tortitude tortoiseshell cat personality

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo ©Ingrid King, all rights reserved

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

  1. In the last year, Gigi has begun exhibiting a Kasey behaviour. She does not like it when I leave her to go outside for some chore or activity.

    I refer to this as “door fussing”. Today, in the hope of winter ending, I was out and took a few winter tools to the barn and started cleaning the garage in the hope that we might actually see a motorcycle season in the distant future.

    The garage is attached to the house with a walk through door.

    When I was done, I came in through the door and felt the door bump something. It was 15 pounds of long hair torti. Gigi was pressed right up against the door, waiting for me. This is what Kasey used to do.

    Apparently, I am not supposed to go outside.

    • Glen, sounds like you are well trained to know Gigi is not going to tolerate being left without you!!!!! Torties have a way to telling you what they think! Kasey taught her before she left to watch out for you. Next time in, ease the door open. 🙂 Motorcycle season will be there very soon! I actually seen that yellow ball in the sky.

      • We have had over 2 inches of rain this month, already, which has washed the 1,000’s of tons of corrosive salt that is used here,off the roads. Temperatures are improving and it won;t be long, now.

        Still have to be careful with the gravel, which I am. I approach riding with some care and respect; I wear the full gear (European style textile, armoured stuff, the jacket is florescent yellow), full face helmet etc. My BMW F700GS doesn’t make any more sound than a typical car, but it is “quick” enough when I want it to be 😉

        Anyway, the funny thing with Gigi, if I am out and gone, i.e. at work, motorcycling etc. apparently this is acceptable.

        The difficulty is when I am out in the garage or close to the house outside, I am there basically, but can’t be accessed. This is a problem.

        Kasey had the exact, same behaviour under these circumstance.

  2. Yesterday I took Freedom to her vet for her skin condition. It flared up again,but this time was a worry to me. She is quiet the kitten. She is so muscular and built close to the ground, solid as a rock. That little lady weighed in at 11.8#. She sure doesn’t look like it. My vet weighed her twice to be sure. Anyway, after we arrived back home, I held her to comfort her until she was calm and no longer showing and stress from the visit. Now that is the calm before the storm in my home. DaJudge (her granddaughter and a Tortie) had attempted to become the Alpha cat in the house. Well Freedom had enough of her shenanigans. As Freedom was going from the sunroom into the kitchen area, DaJudge decided she would try again. This time, Freedom had enough. Her horrible howl, hiss and lips pulled back scared the living daylights out of DaJudge. I did have to tap Freedom on the backside with a yardstick, very gently, I might add to break her concentration on DaJudge. Jay and I have referred to Freedom as a steal Tortie and she sure has acted the part. She is the Mom to my other Tortie Justice.
    I am now curious to see if DaJudge tries to intimidate Freedom again. I have a feeling she may not. If I had been her yesterday and had Freedom react that way, I would still be running.
    These girls keep life very unpredictable.
    Justice just stayed back and watched the action. She is not a dumb Tortie.

  3. Reading this makes me appreciate my tortie girl Kimchi so much more! I always knew there was something special about her since all I had before her are my two orange boys. I didn’t know tortietude existed, I just thought she was bipolar! LOL

    Also! I found a shirt that is perfect for all of us tortie lovers! I just ordered one myself. So precious! http://teespring.com/torties

    • Martha our Torties are all different and all carry some degree of Tortitude. Some more than others. Bi-polar is a term that I have seen for them. I don’t see that. I see these little ones as the most independent, loving and loyal kittens we have. Then in an instant I wonder where that kitten went and now I have a Tortie on a tear. I just love them for their quirkiness.
      I have seen that T-shirt already. I had already ordered mine. 🙂

    • Martha, that’s how a lot of us found Ingrid’s blog. A cat that we were told is a Tortie and acts crazy/different than a regular “Normal” cat. Mine was a cat named Stirfry. Go from nice gentle cat to vicious wild thing in milliseconds then back again. Ingrid taught me a lot along with Bernadette, Harry and so many others.
      How did Kimchi get her name ?

      • Bernie, I can’t wait till we get our shirts. They are so adorable. Looks so similar to my little girl.

        Jay, I wish Kimchi and Stirfry could have met. They would have been the most perfect pair 🙂

        Funny enough, Kimchi’s name was Hunter at first, for very obvious reasons. She left “gifts” at our door constantly as she started as a stray who wanted to impress us lol. Ever since we have implemented her into our family inside, she never would respond to “Hunter”. I never thought she liked that name anyway. So I just started calling out various words/names to see what she would respond to and ironically “Kimchi” was the winner! I call her Kimmie for short. She’s still quite moody and will respond when *she* wants to but we’re pretty sure she knows her name now.

        How did Stirfry get her name?

        • Marha I expect my shirt about 5/1. The Tortie on the shirt does not look like my soul Tortie “Steeler” she was one of the three in the class of “Special Soul Torties”. Steeler (affectionately referred to as my little terrorist) Stirfry downright ready to destroy any and all in range, then Kasey the Warrior Queen who, like Steeler had lived a rough life before they rescued us.
          Steeler had crossed over the bridge on April 30, 2015, but she is forever ingrained in my heart.
          I now have Justice and DaJudge, both Torties. The Tortie on the shirt doesn’t look like either of them either. I ordered the shirt anyway. I found it to be on point with the message.
          Kimchi sounds like she shows her Tortitude at will as Torties are known to do. But, that is what makes them so special. They rescue us, and train us quite well don’t they?

        • Martha, most on here knew of Stirfry. Years ago ( around 2001) I was divorced and had custody of a Tortie w white – A Calico, Tabatha (before I learned about Torties ) is what the shelter listed her as, and a Bichon dog Samatha. I was feeding a feral cat that I thought of as black and after months earned her trust. But she was a very anti social cat and terrorized everyone else. I tried to find a home for her but no one wanted a cat with major attitude. I told my son I would give her to a chinese couple at work and they would make Stir-Fry. But there was no was I was going to give up this cat and she got her name. I found Ingrid’s blog and back then there was about 100 posts on it. People came and went ( mostly went) but a core group grew and they became family. I learned that
          1. My cat was a Tortie.
          2. Some have an attitude called Tortitude
          3. Stirfry wrote the book

          I also found out there there were others that had Tortitude to the extreme.
          Steeler in Pittsburgh, Kasey up in Canada and Brooke in Virginia were her equals.
          Ingrid’s blog really took off and those cats became family to all of us.
          A meeting at a book signing brought some of us together. I got to meet Brooke and a year later met Steeler. Would have love to seen Kasey before she crossed the Bridge. But we all think our fur kids will last forever and too soon Steeler, Kasey and Stir were gone. I had 4 Torties for a short time. Tabatha – no attitude, Styx ( slight attitude) , Diver – A Male with no attitude and Stirfry. Presently I have Diver, Styx, Frankie ( a round Tuxie), 2 house Panthers Eclipse and Onyx and a Silver Goddess – Arianrhod – a Russian Blue. All are spoiled.

  4. I wanted to post this story of Justice and Jay before it passed by for to long.
    As many of you know, tragedy struck my kittens in Aug 2014. I won’t go into that on this blog. All I will say is during the darkest hours Jay came here to help me with Justice and do all we could to help her live. As you all know she did. There is a part of this tragedy that was brought to light Easter weekend.
    Know this, my Torties don’t go to anyone other than myself —– until Easter weekend. Jay arrived. He and I sat in the sunroom and to my amazement, Justice literally pounced up on the seating and took ownership of Jay. She loved him like I could not believe. She rubbed and kissed and talked to him as never before. I can only say that during those dark days, Jay was helping Justice in every way he could. I know she must remember him for that. She is now in “love” with Jay. He was as amazed as I, although he won’t admit it. Justice has never did that before with Jay,but as far as who she loves, Jay is definitely on her very short list of her human loves. Actually, I almost felt like she overdid it and loved him a little more than she did me. Now we all know I am joking on that last sentence. “Really”? Hum, wonder if I am kidding myself and Justice really does idolize Jay more. He is a cat whisperer you know.

    • I think she remembers all the love that Jay gave her when she was fighting for her life … now she’s giving some of it back!

      • Justice was a VERY sick cat back then and Bernie and I did everything we could think of to get her to eat anything at all. Trips to Walmart for many types of cat food and the local store for smelly sardines along with a vaporizer to help her breathe are what helped. Encouragement when she did eat a little helped. So glad she came around before I had to leave.
        Now she is just saying Thank You.

        • Jay, and everyone who reads this. Jay you are being to modest. Justice is saying more than Thank you. She is showing you how much she has come to love you. Face it, the Tortie loves you for helping her. She always will, that is how Torties are.

  5. Ok this message is to Steeler, Stirfry and Kasey. Enough of the storms already. This evening we had tornado warnings, hail, high winds, crackling lightning, rolling never ending thunder, and torrential rains. Now girls, enough. We all know you are watching over us.

    Now on another note. I have this home that I close the second floor rooms off for the winter and there are 2 rooms in the basement I don’t allow the kittens to go into.
    So yesterday, I had to replace my battery on the whole house generator. No big deal, that is outside. The electrical test/set electrical connection panel is in one of the rooms in the basement where the kittens aren’t permitted. Well, I closed the door while I was in there resetting the generator settings. Turned the lights out and left. Shortly after that I heard a faint “mew” “mew”. I went to the basement stairs and on the steps there sat DaJudge, eyes big and wide, looking at the closed door. Then I head the “mew’ again. Lo and behold I opened that door and there sat Justice. She had pushed that door open when I had my back turned and came into the rooms they are not permitted. I opened the door and a lightning streak took off up the basement stairs. Will she do that again, she is a Tortie, so who knows.
    Well, that was then. So later I go upstairs to find a shirt from one of the upstairs closets. Yep, later, about 3 hours later, I realized I didn’t see DaJudge for a while. Up those stairs I went and sure enough, I opened that door and out comes DaJudge. Will DaJudge do that again, well she is also a Tortie, so who knows.
    I must admit, these 2 Torties are not a bit like Steeler, my soul Tortie, but they each have distinct behaviors unlike each other. The one thing in common is getting locked in rooms they should not have gone into. So far that is all they have in common. They are buddies, to a point, and not a sharp point.
    Freedom, my Russian Blue, Momma to Justice and Grandma to DaJudge, just goes about her days, with the same attitude. That is “open the door and throw those Torties out”. She would like to be an only cat in this household.
    Those are the antics of the past day. Who knows what tomorrow will bring, but I can do without all the rage coming down from the clouds.

    • Bernie, you sure have had your hands full today … what little characters they are. Hope the weather is settling down a bit for you too … thunder, lightning, rain and tornadoes? Good grief … take care!

