have happened … 🙂

      • JAY
        August 11, 2016 at 7:59 pm (8 months ago)

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

  11. Glen
    July 19, 2016 at 10:22 pm (8 months 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.

    • Ingrid
      July 20, 2016 at 5:47 am (8 months ago)

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

      • Glen
        July 20, 2016 at 6:37 am (8 months 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.

    • Jay
      July 20, 2016 at 8:29 am (8 months 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.

      • Glen
        July 20, 2016 at 9:27 am (8 months 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.

      • Ingrid
        July 20, 2016 at 4:12 pm (8 months ago)

        LOL Jay!

        • Glen
          July 23, 2016 at 9:22 pm (8 months ago)

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

  12. Glen
    June 19, 2016 at 7:43 am (9 months 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 😉

    • Ingrid
      June 19, 2016 at 4:54 pm (9 months 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 🙂

    • Jay
      June 27, 2016 at 10:35 pm (9 months 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.

  13. MuddyKip
    June 9, 2016 at 10:12 am (10 months ago)

    My little Peanut has “tortitude”, lol.

  14. Glen
    June 5, 2016 at 7:30 am (10 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.

    • Jay
      June 5, 2016 at 7:45 am (10 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.

      • Glen
        June 5, 2016 at 4:02 pm (10 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.

      • rea
        February 17, 2017 at 11:16 pm (1 month ago)

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

    • Ingrid
      June 6, 2016 at 5:57 am (10 months ago)

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

      • Glen
        June 8, 2016 at 12:18 pm (10 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.

  15. Glen
    May 23, 2016 at 8:40 pm (10 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.

    • Jay
      May 23, 2016 at 11:55 pm (10 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.

      • Glen
        May 24, 2016 at 9:16 pm (10 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.

        • Jay
          May 25, 2016 at 1:01 pm (10 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.

  16. Glen
    May 13, 2016 at 12:32 pm (11 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.

    • Ingrid
      May 13, 2016 at 4:10 pm (11 months ago)

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

  17. Jay
    May 9, 2016 at 12:21 pm (11 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.

  18. Glen
    May 6, 2016 at 8:14 pm (11 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.

    • Ingrid
      May 7, 2016 at 5:55 am (11 months ago)

      Ninja tortie!

      • Glen
        May 7, 2016 at 7:09 am (11 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.

        • Ingrid
          May 8, 2016 at 5:21 am (11 months ago)

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

    • Jay
      May 8, 2016 at 9:30 am (11 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.

    • Kellie
      May 17, 2016 at 4:03 pm (10 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

  19. Glen
    April 24, 2016 at 3:02 pm (11 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.

    • Ingrid
      April 24, 2016 at 3:50 pm (11 months ago)

      It sounds like Freya is rapidly taking over! 🙂

      • Glen
        April 24, 2016 at 4:14 pm (11 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.

    • JAY
      April 26, 2016 at 9:14 pm (11 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.

      • Glen
        April 27, 2016 at 12:49 pm (11 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.

        • Glen
          April 27, 2016 at 6:21 pm (11 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”.

          • Jay
            April 27, 2016 at 9:37 pm (11 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 (11 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 (11 months ago)

            She was channeling Kasey 🙂

  20. Glen
    April 12, 2016 at 9:23 pm (12 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.

  21. Glen
    March 21, 2016 at 5:02 pm (1 year 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. 😉

    • Ingrid
      March 22, 2016 at 5:00 am (1 year ago)

      She sounds like she already has major tortitude! 🙂

      • Jay
        March 22, 2016 at 6:07 pm (1 year 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.

        • Glen
          March 25, 2016 at 8:35 am (1 year 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.

          • Ingrid
            March 25, 2016 at 3:29 pm (1 year 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 (1 year 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 (12 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 (12 months ago)

            How is Gigi doing with her?

          • Glen
            April 3, 2016 at 9:10 am (12 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 (12 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 (12 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 (12 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.

  22. Harry
    March 21, 2016 at 2:26 pm (1 year ago)

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

  23. Glen
    March 14, 2016 at 3:57 pm (1 year 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.

    • Ingrid
      March 15, 2016 at 6:22 am (1 year ago)

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

      • Glen
        March 16, 2016 at 8:35 pm (1 year 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.

        • Ingrid
          March 17, 2016 at 5:00 am (1 year ago)

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

          • Glen
            March 18, 2016 at 7:34 pm (1 year 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 (1 year ago)

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

          • Glen
            March 19, 2016 at 12:11 pm (1 year 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 (1 year ago)

            Sounds like you’re off to a good start!

          • Holly
            March 20, 2016 at 10:01 am (1 year ago)

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

  24. Glen
    March 13, 2016 at 7:53 pm (1 year 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). 😉

    • Ingrid
      March 14, 2016 at 4:44 am (1 year 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! 🙂

    • Jay
      March 14, 2016 at 7:51 am (1 year 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.

  25. Glen
    February 29, 2016 at 6:57 pm (1 year 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.

    • Ingrid
      March 1, 2016 at 5:49 am (1 year 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.

    • Jay
      March 1, 2016 at 8:41 am (1 year 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.

  26. Lindsey
    February 25, 2016 at 2:55 am (1 year 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!

    • Ingrid
      February 25, 2016 at 5:59 am (1 year ago)

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

  27. Glen
    February 20, 2016 at 3:48 pm (1 year 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

    • Ingrid
      February 20, 2016 at 5:09 pm (1 year 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.

      • Glen
        February 20, 2016 at 5:24 pm (1 year 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.

        • Ingrid
          February 21, 2016 at 5:46 am (1 year 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.


Leave a comment

First time visitors: please read our Comment Guidelines.