      • Marg, my dear friend, it has been an unusual day for sure. Spring is really coming to Western PA with a loud and boisterous way. Those Torties in the heavens are having a really good go at it. It has passed for tonight and all is calm (outside that is). My little ones could care less about all the rumblings and noise outside. All 3 of them were with me in the sunroom. No fear in these girls.
        Inside the little ones have been giving me a run for the money. A most unusual day or two.
        Justice and DaJudge are zooming around tonight as usual, and it sounds like the thundering hoofs of a hundred elephants on the second hall wooden floor.
        How is you little girl doing? You haven’t mentioned her in quite a while now.
        With all that has been going on, I must admit the Torties have made me laugh at their behavior. They can be very good or they can be very ornery. They have mixed the 2 ways up lately quite nicely. Just gotta love those Torties!!

        • Miss Gracie is doing just fine. We adjusted our clocks from daylight savings time last weekend and let me tell you, she was not happy … ! “What do you mean I can’t go outside … it’s light … yes, I know it’s only 5am … but it’s light!” These little ones definitely keep us on our toes (and we wouldn’t have it any other way, would we?)

          • Marg, I know the feeling about the sleeping times. I am not a morning person. However, Freedom is taking to doing those bread (biscuits) on me early, sometimes before dawn. Then she will come back and start all over again. I know how Gracie is acting. Maybe she and Freedom have had a conspiracy conversation to wake up the mommies very early. 🙂

          • Fortunately my kitties that sleep with me, my two girls, like to sleep in. The boys on the other hand are early risers and up with their daddy begging for breakfast.

          • Betty, my cats also like to sleep in. I never know who will sleep with me and who will be there when I wake up. Styx almost always goes to sleep on me and will be there in the morning. Diver and Onyx also. Frankie might come back but usually is found in the kitchen in the morning – close to the food bowl. Eclipse almost never comes back at night but I will find him sleeping in the middle of the bed when I wake up. Arianrhod has never come back to sleep in the bed but will come up to the window in the summer to look outside.

          • Kasey was no trouble at night.

            She would sleep near my feet. I know she would leave for various reasons but would usually be there in the morning.

            No other cats were allowed to be on the bed, it was said “she did not share me very well” 😉

            Now I can’t allow the door to be open, young Tim is very active, doesn’t respect personal space or the sleep of others, human or animal.

          • Tim is a young orange kitty. We don’t expect him to respect personal space or the sleep of others.

          • “Tim is a young orange kitty. We don’t expect him to respect personal space or the sleep of others.”

            So true, he will be 3 this summer, going on about 12 weeks, mentally. Typical of a house raised orange boy.

            Sometimes he does push Gigi too far. Then he brings the “inner torti” out in this gentle giant long haired girl.

            She snaps and puts the fear into him, it is like he is being chased by a 15 pound torti freight train.

            He does not learn from this and will repeat offend the next day.

          • it is definitely an assortment at bedtime. We have one of those Tempurpedic king beds that is split in the middle so each of us can elevate our head/foot as we want so the kitties are on my side and the dog (yorkie/dachshund mix) is on his side. Fortunately everyone plays nice although at times Columbia kicks her sister (by adoption) off the bed by way of hisses and spits if she wants mommy all to herself. Then later she will allow sister back on, if the mood strikes. Once in a great while my big black male will jump on the bed and lay across my chest and purr his way to sleep. This all makes for one happy mommy.

  6. Hey there Glen and all. Around 10PM here there was strong lightning, thunder, and heavy rains. Our Tortie Girls Stirfry, Kasey, and Steeler were announcing they are still looking out for us, big time. I like to think they are watching over all the little ones of ours and our friends who have crossed over that bridge. When I heard the crack of the lightning, I immediately thought of our special Torties. Some of you know about these special Torties. They each gave unconditional love to myself, Jay and Glen. They three also gave unconditional Tortitude to any person other than us. My Steeler made it clear she was in charge and she would be the only cat in this house and so it was. I would lovingly refer to her as my “little terrorist”. No one else could touch her, except Jay, then only after he gave her nip, and then she owned him. He was her nip supplier. Kasey was Glen’s Warrior Queen. A Tortie that owned him and ran the house with a strong paw. Jay’s Stirfry put fear in the hearts of all, human and animal, with just a look. But they loved us fiercely as we did them. So when the Lightning Cracks, the Thunder Rolls and the rains come down, it is a signal form those special Torties that they are looking out for us and hopefully they are taking care of our other little fur babies that have gone over that bridge. On April 30, it will be 3 years that Steeler crossed the bridge. In my life, it is still as if it were today. <3

      • Ingrid, the years pass for me as they do for all our friends who have suffered the loss of our little ones. When it is affairs of our hearts those losses are as fresh today as they were on the day we lost our loved ones.

    • 3 years for Steeler, I think 2 for Glen ‘s Kasey and Stir was just last Fall. But the hurt of losing them is as strong today as it was on that day. I love all my cats dearly but Stirfry with her attitude was my one true Cat. The day she jumped up onto my deck and rubbed against my ankle – she went from Feral cat to wanting to trust a human and she chose me. And I know that when Steeler came to you on that cold snowy day after being so harshly treated by someone that they damaged her hips that she was choosing you to protect her. And Glen took in Kasey after seeing her treated the same way that those Torties wanted a home with love and security and just had to find the right one.

      • Today I was up at the facility that I took Kasey from in may 2008.

        One of her former “protectors” was working there today.

        Even though she left there 7 years ago, now, he usually mentions her when I visit the site. He still speaks fondly of her.

        He was saying again today how she interacted with him. The facility is automated and is only attended during the day, unless there is a problem and the control system automatically dials the person on call and they have to come out and look after the problem, even in the wee hours of the morning.

        He said that he would get called out at some time like 3:00 PM, get the problem fixed but want to stay there to make sure things kept going. He said he would fall asleep in one of the plant office chairs with Kasey curled up on his lap, purring loudly.

        That was the thing about her, in spite of hew warrior tendencies, even in that environment, she wanted to be a pet cat.

        The only regret I have about taking her out of there is that I should have done it earlier. However, we had five, good years with her at home.

        • Glen, the memories we have of our “special Torties” will forever be with us. There are few “special Torties” that remain in the memories of so many as you, Jay and I have had the honor of being chosen by them. They were rare and will always be held in the highest esteem.

          • In Feb. 2013, I got word about a long haired torti, Gigi, who was losing her home and desperately needed a new place to live.

            After in initial meeting, there was no doubt that she was coming home and we took a chance on this big girl.

            I had no idea I would lose Kasey in a couple months.

            Kasey pretty much accepted Gigi right away and was not aggressive with her at all. They seemed to get along like “sisters from different litters”. Kasey show some rare respect for this large, tranquil girl.

            In retrospect, it seemed like she knew she would not be around and her was someone to “watch over” me when she was gone.

            I helped Gigi by giving her another chance, but she has helped me deal with my loss.

          • Glen, I do believe Kasey had a paw in helping you and Gigi to find each other, before she had to go away.
            You know I feel Steeler and Eric played a huge roll in sending Justice, Liberty and Freedom to me at a time when I desperately needed them. I didn’t ever want another kitten after Steeler, but she had other ideas. I am happy she did.

        • Glen, you gave Kasey five wonderful years … you showered her with love and care. Some kitties live long lives in homes where they are not loved as much as we love our little furry friends. Those five years were quality years.

          • Some cats leave a lasting impression and most of us on here can recognize those special ones. Kasey was one of those. Those of us on your blog knew she was one of those special Torties and she belonged to the group. Glen knows she will never be forgotten.

      • I’d forgotten how much I like that song. I used to set the bedroom stereo on quiet music for an hour or so after going to bed, but lately the sound of purring drowns it out so I haven’t bothered. Charlie’s taken to sleeping with me every night and I swear purrs in his sleep, Henry’s back in bed now that he’s doing so much better, and Ms. Brooke seems to have shelved her tortitude and can manage to share the bed. The three of them purring is amazing.

    • My little ones don’t pay any attention to music. They seem to be immune to all that plays. Now when it comes to kitties purring when I am trying to sleep. That is great with me. However, I have Freedom, as most of you are aware is the Russian Blue feral, about 12 years old now. Well sleeping and Freedom are not synomous with each other. Freedom is a loving girl, and these past few months has taken to showing her love by doing that bread punching thing with her front feet. Sounds great, she is a happy domesticated cat now, but, she uses me for her bread. She will come onto the bed, whenever the urge strikes her, and she will start using her paws on me as if she is making bread. Then she will just step up on me and lay down on my chest and go to sleep. This little lady, is really making up for lost loving when she was feral. I had thought this was just a once or twice thing with her, but it is a nightly (as soon as the lights go off) here comes Freedom. She will repeat her process a few times a night into the am. I think she is trying to tell me, she wants me to see the sunrise. I am trying to convince her I want to see the sun over the top of the house, around noon. Don’t tell me to close the bedroom door, there will be a chorus of kitties calls of the wild along with scratching and such. I do wish music were the choice for Freedom. 🙂

      • Bernie … that brought tears to my eyes (I almost typed ears … now that would have been weird … sometimes my fingers get in front of my brain when I’m typing). Freedom is obviously just so HAPPY and LOVED … and obviously she loves you very much in return. She has come a long way in a short time!

        • Marg, my friend, Freedom has come a very long way. No one is more surprised than I about how she has begun to show her affection to me. She would let me pet her early on, but she has made this decision all on her own. I am happy to know she has come to feel safe and loved. I do wish she could hold off on the loving (other than laying beside me as I sleep) until it is later in the AM. I am definitely not a AM person. I don’t have it in me to tell her not to do that. It is her way of showing her love. I will just have to work with her a little and whisper in her ear, to just sleep beside me for a while. She is a precious kitten. Freedom is truly a gem. Always gentle.

      • Sounds like that talk I had with Freedom worked. Why waste a whole day of Sunshine when things can be done (mainly litterboxes, playing with kitties, feeding them, letting them watch the birds while you do litter boxes AGAIN) and so much more. I’m gonna have to talk to Justice and DJ. 🙂

        • Jay, you best not talk to my girls any more like that. I can clean litter boxes into the night, quite late if I want. Their cardinal is still coming to the windows at the sunroom and teasing them. They have cat TV going on all day long. So they are entertained, naturally. No need to change the Torties. Justice and DaJudge do just fine until they see me awaken. They do show respect for Freedom, though. If Freedom is getting “mommy time” they each stay away on the kitty tree or in their kitty beds and give her all the time she wants. They never interfere with that alone time with me.

  7. I had some entertainment with something Gigi did one morning last week before I headed off to work.

    This involved Tim, the 2+ year old orange guy, who seems quite intelligent but has not mentally matured much beyond that of a 12 week old kitten. An important part of the story is that Tim is patterned after a 9 pound cougar; long legged, lanky, with a tail that is so long, it would drag on the floor if he didn’t keep a curl in the end.

    Gigi is large, mature, rather ponderous in her movements and stately enough to be called the “Empress of the House”. Gigi will play, very vigorously, occasionally, when she chooses.

    Gigi was reclining on the kitchen floor in a dignified manner, asking for attention from me.

    Tim strolled by her, tail carried low to the floor. His tail was waving aimlessly, as a result of his usual pent up energy.

    Uncharacteristically, as Tim went by, Gigi took a deliberate but slow, almost symbolic or ceremonial (and ineffective) swing at the tip of his tail with a front paw.

    Just this one swing, that was it. It did not connect and Tim just kept on walking. oblivious to what had happened.

    Gig was like, “there, that done, now on to other things”.

    Who knows what that was about, I have seen her in action when she means business and she could have caught it if she had wanted to.

    • Glen, she was checking to see if the need to keep him in check he was within range. Onyx is constantly swiping at Eclipse’s tail and he will turn lightning quick to see who it was. Any other cat and their would have been a big fight. Seeing it’s Onyx he puts a gentle paw on him and holds him down.
      Arian is very protective about her tail and watches Onyx just in case he goes for her.

    • Glen and Jay. You guys have the tails swiping going on. Both of you have kittens that stay hey, just a reminder, I’m here. Gigi really comes off well as Empress of the Room. She and Tim have been together since Tim’s first day. She could really hit him but sounds like she is treating him more like her kitten. Jay (really my Onyx) Onyx goes around tail swiping at any of his kittens. Eclipse is the surprise to both of us. He was so feral outside and once inside with the kitten Onyx, he became domesticated very quickly. Eclipse is the surprise. He won’t hut the kitten. He will swirl around like lightning and puts his paw softly on Onyx’s head. No hissing or hurting going on there. So it sounds like your family of kittens and Jay’s are truly treating each other as their own little ones.

  8. I have just found your website and it made me smile to read some of your stories. I had to say goodbye to my beautiful, loving brindle tortie Lucy on Monday after she developed a tumor. She was my first cat and we spent 15 happy years together. My heart is breaking but I know that she knew she was loved and she loved me back. God bless all the special little cats in our lives.

    • I’m so sorry about Lucy, Michelle. Losing a cat is always devastating, but losing that first one is extra hard. My heart goes out to you.

    • Michelle, I am so sorry for your loss of your beloved Lucy. Saying goodbye to our little ones is extremely hard. We, and I believe I speak for most on Ingrid’s site, have had this horrible heartache.
      Our little ones do love us back much more than anyone knows. They are like children. They are family, not thought of as cats.
      So glad you found this page. I welcome you, even under the sad circumstances. <3

    • Michelle, I’m so sorry for your loss … these little ones fill a bit part in our lives and in our hearts. It’s always heartbreaking when they have to leave us.

      • Thank you all for your kind words. I am lucky that I have people around me who understand my loss but I’m finding it incredibly hard to get through at the moment. The house seems so quiet without her – she had a habit of following me around, especially every time I went into the kitchen or anywhere near her food cupboard! Letting her go is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do but as my mum said, sadly the loss is the price we pay for loving them and them loving us. Give all your cats an extra hug today…

      • Gary, I am sorry you had to let your Suelee go. So now you have a Tortie! What did you name her? How old is she? We are all owned by Torties on this site, in addition to all other types of cats. But somehow our Torties have always been special. Welcome and hope to hear more about you Tortie.

      • I am very sorry to read about the losses of Lucy and Suelee.

        Ingrid has written in the past about how difficult the loss of what she has called a “soul cat” is.

        It will be two years this May since I lost my rescue torti, Kasey, often referred to here as the “Warrior Queen”. Even after two years, I miss her terribly.

        I have some consolation in having taken Gigi in a couple months before losing Kasey. Gigi is a large, gentle, long hair torti; we were her last hope before she would have had to go to a shelter, she a real pet who has been a joy to have around.

        • Michelle and Gary, I just read these post and am so sorry to hear about the losses of your little ones. It is never easy to watch them go. Like Bernie said, we have all lost some fur kids. Thru Ingrid and her Blog, we have share their stories and their antics. They became “Community Cats”. But Steeler, Kasey, Diesel, Cookie & Kelly and my Stirfry were all mourned when they crossed the Bridge and we all cried. We will all meet again. I have others that I have rescued. No cat wants to be unwanted and those that were in a home without love, a field out back or living in a junk yard and now happy and can play and sleep without worry.
          If you are given a chance, rescue another in Lucy or Suelee’s memory.

  9. Early this morning as I was drinking coffee I heard and felt a huge weight hit the bed. Sounded like a 15 lb bowling ball. Close, It was Frankie jumping onto the bed and in 2 bounds up onto the headboard to the window – right on his heals was Onyx. Probable weighs under 5 lbs. but a very playful young cat. Within minutes they were both off into the living room.

    Today was a day of Snowblowing and shoveling. Yesterday started out with fine snow coming dawn. after 2+ inches I used the leaf blower on the deck and steps. around 4pm I did it again and by the time I was finished it had turned to sleet/freezing rain. Today I used the snow blower on the driveway. Took almost 2 hours. I saw the outside black cat (Eclipse’s relative early in the morning.
    Around noon I saw Frankie running in the kitchen and then back to the bedroom. He lowered himself and looked into the kitchen with his butt in the air. Soon a butt wiggle and he was off. Chasing Eclipse. Shortly after I saw Eclipse come around the corner and look both ways then run off. He was chasing Frank. Both house panthers are making sure Frank gets a workout.

    • Jay’s life is never dull. The addition of Eclipse and Onyx has brightened and enlightened all the furbabies.. Onyx, the littlest panther, (my panther) won’t take “No, I don’t want to play from any of the others, except for Styx,(sometimes). Eclipse as you can see doesn’t seem to know he was a feral kitten. Those two little panthers keep Frankie, (who really needs the exercise) playing. I listen on the phone, while talking to Jay and it sounds like a group of little children at times. Clipsey has a call of the wild and howls, while playing. Frankie and Diver are kept busy with these little panthers. Diver has taken Onyx as is own kitten and takes care of him. If he doesn’t see him, or hears him use that squeak (no meow yet for him) he takes off like a ball out of a cannon to make sure he is ok. The playing and bonding of all these little ones is something special. I wish I could be there to see more of it, but mother nature hasn’t been very cooperative with weekend travels. In the meantime, Jay is spoiling these little ones, all of them, beyond belief. He doesn’t get home from work until well after midnight every day. He puts the outdoor barn minis in the barn and feeds them. He then goes into the house and is calls me while trying to open a can of cat food to give each of them a midnight snack. He calls each by name, and I can hear each of the speak back to Jay. I could call mine all day, and they will come when they are darn good and ready. So by this time it is usually around 2AM and he has to get some sleep. Now once he gets into his bed and before we hang up, the kittens, Styx, Diver, Frankie, Onyx and Clipsey all come to bed with him. Imagine 5 kittens come when he says kittens bedtime. Now he does have Arianrhod, Freedom’s granddaughter. She is the “GODDESS” and she acts like one. She doesn’t join in them in bed. No not her. She does join in the midnight snack. Each of his kittens come to meet him as he comes in the door. If one isn’t there he calls it by name and bam,there it comes. I wish my girls would be like that, but they are independent and all do their own thing in their own time. All are related to Arianrhod. So I think that explains Arian’s aloofness. She inherited it from her Grandma and cousins.

  10. Ingrid, I received a e-mail on March 2 that you and Glen were on CC. But when I click on the link it takes me to Jan 27 and the latest post. This has been going on since your new web design. Did you know this ?

  11. As cold as it’s been recently Bernie was concerned about Styx. (You know she must be Bernie’s favorite) I received a package in the mail and it was a kitty sweater for Styx. I put it on (not hard with her) and even though she rolled around on the floor and kicked at it with her back legs – 10 minutes later she was walking around as if no big deal. Eclipse came into the room and was talking, I grabbed the camera and set it to video. Caught Eclipse on the kitchen chair and he attempted to hit Styx who was under it. A Feral cat might be a skilled and nimble hunter in the wild, but I think her forgot something. He almost fell off the chair and grabbed for the back of it. Kicking and hanging on with 1 paw he scared Styx who ran off. Guess he’s an indoor cat now. 🙂

    • Styx is a Tortie. Don’t get me wrong, but she is not in the top 5 of my favorites. I love this crazy Tortie, but she on the other hand, will attack me in the blink of an eye (and she has). It isn’t all her fault. She had been my Mom’s tortie and my Mom didn’t know a thing about a cat, especially a Tortie. She would pick her up from the floor while Styx was in a sound sleep. Naturally Styx would attack. She would try to force Styx into being a lap cat and at that time Styx just didn’t want anything to do with her. So I did promise to take Styx when they couldn’t do it. I did. She attacked me several times and I ended up at Med Exp. twice. Once required stitched. So Jay came and within seconds she was his. So I do love Styx, she just does not trust or like women. I would do anything for this kitten and all the kittens. Styx is so very thin, and with this horrific cold weather, I felt she could use the extra warmth. I am looking for a 2nd sweather for her, maybe a little better, but in knit and with bright colors.
      As for the panthers, gosh, what can I say. Jay is co-parent of my Onyx. For reasons I won’t go into here, Onyx has to stay with Jay. He is adorable and yes, he makes every kitten in Jay’s home play. Sometimes even Styx. Eclipse, was so feral when I brought him in for Jay, (Jay was in the hospital with his heart attack). That Monday night Eclipse decided to go into the hag-a-heart trap. He was so feral. Now he is so domesticated. Jay is truly a cat whisperer. Each cat comes to being called by name. That speaks volumes about how he is with those little ones.

        • Ingrid, Jay’s memory is short these days. I took Styx to his vet in early Oct. 2014. Had his vet run full blood panels, stool, urine and x-rays. She tested out as fine. No thyroid, heart, lung, kidney or other organ problems. No bowel problems. Blood panels were all with normal limits. I took her then, because even then I felt she was very thin. She remains about the same. She eats very well. Jay feeds her her wet food in a room to be sure she gets to eat it without the little stealth panthers getting to it. The vet advised kitten food to help her gain weight. We did try it, and she would not eat it. Styx is not sick and never brings her food up. So at that time her overall health is very good. She is now about 12 years old now. I am a worry wort about kittens health and Jay’s vet worked with me and ran all tests and x-rays. Teeth are fine. She is feisty and moves about quite well. Her only thing that she does have is an overbite. So she eats slowly, but she eats well. Jay gives dry and wet foods to the little ones. I just want her to be warm. I measure body heat for her by me. If I am cold, I feel a thin kitten must be cold. I believe we had her to Jay’s vet 2x in 6 months. I know Jay had taken her, and she had told Jay she was fine, just a little dehydrated. She did not give fluids. If Jay recalls, I didn’t like that so I had Jay put my name on the records also so the vet would work with me on the little ones also. I then made that appointment for Styx about 3 weeks after Jay had her there. I asked if she is dehydrated give her IV Sub-q’s. She showed me then that Styx was no longer dehydrated, but If I insisted she would give her the fluids. I then became very sweet and suggested she run all the tests on her. I had already brought her stool sample. So she did every non invasive test for me. Yes, you know after what I had gone thru, I was not just going to accept “a little dehydrated”. So you know me, if for a nano second I feel any of the kittens need attention, we make sure they go. I am not accustomed to “thin” kittens. You folks that know me, know if a kitten so much as sneezes it goes to the vet.

  12. Here’s a video of a cat that had enough of a small dog’s barking.

    Had this been Kasey, the barking part of the video would have been much shorter and the attack would have been immediate, ruthless and pressed with complete focus.

    Kasey would not have considered this a worthy opponent, but would have attacked anyway.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jCWIBtVWg8

    • Poor puppy just wanted to play! 🙂 I love how the other dog tries to comfort the one that was chased> Too funny how the cat hangs around a bit to make sure the puppy got the message.

      • I agree Ingrid, the puppy wanted to play as his tail ( or what he had) was wagging. But some cats don’t play well with others. A few Torties that I know of. Stirfry would have been like Kasey and Steeler. Diver and Onyx would have been playing at the 1st bark.

        • Yeah, It depends on the cat, for sure, some are easily slighted.

          Tim would be the opposite, everything to him is play.

          The dog in the video would have, over time, regretted getting Tim’s attention to play though, because once Tim finds something amusing and entertaining, he can’t let it go and becomes obsessed, never forgetting it.

          Based on what goes on around here, Tim would drive the dog crazy. A favorite game is “tapping”, this involve either a high speed galloping pass, tapping the “victim” on the with a front paw on the way by and continuing running by at high speed. Or hitting from ambush and scooting.

          He does not tire of this activity but it does become a source of aggravation to other animals.

          • Glen, Onxy is the same way. He loves to play and an ambush is the best way to get his victims attention. He goes for the tail. If any other cat would grab Eclipse’s tail the get into a full on feral fight. If he turns around and see’s it’s the little Panther his paw comes down softly and he either touches the Onyx’s head or lets him play. Diver has given him soft head taps or run from him. Even Frank and Arian will let him play. Styx is the only one that has a problem with him and growls or hard taps come his way. But minutes later Onyx is back to playing again.

  13. Hi gang,
    Most of you who know me know I am not a morning person. So now it seems my Russian Blue, Freedom and one of my Torties have decided to try to change my sleeping habits. So here is a short version of how these girls have learned to interact and work on their Mom’s sleeping habits. They get my other tortie, Dajudge in on their shenanigans and I may end up a morning person whether I want to or not. So enjoy this short version of my girls. Sharing this with you here, I hope will bring a smile to you all thru this bad weather.
    “Wow, I have not said anything on here about my little ones lately, but then what could I say except they are fabulous and I love them. Now do they love me? Well now, Freedom has decided she wants me to awaken earlier in the AM. So she has started for the past 2 wks. doing the bread pushing on me to wake me up. I thought it was a fluke, but nope she is still at it, and she won’t take a bribe of a treat to stop. So this morning somehow, she convinced Justice to help her. Now Justice is a Tortie, so her first paw was full unsheathed claws onto my shoulder. Girls, Meowmy is up now.’

    • Good for them. Don’t want you wasting the day away. Steeler was a Morning Cat and she is telling Freedom and Justice to get you up like she did. Mom, the treats are under the pillow and they aren’t gonna open themselves up.

      • “Mom, the treats are under the pillow and they aren’t gonna open themselves up.” Yes they are. Steeler always knew that and would give one good claw to the shoulder to get them. She, on the other hand, would then go back to sleep and let her Mom sleep. These two are not that giving. They want me to stay up! I always enjoy seeing the changes in them as they grow but this one, we could have skipped.

  14. Just wanted to add my name to list of Tortie lovers. I seem to have attracted Torties my whole life.. I had a couple as pets growing up, and two that have spanned my adult years.. Bunny and, following her death, Kali. I’ve had many many cats play a part in my life, but I can attest that the Torties are unique and though often bossy, demanding, and controlling (God help me if I pet another cat- I will hear all about it!) I love them dearly. Long live Tortitude!

    • Welcome Martin, tell us more about Kali and Bunny.
      Is Kali a talker ? Is Kali named after the Kali the Goddess of Destruction?
      I have had 4 Torties at 1 time. Tabatha and Stirfry crossed the Bridge late last year. Now I have Styx (some Tortitude) and Diver – a Male with no Tortitude at all. Diver is one of those rare cats who loves everyone and never met a cat he did get along with (until he met Stirfry).
      Where are you located? I am in Lancaster County in Pa. Bernie and Bernadette are located in Pa near Pittsburgh. I am always looking for other Tortie caretakers nearby.

    • This kitten had a really good workout on this “fishing trip”. I have friends with one of those backyard fish ponds. They do freeze over and they are not deep. They have a large white angora who goes out (farm land) no roads, and will try to fish with her paw in the summer. No luck. I have seen her do this in the winter. She will then go into the the house and just lay on the windowsill looking out at that pond. Carol and I often thought she is just waiting to see a fish jump. Cats are very good entertainment and great for making us feel better during our stressful times.

      • Glen’s Kasey most likely knew how to ice fish before he rescued her. She was and always will be one of a kind and his Warrior Queen. I can see my Steeler, just snatch that fish off someone and take off with it, without so much as a thank you. I often called her my little terrorist. Now Stirfry could have melted the ice with just the hot fiery breath she breather and all the fist would have been gone forever.

        • Glen it seems these Torties of ours (Kasey, Stirfry,Steeler) will always live on in our stories and hearts. It will soon be 3 years since Steeler went to cross the rainbow bridge and yet, I recall her moves and expressions as if she standing right here with me. Time does not erase the images and feelings we have for our special girls. I, for one, never want to forget anything about my little Steeler. She taught me how to love kittens and how much they give love in return. She also taught me, and quickly, I may add, who was the boss here. She rescued me. She owned me. No doubt about it.

          • Yes, they were strong willed cats with plenty of character, that never did anything by half measures; whether that was going after something, or showing affection to “their people”.

            It has been a year and nine moths since I lost Kasey and I still miss her terribly.

            At least I was able to make the last 1/3 of her life comfortable, and happy.

          • Glen our 3 were all rescued cats. Your Kasey and Bernie’s Steeler had it really rough and suffered injuries by thoughtless people before we took them in. Stirfry was really a very young cat but very feral when I rescued her (or she adopted me). I know no one else would have her after seeing her attitude and I know I gave her a great life. Her way of playing was definately Tortie-like but I knew she was having fun. They loved us for giving them many happy and safe years. And with every thunderstorm we will hear them playing.

  15. It has ben bitterly cold down here in PA (Colder yet for Bernie and probably worse for Glen) Temps a 0 or below and wind chills of -25 to -30. Yesterday I forgot to leave the gas logs on low. Came home and the house was cold (55). My house is a Dome and insulated to R45. It usually hold the heat real well. I turned on my gas logs and put a electric heater on in the bedroom and also the electric blanket (Thanks Bernie). Went to bed at 2 and woke up at 4 with a large cat tight against me. Diver was on my right side, Styx under my left arm and Onxy (who is no longer a kitten) on top of me. Frank and Eclips were about an arms length away. This morning after I got up I put the critters out (Buell, Harley & theia) and made coffee. I saw Eclipse and Styx both on the hearth in front of the gas logs.

    • “(Colder yet for Bernie and probably worse for Glen)”

      It was -18F on Sunday morning.

      That was the worst I have seen in a long time, here.

      This time of year, it should be just below freezing, typically.

      • Just below freezing would even be welcome here.

        i am still seeing the outside black cat. it is Eclipse’s brother or sister and stll feral. Runs off if it even sees me looking out the door. Might be a while till it comes in. Until then I am making sure he/she gets fed. Along with the outside feeding is a possum (saw last week) and a mouse (saw 2 days ago) Diver was watching the mouse – midnight snack ?

      • It should be 47/26°F here. Today’s high was 17°F, and right now (10:30 pm) it’s 12°. Supposed to be -4° tonight. I’m blaming the cold, rather than a sign of the coming apocalypse that Charlie, Bobby, PHolly, Pearl *and Brooke* slept together on the bed today.

        • Brooke on the bed with the “Normal” cats ?
          I’m putting my money on the coming apocalypse.

          If it wasn’t for THAT Groundhog, we would have 80 degree temps right now. Told Bernie I was planning on a hunting trip to take him out. Bernie thought I might get caught. I figure when they start looking for likely suspects – they would start in Buffalo NY and Boston Mass. first. Normally I won’t hurt any animals but in this case I might make an exception.

          • Apocalypse, my money goes there too Harry. Below zero seems to be running a “new normal” on this side of the mountains. Winds howling, white outs, and -20 wind chills and that is a warm day. My little ones are staying on their little blankets in front of the hot water radiators most of the day. They aren’t dumb. Jay’s Eclipse took a heck of a chance getting on the hearth by Styx, but again, Styx is no dummy and Eclipse has become an indoor only kitty really quick. It is again -5 here and getting worse. I am so over this winter. I know Harry and those folks are not accustomed to their harsh weather and I feel for them. On the other hand, while I have had some wicked weather here in the past, this month has to rank up there as the worst in memory. High winds, snow, blowing snow, freezing rain, sleet and sub zero temps are the normal lately. I have both my garage doors up about 6″ for any outdoor critters to go into and get on old blankets to stay out of this weather. A heated water bowl and food. I know it is being used by the little footprints at the garage doors. I don’t know if it is only cats, or other critters. All I know is they need a place to go into to be safe too. I have a litter box out there and to my surprise, it has been used. My electric blanket is on and my furnace seems to run constantly. I had my thermostat turned down to 58 and the furnace kicked on before dawn. Now that is cold. I do have a bed full of kittens tho. They like the heated blankets too.

        • It has been ridiculously cold here, although our PA friends are certainly much worse off – not to mention our friends even further north. I’ve kept my furnace running at a steady 70 degrees. I know my electric bill will be equally ridiculous, but as the commercial goes: a warm house? Priceless. Interestingly enough, even though the inside temperature of the house certainly hasn’t changed all winter, the girls do seem to want to cuddle closer at night than they normally do.

          • It’s +6°F as I write this – quite a winter here. We were up at our beach house in New Jersey last weekend, where Saturday night the wind was 60 mph howling off the ocean, and the large (100 car) ferries across the Delaware Bay were frozen in and cancelled. There is nothing quite so drafty as a nearly 100 year old house… I put “insulation” on my to do list. (I’d put “new windows” too, but we’re in the historic district and that’s not an option. In fact, the wind tore a piece of siding off the eve, which will probably necessitate a midnight repair – when the historic preservation commission is sleeping. We did expose and restore some previously painted surfaces – the once-again sky-blue painted porch ceiling – but the less exterior painted surface there is, the happier I am. We visited the rescue where Charlie, Bobby and PHolly came from, and played with the kitties. It’s a mostly cage-free environment, where the cats really all get along and are much more relaxed than in an adoption center at Petsmart, like the one I used to manage. Unfortunately, it’s a small town, and they do not do a ton of adoptions. We did not bring home Charlie’s buddy Marmalade. Marmie’s their longest resident, but exceptionally shy – he was hiding inside a box of blankets in the laundry room when we found him, given away by one orange tabby paw sticking out. We just don’t have the resources at this point to socialize (or feed/vet) a 9th cat…

          • Harry, contact me in the Spring (about 3 years from now as the way the weather is behaving) and I will see about taking Marmalade. Orange kittles alway seem so gentle and I miss Punky. With Diver who gets along with everyone and Onyx who has the kitten ability to get everyone to play, he might come out of his shell. Too cold in my basement now where my holding cage is, to leave him alone at night. Diver only stayed in that cage for an hour or more before he came up to join the others. Easiest of any cat as to joining my crew. Styx took the longest and Stirfry never joined anyone. But Marmalade needs to have a forever home. If he is still there I will try to arange transport.

          • Harry, Glen, Ingrid, and Jay. I am not moving around to far in the house. This freezing cold is absolutely taking its toll. I hear cracking of the snow wish I assume is the springs freezing and thawing as tho they have burst on the far side of the house. My kittens, have taken up resident in front of the hot water radiators, all where they can watch me. Last night it seemed as tho the cold had penetrated every wall in the house. Even tho there is very good insulation, if you get close to the outer walls the cold is there. The little ones have the right idea. Curl up in front of the heat and only move when necessary.

          • Jay, if anyone could bring a very shy adult cat to a loving friendly indoor cat, it is you. You are the cat whisperer. Harry, see if you can help out here. Transport can most likely be arranged.

          • And send us to work to earn money to keep the heat on, lots of litter and kibble and toy mousies. What we do for our little furry kids.

  16. All the comments on Tortie noises prompts a tale from me!

    Leelu (Tortie) is fairly loud as far as her meows go. No chirping but loud ‘MAH-Owww’, a kitty yodel, indignant ‘Eee-ew’ when we cuddle her while she’s sleepy and… The growl.

    She doesn’t growl often as she’s a sweet girl (like Gigi but with shorter fur). But we had someone come by our window and the growl she let loose-Let’s just say the hairs on the back of my neck were standing UP. It was low, deep and she opened her mouth with ears back for it.

    Leelu hasn’t made that noise since.

  17. Cat voices sure vary, even their “challenge” vocals.

    Kasey, when issuing a challenge (which was a frequent occurrence) would make a sound roughly like a cougar snarl but with more of an evil, not-of-this-world effect.

    I think the sound alone often got various creatures, large and small, on the run rather quickly.

    Tim, our 2 1/2 year old orange guy never grew very much. He is right around 9 pounds and wiry. He never did get his “big boy” voice. He makes a series of small squeaks, chirps and warbles.

    Sometimes he challenges Taz. This comes out as a barely audible squeak.

    You wouldn’t know it was a challenge, except for his posture; you can tell he thinks it is the real deal. However, it is amusing and there is nothing the least bit intimidating about it. It is funny to watch, though.

    • Hi all.
      Glen as I read your post, it brings back so many wonderful memories of my precious Steeler. She, like Kasey, thrived as a rescued baby. She, unlike Kasey, would allow no other cat to even come near the entrance door. She had the ungodly howling snarl that left the chills go up my spine. Just like Kasey she had a sound unlike any I have ever heard.
      I, now have Justice and DaJudge, 2 Torties. Justice has a high pitched Meow. Dajudge started talking but instead of meows’ she has a mew mew mew. She will carry her catnip pickle in her mouth and go about mew mew mew. Now Justice has all the stares and body language of a torte with fortitude, but she seldom really shows her Tortitude. DaJudge has always been my gentle loving Tortie. Well I guess as with all of those aging things change. She is still loving and gentle, however, she has started showing a lot of “Tortitude”. She is a big tall and long gal going about 14#. She has found her place in the pecking order here. Freedom, my Russian Blue rescue is now about 12 to 14 years old. She is the momma to Justice and Grandma to DaJudge. Now I swear she is a Tortie in disguise. This little might mite has a snarl no meow. When Freedom is within paw distance, the Torties give her a very wide berth. The Torties are now playing together. Something I have hoped for since Liberty, my beautiful tiger tabby passed. He was the clown and agitator of the group. He would get them all playing and running insanely. I was worried the Torties may not bond with him gone, but they are starting. Freedom will always be in charge of all that happens and she is the oldest and smallest of all. So as I read about the interactions of Tim and Taz, I can only be reminded of Liberty and the Torties playing. But as I read about “Your Warrior Queen” Kasey, it immediately brings back “my little terrorist” Steeler and how she had that ungodly howling and snarling. She never had a meow. I know you miss your Kasey and I still miss Steeler. Jay, has new kittens too as you all know, but when we look over them or talk of their behavior, Stirfry, his soul cat comes up right away. She was one of a kind who loved Jay without reservation. But anyone else, better stay back, way back. So as I read on here how many of us have had huge and painful losses of our little ones, I think back to when we all had those very special Torties, the ones that left the kind of mark and hole in our hearts that will remain forever. Jay and I still say when it thunders and the lightening cracks, Steeler, Kasey and Stirfry have things rolling in the heavens and are letting us know they are watching. I sure hope they can turn off this snow tho.

      • Of all mine now Onyx still has a kitten high pitch squeak like a bat, Diver rarely talks, Styx has a bark and Eclipse has a soulful wail as if she misses someone. Frankie has a meow with a question mark as if saying “who me”. And Arianrhod who never meowed until Stirfry crossed now has a panther growl. I always think of Kasey when I hear it. I’m sure no where near as scary but in my house she gets attention. Stir never meowed but her hiss and snarl were feared by all. Funny how the most dangerous of our Torties had the scariest sounds. Not small cat sounds but deep woods jungle sounds ( from prehistoric Jungle times). Sabertooths never died off – they evolved into Torties.

          • “I know you miss your Kasey and I still miss Steeler. Jay, has new kittens too as you all know, but when we look over them or talk of their behavior, Stirfry, his soul cat comes up right away. She was one of a kind who loved Jay without reservation. But anyone else, better stay back, way back. So as I read on here how many of us have had huge and painful losses of our little ones, I think back to when we all had those very special Torties, the ones that left the kind of mark and hole in our hearts that will remain forever. ”

            Yes, these “fierce” cats were strong willed and agressive, but they also showed affection to “their” people with the same strong intensity.

            I think this was one of the traits that made them endearing.

  18. Snow day, Feb. 2, 2015

    The cats were disappointed today when I left for work, they thought it would be a repeat of yesterday.

    The snow was bad here on Monday and I remained home.

    My job is such that if i have my company laptop, I can work from home for up to a few days without problems, so that’s what I did.

    I set up in the basement and Gigi curled up in a cat bed nearby and watched me, with regular excursions to interrupt me for petting and brushing.

    I think she figured it should have been repeated today.

      • Cats love snow days. Horses and donkeys do not.
        Woke up this morning with a dusting of snow. No cats prints on the deck so Eclipse’s brother/sister has not been by yet.

        Glen, I am sure Gigi loves every minute you are home.
        Take more pics of her and the others. Love t see how they are doing.

  19. Thanks for the article links Ingrid. My kitten’s name is Menie. Because I couldn’t think of a better name to call her. It suited her. My god-daughter found her outside our house. She was alone and we think she got lost from her mom. Now Menie thinks this is her house and she lets us live there. She is so smart and she doesn’t forget anything. Its like having a toddler in the house. Thanks for the wonderful article.

      • No, it didn’t take long at all. She wants see every thing we do. She likes to be right in the middle of everything we do. She follows us to the bathroom or if the door is shut she will wait by the door until the person comes out. She loves to cuddle when she sleeps. Once she quits biting, I think she will be a wonderful cat for me and my roommate.

  20. Hey Ingrid… this is comment 13,999!

    I apologize; I’ve owed you an update for quite a while. It’s just that so much has happened so quickly, that every time I start to post, something else happens. Our lives have changed greatly this past fall as for a variety of reasons I’ve given up my volunteering with a local cat rescue, something I had done for almost 10 years. The additional time gained from no longer managing a Petsmart adoption center, no longer coordinating 1000 cat volunteers and 5 adoption events each weekend, and no longer answering 30 emails a day – has gone to other things.
    As Jay hinted last week, we do have some new house panthers. More than a couple (i.e., 3). I found Ingrid’s blog in 2010 while looking into “tortitude” when Brooke, our tortie, wouldn’t get along with the most recent addition, Sabrina, a black kitten who literally adopted me after appearing at a few adoption events and clinging to me as if her life depended on it. I always suspected that Sabrina had one orange hair somewhere, because she had the ‘tude. (All of the attitude, none of the orange warning hairs  ) As most of you know, Sabrina passed away in June of 2013, about the time that a kind soul trapped a litter of feral kittens at the Cape May NJ County airport. My daughter volunteers with Animal Outreach of Cape May, and we happened to be at the shelter the day the trap with kittens came in. They were quite feral. 6 months later, we were again at the shelter, and I was befriended by Bobby, a very engaging, black, half-grown cat. He was one of those kittens, as it turned out. Took a month of pleading, but at the end of December 2013, he came home. Another time, I’ll tell you about all the good things he did normalizing relations between our remaining 5 cats. Bobby had a sister, Polly. Polly became pretty friendly, too… and in April of 2014, she joined us. And then… there was one left. Charlie, the most feral of the litter, who didn’t really trust people. But… he liked me. I could – some of the time – approach him and pet him. By December 2014, he was a big, adult, black cat with sketchy people skills, who was never going to be adopted. So, to his great dismay, on January 2, 2015, he found himself in a carrier on his way to Virginia. Charlie has come a long way in just a month – this morning (and several past mornings) he has curled up on my lap. He is adusting quite well, is able to be out with all the other cats, though he is still a bit skittish and I try to close him in a room with me for at least some time during the day for one on one time, where he really relaxes and cuddles with me. One night this week, he actually slept in bed with me, all night.
    Meanwhile – our 4th black cat, Henry, has been very ill. Diagnosed with diabetes 18 months ago, we have had to learn to test his blood glucose twice a day, give insulin shots, and as he’s lost weight to a critical level, have added several medications for his irritable bowel disease and liver disfunction. We reached crisis state last week when what we thought was encouraging weight gain turned out to be fluid building up around a failing heart. After emergency hospitalization, Henry is now home on a long list of additional meds – but is doing well. We will treasure whatever time we have left.
    And now you know why I haven’t been around, much!

    • You’ve had quite a run lately, Harry. I’m glad Henry is home. I the new meds and being back home will turn things around.

      And we have officially hit 14,000 comments!

    • I have been following Henry on Harry’s Facebook page but realize others ( Glen being one) is in the dark as to the new additions in the Shubin household. Sending healing prayers to Henry and I knew Charlie would fit in. Did not realize you had given up on volunteering at the adoption shelter.
      I know you will miss that.

      Hoping that maybe this year we can get another get together of Ingrid’s Blog friends. Had so much fun last time. Maybe this time I can enjoy the food.

        • Thanks, Glen. It’s been a rough time, but so far, Henry seems ok. Two more meds to add into the cocktail beginning later this week, but we’re managing. Henry really seems comfortable and content. Yes, Jay – no volunteering as of the end of October. It’s a long story I’ll tell you off line at some point, a combination of burnout, creative differences, family issues, and such. In the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger, “I’ll be back.” (Or was that Gen. McArthur?) I take solace in having time to spend with my own cats – time to tame a fraidy cat like Charlie, who sat on my lap for an hour this morning (only to be replaced by his sister). And if you’re wondering if they remember each other – a few minutes ago Brooke started behaving aggressively to PHolly, and Charlie interceded between them, gave Brooke the stink eye (impressive for a non-tortie) and then licked PHolly’s head.

  21. Now here’s something you don’t see every day, courtesy of Gigi, this afternoon.

    A large, 15 pound, long hair torti chasing her tail on the living room rug.

    She was in rare form today, she is very happy here.

    • And why would she NOT be happy. Your cats( along with all ours) have got it made. Love, attention and playmates to keep in shape by keeping them active. Onyx has a challenge with Frankie – but he does play with him.

      • I was concerned about Gigi at first when we brought her here.

        She had come from a very caring home, which had gone through some unfortunate upsets, then she was brought here, to a different place that she was unfamiliar with.

        She spent a substantial part of her first 4 weeks here hiding and she would come out for a bit.

        She was allowed to go at her own pace and the hiding stopped in time.

        For the first year, here, she seemed pretty happy but I wondered if she was just waiting, thinking she might eventually get back to her old home.

        Over a year ago, she seemed to change for the better like, “this IS home” now. She is much more settled, like she owns the place.

        Spontaneous tail chasing was just another sign as to how settled, happy and energetic she is.

  22. I have a torti kitten. About 4 months old. That girl put the word tude in tortitude. I love her but she bites a lot. I don’t want her to lose her attitude, but I need to stop the bitting. Any sugestions?

    • Lisa, tell us more about your Tortie. What is her name ? And I love Torties with Tortitude. There are so few left on here. Our main players – Diesel, Steeler, Kasey and Stirfry are angels now.

        • Kasey earned her nickname “Warrior Queen”, she was tortitude on steroids.

          This was her nature and was further developed spending 8 or 9 years in a tough environment.

          She was fearless and an aggressive, very skilled fighter that actually sought out altercation with any other animal. I have rarely seen this combination of traits.

          However, she was very attached to me and showed affection with the same intensity. She seemed to know when I was coming home from work and would wait for me by the back door.

          She has been gone close to 2 years and I still miss her terribly.

          Gigi is my big, long haired, 15 pound torti.

          She is a complete opposite; she is a gentle giant who gets along with all other domestic animals and introduces a quiet atmosphere into a group of critters. She is a “nurse cat” that looks worried when another animal is ailing, or is being taken to the vet.

          It is a good thing she is like this, she is a big, strong cat.

          Gigi is also very attached to me and also often greets me by the back door when I return from work.

          She got to meet Kasey for the last two months of Kasey’s life. Kasey was feisty up until the last few weeks but she seemed to accept Gigi and got along well with her, which was very unusual.

          • Yes, every Tortie is unique. My Tabatha was a gentle cat that loved most others, Diver ( a rare male – has no Tortitude and is like Gigi – breaks up fights and takes care of his kitten Onyx, Styx has a little Tortitude ( Bernie says she is just mean) and has sent people to Urgent Care to be patched up. Stirfry was my 1st Tortie and was unique in that her Tortitude was to the extreme. Had a major chip on her shoulder and did not get along with anyone. But she loved me for rescuing her and giving her all my love. There will never be another like that for me.

  23. I also rescued my little torti from the Humane Society also. Abby is a little over a year old now. I truly believe in tortitude! It’s funny how many facial expressions I have seen coming from certain meows. The funniest one is the “yelling” at me. The little eyes squinted with the ears pinned back and the teeth showing. I always ask her “Why are you yelling at me?” and she runs off and has that little trill in her voice. She trills too when I throw her toy across the room and she chases after it. I’ve almost figured out all of the meows and facial expressions, lol. She loves to chase me and be chased. She loves to “hide” and when I “find” her she jumps in the air at me. She likes to stalk me and I’ll stalk back. I also taught her to attack me but be nice about it. She’ll grab my hand and kick with her back feet but with now claws.

    I have a question though. There is one place in the house, my attic, When I go up there with her she gets extremely happy and just starts talking away and head butting me and purrs like crazy. What causes this? I have researched and just can’t find an answer. I have a lot of boxes that she plays in and on up there. The only thing I can think of is that, that is her area and she is telling me what she’s doing when she goes up there by herself.

    • It sounds like your attic is a wonderful playground for Abby, Sean. She’s probably giving you a running commentary on her activities up there, with an occasional “oh, Dad, this is so much fun!” thrown in. 🙂 I love the little trill some torties have – it’s such a sweet sound.

    • Congrats Sean on adopting a Tortie and taking another cat out of the system. I had a Tortie that played with me. Stirfry had a way of playing that anyone else would think was aggressive and dangerous. But I knew her and it was her way of playing – there was always a head rub and chin rub afterwards. Anyone else was in a world of hurt if they even got close to her. The other cats avoided her at all costs.
      Enjoy your playtime but make sure she controls herself. Bernadette, Ingrid and Harry are our experts on here and can teach you a lot.

    • Loved it Glen. None of mine will be outside cats but Stir would go out in it. Didn’t care for it but her Tortitude made her show that nothing will intimidate her.

      How are your guys doing?
      Did you know that Harry has a whole family of house panthers, Bobby, Charlie and PHolly – relatives from Cape May. And Henry is doing better.

      • Yeah, they are something, aren’t they 🙂

        It looked to me like they we not “free range” outdoor cats but in an enclosure because that site was from a catrey the raise Siberians.

        Kasey had no interest in outside, unless I was there. She had enough outside for 8 or 9 years.

        I don’t know how Gig would do in the snow, she looks a lot like those cats, but she will remain indoors 😉

        Gigi is fine, usually comes up from her basement den about the time I come home.

        Taz is 16 now, still seems healthy and happy but sedate. He still eats well and will chase a string, a bit, also chases Tim, at a brisk walk.

        Tim, our little guy, at 2 1/2 years old, is just starting to show some more calm and adult behaviour, although he still has a lot of kitten behavior.

  24. Well, the Christmas Tree was taken down today.

    Gigi was the last to “have a go” at it for 2014, happened last night.

    Because she is a big, robust cat, it is an interesting process, so funny that she doesn’t get yelled at. 😉

    First she move under the tree and sits up, the two big back feet get planted, like mobile crane outriggers. The she sits fully upright to access the tree.

    This is a slow, deliberate, and somewhat ponderous, process.

    Then the ornament that has been selected gets pawed, nuzzled and nipped at (only soft non-breakables are located at the lower levels).

    Then she’s done and settles back down and moves off.

    It is a contrast to Tim’s persistent lightning assaults.

    Taz just likes to den up under it, he will likely miss it the most.

  25. I haven’t had a tree of any sort inside since the second year I lived here. A totally different group of cats in those first two years!

    I had a real tree the first year, set it up and ended up nailing the tree stand to the floor after it went over a few times–easy to leap from the steps to the middle of the tree, perfect for knocking it completely over–put lights on and they chewed on them. Ended up with a bare tree nailed to the floor, later moved it outside to the front porch.

    Second year pulled out the vintage mid-century white plastic tree, the type you couldn’t put lights on because it would melt so most people used one of those floodlights on the floor with a four-color filter that revolved slowly in front of it. I didn’t inherit that so I just had lights under the white felt underneath and bright red bows all over the tree and an angel on top with a light that did not touch the plastic–pretty! On the floor the next day, and the first generation of plastic eaters began devouring the ends of the branches. Also moved outside to the front porch.

    Then I made a swag out of boughs from my blue spruce and hung just a few decorations on it and a few lights. Made it to just after Christmas when one of them finally figured out a way to get to it high up on the wall with nothing underneath, but it was hanging by the cord for the lights.

    All decorations are now outdoors.

    Always meant to illustrate their antics, but spent the time cleaning up after them instead.

    • I decided a several years ago not to put up a tree. I still don’t. I know my girls would find a way to bring it down. Justice and Dajudge are big, big Torties. Now I mean big as in long, tall and big. They are so into running thru the house at odd times of the house, I believe Ingrid calls it the Zommies, anything in their way is subject to being knocked down. They especially like to play trapeze artists on the tops of the backs of my dining room chairs. I can’t tell you how many mornings I go to the kitchen and see a chair on its side. Those girls, which include Freedom, still run throughout the house and love running up and down the staircase. I do believe they have a system and a reason for all this. I just can’t figure out what it is. I will tell you this, if I leave any type of paper, mail or news on the table, I can assure you in the morning the girls have cleaned off the table. They don’t knock things off the counters but papers on the table to them are fair game.

  26. Christmas Tree Predation

    I was wondering how this plays out for everyone.

    The tree went up this week, it is an artificial tree, but still “interesting”.

    The usual cat friendly procedures are followed such as, no tinsel, no breakables below 3 ft., etc.

    Taz, at 16, is pretty sedate, he likes to den up under it but will sit and rub the lower branches with his head.

    Tim, being orange and 2 years old is the most persistent and active. There’s no wild jumps or climbing but anything within sitting up range gets attention.

    Gigi is having her second Christmas here. Last year she did not bother much with it. Since she came from a good, stable home, I think she took a while to realize this was home now. She has now decided this is home and that has translated into tree interaction. At 15 pounds and being a big cat, she parks under the tree and sits up in a ponderous, deliberate manner, then swings at decorations until scolded.

    It was different when Kasey was here. She had never seen a Christmas tree until she was 8 or 9 years old, though she was well acquainted with real trees. She had no interest in the tree except it was a very good thing to “den up” under. Once she was settled in under the tree, no one else was allowed to approach it, and so there was minimal interaction between the other cats and the tree.

  27. This morning I heard noises in the living room. I have one of those cat toys with 3 balls that roll around in a circle. Onyx, my little panther loves to play with it. I went out and saw Arianrhod laying on her side and batting the ball.. I grabbed a camera and filmed Arian playing and little Onyx run out and play with her. It was like watching teatherball where they would hit it back to each other. Finally Arian left and went onto the counch. Onyx kept playing and would look up at as if to say “come back and play”. She did come back down but did not join in.
    Arian had always been and upstairs or basement cat and would rarely come dow to the main floor. If she was in the bedroom and Stirfry came in all I would see is a silver flash leaving at top speed. I never heard her meow at all. Within a week after Stir crossed the Bridge, I hear a loud meow from her. Now she will growl with a wildcat snarl at anyone (usually Eclipse) who crosses her. Not nearly as scary as the sounds Stir made but close. I guess they are trying to decide who the top cat is.

    • “Now she will growl with a wildcat snarl at anyone (usually Eclipse) who crosses her. Not nearly as scary as the sounds Stir made but close”

      Yeah, there’s that certain type of torti that takes sounds to another level.

      Kasey was the same, here normal voice was a series of “eeps & squeaks”. However, her challenge sounds could be best described as “not of this world”.

      Gigi on the other hand is a kinder, gentler torti. This large, long haired, torti with white and a ginger face gets along with everyone. She has a very pleasant, mellow meow and also chirps; she will hiss at Tim under extreme provocation. (Extreme provocation is his specialty)

      • So true Glen. When a certain type of Tortie express displeasure ( or rage ) their sounds are those that haven’t been heard for 11,000 years – saber-toothed cat. I had video’s of Stir that even over the phone scared Bernie’s cats – not Steeler who was a kindred spirit. Steeler dues to damage to her throat before Bernie was claimed by her, could not meow. Can you imagine the sounds of Stir and Kasey together 🙂
        Cops would be called and probably the National Guard put on alert.

        Now we have the Thunder when they play together to remind us they are watching over us.
        I look forward to summer storms now.

    • I know her growl. She did inherit her grandmother Freedom’s huge roar. Really different and definitely says “get our of my space, NOW”. I have the same thing here, except not as often as Jay. Mine even tho Justice is Freedom’s offspring and Dajudge is her other granddaughter, Freedom shows no discrimination in raising the hairs on the back of my neck when she goes off on that roar. If she does this in the middle of the night, it is frightening to hear.

  28. Danielle, you picked some great names.
    Spitfire is Purrfect for a Tortie. She sounds like she lives up to her name.
    RIP Hyena – a very good Tortie name- she and Blaise will have good company across the Bridge.
    Steeler, Kasey and Stirfry will watch over them. We have said that when you hear Thunder that’s our girls playing. And PanThor fits a black cat so good. I have 2 now and they are so much fun to watch. Can’t see them in the dark though.

    • Stirfry love it lol We’ve also had a Kasey, she lived to a ripe old age but she was a gray and white. Our prized spoiled rotten baby Whitey (who’s 10lbs and around 8mo old and looks like a siamese with ice blue eyes, even though he’s a DSH) Whitey is raising PanThor like a big brother and Spitfire takes her duties as my assistant/secretary at work seriously lol

      • Danielle, those Torties I mentioned were feared by all. They took tortitude to a new level.
        Steeler was Bernie’s 1st cat and Ingrid and Bernadette wrote stories about her. She was famous in the Pittsburgh area. Kasey was Glen’s Warrior Princess and ruled up north in Canada. Stirfry was a feral that I took in 13 years ago and she stayed wild all those years. She loved me and I miss her greatly. All the other cats in my house knew that when she came into a room knew not to mess with her. When my mini Donkey Buell 1st met Tabatha , my Tortie with white he had her rub against his ankles in greeting. A few days later he met Stirfry. He put his nose down and that 13 lb cat smacked him upside his nose. Same coloring he though but totally different personality.

        • my other cat Sheba the Destroyer is a tabby with calico orange undertone beneath all her silver patterned glory and has an attitude of she does whatever she wants and theres nothing anyone can do about it.

          • “She does whatever she wants and there’s nothing anyone can do about it” – if that doesn’t describe tortitude to a T, I don’t know what does, Danielle!

  29. I have my own torti, little Spitfire, because when my fiance and I rescued her and her siblings from a snowstorm she came being carried through the door spitting and growling and hissing for all she was worth, we had to wrap her in a tshirt and place her in front of the heater and leave her alone for several hours. She’s identical to another torti we had that recently passed, her name was Hyena. Both (quite possibly related) had beautiful black/gold markings and Spitfire even has orange stripes making her a torbie! Spitfire has calmed down a lot and is a sweet purr machine that loves to be involved no matter what I’m doing, and when she’s tormented by the older cats we have, some of that famous ‘tortitude’ comes out in vengful fury! RIP to Spitfire’s little sister Blaise, a calico who didnt make it. Their solid black brother PanThor is alive and well.

    • Danielle what a great rescue story. It is sad that one could not survive. Sounds like the best of the Tortie comes out only when necessary (to her). What a great name for a Tortie. PanThor now that is a really hot name for a black kitten. I can only guess they get along just fine with each other. I know how Torties have to be “helping us, especially with our paper work or when on the computer”. Reading the paper or writing a letter is now called multi tasking by me. That is move one Tortie off the paper and then stop the other one from trying to take the pen or pencil. I find myself laughing at those interactive tactics. They do know how to get our attention.

  30. I just check the TV schedule for today. At 1 PM eastern it’s Tortie Football. New Orleans Saints vs. Pittsburgh Steelers. Both teams are Black and Gold – Tortie colors . I will have Styx, Diver and Onyx watching ( Onyx is my little black panther and it looks like he will have gold eyes).

  31. My cats name is Envy she was born with only ONE eye and has a whole ton of personality.

    I had a boyfriend come over to watch a movie. She sat right between us and hissed at him every time he moved. She hates all of my male friends although she strangely loves my male gay friend.

    If talk to her when she is sitting by a window, door, or when I get home after a long day she will respond multiple times in a variety of different mews and sounds. She hates being picked up and will meow in complaint the whole time, but, she never jumps out of my arms and she usually purrs between meows… Its as if shes trying to say- I like this petting but I don’t like the location. She comes when I whistle, purrs if I just talk to her, and adores when I put my head on her stomach.

    If I rub her belly she will rub her ear! Her favorite game is hide and seek. First she will hide and I have to find her (usually with her but hanging out from what ever she hides behind) If I pretend I cannot find her she gets all wiggly and excited. Then I have to run and hide she usually waits a bit before coming to find me. On the rare occasion when she cannot find me she starts meowing and meowing until I respond. If I hide underneath a blanket she will meow and dig at the blanket until she sees me.

    I adore my cat!

    • Envy sounds like a wonderful Tortie. How did she get her name ?

      Mine try to hide without realizing that a tail and butt will give them away.
      And yes – Torties get jealous, my Styx is not a fan of females. Ask Bernie.

      • She got her name because we used to joke that she was envious of people with two eyes. Styx is a beautiful name how did you come up with that?

        I would love to post a picture on your fb page is the name Tortitude?

        • Styx was Bernie’s Mom’s cat and named Pumpkin. Pumpkin did not like her Mom. Bit and clawed her many times. When she had to go into a nursing home Bernie took her. She had 3 kittens then and Pumpkin attacked them. I told her I would take the Tortie. I had Stirfry and after that no cat scared me. I took her home and while driving was listening to the radio as the cat was crying. Renegade by Styx came on and Pumpkin calmed down. I already had a cat named Pumpkin (Stirfry’s son) and was thinking of names. Styx is also the Goddess over the River Styx and as Torties think they are Goddesses the name fit. My silver Russian Blue cat is named Arianrhod after the Goddess of the Silver Wheel. She is show cat beautiful and know it.

          I have had 4 Torties – Tabatha – a gentle Tortie with white, Styx who has some attitude, Diver my male Tortie with no attitude and Stirfry who took it to the next level. I fond Ingrid’s blog while trying to find out why my cat was different. Someone said she was a “Tortie”. I met a wonderful group of people and some very unique cats. I know Stir had no superiors but found she had some equals. Steeler, Kasey and Brooke ruled their houses with an iron paw. I knew I had found friends here.

  32. I know about tortitude all too well! My girl, Cricket, has always been quick to let me know what she wants and that she wants it now! She always gets her way, whether it’s going outside to catch some squirrels, or telling me I need to hurry up with the cat food!

    • My two torties are becoming more vocal as they grow into their 3rd year. They show what they want. I am always surprised when company comes, Justice, one of my Torties will use her paw to hit at the snack bag for someone to give her a snack. When that doesn’t seem to be getting attention, she will pick the snack bag up in her teeth and carry to them. She is definitely a determined Tortie. However, you do not touch her unless she is in the right mood. Now my other Tortie Dajudge will shy and stays at distance. Once she makes friends with you, and it takes several visits, she will allow a few strokes of her back. Other than that, she says no to any other touching. She also will stare at the treat bag and then back at me or whoever is near it to get a treat. She does not vocalize for treats.
      Dajudge loves the catnip pickle as a toy. She will carry it around the house and try talking while carrying it. I have no clue what she is trying to say, except she maybe having a little catnip trip.

  33. Orange boy’s and feeding.

    Taz and Tim like to eat together, from the same bowl.

    There is no hostility at all, but they take turns bumping each other away from the bowl with their heads.

    Even when offered the same food in an identical bowl 12 inches away, they both still eat from the same bowl.

    Gigi does not participate in this, probably this conduct is too crude and impolite for the “Empress” 😉

    • Glen, most of mine will eat from the same bowl too. Onyx is fearless for a kitten and will eat near everyone. Frank and Diver share easily. Arianrhod tends to wait and Styx has been known to smack at anyone so everyone is wary. Eclipse is just starting as he was feral but when Onyx comes over he just moves a bit and shares. Stirfry was the only one who no one would eat near. She could eat and growl at the same time. Frankie tried one time and I got a video of it. He very slowly tried to move in. Stirs growls got louder and he even put his nose into the bowl. But good sense prevailed and he chirped and backed away. Stir was never one to attack a cat (Steeler is another story) but if anyone pushed her it was awakening a Demon.

      • It’s really interesting to me that most of yours will eat from the same bowl. It’s not a very common behavior in cats, as in the wild, cats are solitary hunters and once they’re adults, they won’t share their prey with other cats.

        • It is odd, I thought the same thing.

          But then Tim and Taz are different. Taz will groom Tim like a mother cat would a kitten, defying my impression of how they would be have towards each other in the wild; it does look funny to watch.

          • I have been reading through the posts that I have missed. This is interesting about the eating together. Freedom eats alone and if either of my Torties even walks within 5 feet of her she lets out this guttural growl, while eating, and the Torties walk the long way around. However, my Torties Justice and Dajudge do not share at the same time. They eat separately and not from the same bowl. I have seen Jay’s kittens stand in a row and eat from the same bowl. Not here. Each has different bowls.

        • Feeding time at our house is the feline version of musical chairs – except there’s no music, and everyone *does* have a plate. The cats constantly circulate, maybe wondering if the next plate might have better stuff. Bobby – who spent the first 6 months of his life in the shelter, loose with other cats, seems happiest sharing a bowl with someone. Usually, it’s his sister who tolerates that – he knows better than to attempt to share with Queen Victoria, or – shudder – Brooke. I generally place his plate next to someone else’s and that makes him happy.

          • Harry, that happens at my house too. I set out 6 plates and as soon as someone’s plate is 80% finished they will check out the other plates. Styx is a slow eater as she has an underbite and cannot pick up food easily. Frankie will give his up easily Arian growls but backs away. Eclipse and Onyx ( my panther hogs) will finish everyone’s.

            I wondered about Brooke – like our other 3, she is a Ruler and demands respect. Touch her food and suffer the wrath of the Tortie.

        • Eclipse is still somewhat feral and I saw him fighting over food 2 months ago ( the other black cat which could be a littermate). Now after being inside for just under a month , he is playing with Onyx – play fighting but not aggressive – claws retracted and teeth just grazing. And he will eat off the same plate as Onyx, Diver and Frank. No aggression – just pushes his nose right on in.

    • (sigh) Reading about all of the feeding arrangements you are all enjoying brings back fond memories of “how it used to be.”

      Everyone used to eat happily together and the only problem I had was that Bailey would eat very fast and then try to steal everyone else’s dinner.

      The situation has changed since I adopted Tyler (Maine Coon mix) several months ago. Tyler has determined that the entire house is HIS and, since he is quite large, the other cats are terrified of him.

      So, my regular dinnertime pattern is to feed Tyler in the kitchen. Misha (my stealth tortie) lives in my bedroom (her choice) mainly on top of the bureaus (the floor to her is lava so travel is across bureaus and curtain rods) so she is fed on top of one of the bureaus. Willow has taken up residence on top of the chinchilla cage (in order to stay out of Tyler’s way) so her dinner is served there. Kai has decided that the best place to be is in my office on the shelf under the windows (previously she was living on top of the kitchen cabinets, so dinner service involved a step ladder) and she gets served there. Tawny, my actual tortie, had decided some time ago (pre-Tyler) that she would live in a downstairs bedroom and, therefore, dinner is also served in the lower level.

      At least I’m getting exercise!

  34. Cats and milk?

    We have a bit of a small dilemma with Gigi.

    It appears she wants milk and I know while there is a common theme in the general public that milk is a “natural” cat food, I know it isn’t and is not really a good thing for them.

    I am wondering about the implications of giving her a teaspoon of it once and a while, as a treat.

    The full story;

    Ever since she came here in Feb. 2013, she would sit quietly in the kitchen, looking up, asking for something. However, she does not have any interest in “people food” or commercial cast treats.

    I initially asked the fellow we adopted her from and he said she used to do the same thing and they could not figure it out, either.

    They took her in at 8 months of age, so I suspect this behaviour may have been from a first home which she may have been initially until she got away from them, or was “thrown away”.

    So the dilemma is, do we give her a bit of what must be comfort food, occasionally, in small quantities, or not?

    • Most cats can’t tolerate milk since they don’t have the enzyme to digest it, and it usually causes diarrhea. However, a teaspoon full just to give her a taste as a treat every once in a while would probably be okay. Worst case, if she ends up having problems, you don’t give it to her again.

      • Thanks, Ingrid

        Well, if thats the case, I will try her on a small quantity, occasionally as a treat.

        It is not something I would start with the others, and fortunately they are not interested, anyway. But she doesn’t get any other treat and I am sure for years for her, it has been a case of “I have been asking nicely, I wonder why they don’t give it to me”.

        it is nice to give her a bit of “comfort food”, if it doesn’t do any harm.

  35. As I sit here with a Torti on lab and one behind me in my chair, I am most grateful for this post. I have adopted my first torti as a child, as I felt she looked like an owl, and feared may not be adopted as a result. 🙂 With each one that passed on, a new one would come into my life. Their personalities are always similar to one another. They are true “mama’s girls” and the only cats I own/have ever owned that actually welcome other cats into our home. While this is not the case with all torti’s, it has been my experience with 4 thus far. I was once told they are “good luck” as they are the only cat that cannot be bred. I will always have one, or two, or more. I rescue adult torti’s.
    They have inspired me in such a way that I have created products that contribute to animal welfare… Thanks again!

    • I had heard that torties are “good luck kitties,” but I never heard the explanation that it’s because they can’t be bred. I love that, Sher!

      • I had always heard torties and calicos were good “fortune” too, as in money, and only found a number of explanations that seemed to translate to “people liked them best” and figured it was on the same level with polydactyl kitties being good luck–they are unusual and people like that. But I used to turn and ask my four torties–tortie Cookie, tortie Kelly, dilute tortie Nikka and torbie Fawn–when the fortune was headed our way. They told me I was simply fortunate to know them.

          • Harry, Which Torties would you be talking about ?
            A certain Tortie from Canada and one from Pittsburgh ?
            They have a reputation from what I have heard.

          • A long time ago, I related a story where I sat on the floor and both Kasey and Taz, my 22 pound “orange giant” came to visit me on opposite sides.

            I was petting Taz under the chin and even though he is an old boy, a bit of the orange kitten surfaces once in a while and he tried to bit me and took a playful swing at me.

            Almost quicker than you could see, Kasey leapt to my defence, going right over top of my lap in an all out attack on Taz, quickly driving him off.

            Of course, in her mind, it was OK if she bit my fingers, but no one else could.

            Gigi on the other hand, is a”gentle giant” torti, the only one she attacks is Tim, with extreme provocation, he has no cat manners and desperately needs to be taught a lesson 😉

        • I have read where Torties were good luck and fortune. However, I am with the rest of you wondering where is the fortune or wealth as it is put. I think the wealth is their being our best friends. Also in ancient times, I have read where the Tortieshell cats where worshipped. Well the hasn’t changed, now has it. They are a most unbelievable feline. Never know from one minute to the other what they may do or have done. Love those Torties.

    • Yeah, somebody didn’t do their research, that’s for sure. According to the study by the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri, 1 in 3,000 torties is male. Still rare, but not that rare!

      • To me Diver is 1 in a million. He is a big gentle cat who gets along with everyone. Plays with a feral cat and acts like a Mom to a kitten. Why someone would throw him out on the streets makes no sense at all. But I am glad he was rescued and Bernie found him for me.

        • Diver really is one in a million. He is the most gentle giant of a Tortie ever. He loves everyone and everything. However, he has a really irritable behavior. If Diver has to go into the car ( trust me I know), he howls to and from. There is no consoling him. I droved him across the state of Ohio to my home in PA for Jay. He howled the entire way. I tried everything. I kept him here until the end of the week then took him across PA to Jay. Again he howled the entire time. I will now let Jay do the transporting of Diver. I will also have Jay transport his Frankie, if Frankie has to go in the car. That is a whole different story. When Diver was here, Liberty and he would walk thru the house like the rat pack, two gentle giants, side by side. Then Diver crossed the line with my youngest Tortie, Dajudge. He took her place on the window ledge. That was the first time I ever seen Dajudge show her Tortitude with a hiss heard all over town. She did not care for him being here from that point on. Diver just ignored her.

  36. Comment on the snow storm in Buffalo NY.

    You may have heard in the news about this.

    We are so close, I can drive to the bridge to Buffalo in 10 minutes, from my driveway.

    The storm has missed here in about as close a miss as possible. We can see the storm clouds which are only about 5 miles at the most, south west of here. I can see them from the front window anf it has been like that for days.

    Lake Erie is still comparatively warm, capable of giving off water vapor, the unseasonally cold west wind have picked this up and dropped it on the east end of the lake, as snow. This band of snow has been there since Tuesday. It is starting to collapse roofs there.

    I feel bad for the people over there, we can get the same thing here, and have. All it takes is for the wind to shift a few more degrees out of the south west and we would be dealing with it here, too. We have 6 to 8 inches here at the most, a short distance away, they are measuring it in feet.

    Next week we are supposed to get a thaw and all that snow will melt, the terrain in the Buffalo area is conducive to creek flooding. I hope they catch a break over there.

    • Glen,

      I had no idea you were that close! I’m in Pittsburgh, about four hours south of you at the most! I’m glad it’s not snowing like this on you!

      I went to college in Edinboro, PA, just about 20 miles south of Erie, PA and, of course, Lake Erie, and walking about on that flat campus in the middle of that flat farmland after living in relatively warm and very hilly Pittsburgh all my life I learned about “lake effect snow” in October of my freshman year. Erie would get a dusting, but we got three feet in a day, and no one at home believed me! Those flat gray clouds would move in and start with little pellets that would slowly grow larger as the temperature dropped into big snow clusters and it would snow like that for three days. They never called classes! There was so much snow that on graduation day in May there was often still a pile of ice around the base of the light poles in the parking lots where it had been plowed. Of course, I was in my glory–Pittsburgh had had rainy or just cold winters with very little precipitation for a decade or more and I LOVE SNOW!!!

      If I ever take Giuseppe to visit Mlle. Daisy Emerald in Hamilton I’ll be sure to wave as we pass through the border!

      • Has Giuseppe gotten his passport yet ?

        And unlike you – I HATE SNOW !!!!!!!!
        Bring on Spring with green grass for my critters and nip growing wild.

    • Glad to hear it missed you. Did not know that was so close to you.
      If I lived in Buffalo ( or Erie, Cleveland or any city like that) after a year or 2 of that I would leave.
      Right now Texas, Florida, Arizona and New Mexico are looking really good.

      What city are you in ?

      • Jay

        Not exactly a city, Fort Erie, in some places here, you can hear the banjo’s playing 😉

        We can get some years without much snow but it is the big snows that everyone remembers, then the rest of the year is pretty nice, I think thats why most stay in the area.

        But days like those this week in Buffalo get old, real quick.

        I work at our company’s field office at our port facility at Port Maitland, on Lake Erie. It is a busy place in the navigation season but this time of year, there are 4 of us there. It is in the middle of nowhere but we are fully tied in multiple communications equipment.

        We monitor the weather very closely and are prepared to bail if it gets bad. Getting trapped there is not an option, oddly for a petroleum company, everything is electric at the office, if you are snowed in and loose power, i means no heat, water, lights or cooking. The rigs are demobilized for the winter so we couldn’t even start the generators for power.

      • Here’s a brief explanation.

        http://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/the-science-behind-lake-effect-snow-how-did-so-much-snow-fall-on-buffalo-on-tuesday/40280/

        Once the lake gets colder, this is less likely to happen.

        A trade mark of nov. and Dec. around here is the huge bank of cloud that looks like mountains, hanging over the lake. It is always present and quite visible from a long ways off.

        It is water vapor over the relatively warm water. Later in the winter, the lake cools off and this subsides, mostly.

      • I know about those “lake effect snows”. We have on occasions had a few of them come down to us. It depends on the wind current. Now if the finger lakes are frozen over, then the lake effect snows are very minimal or none at all. However, those lakes are not frozen at this time of the year and the temps have dropped to such a low so quickly that the weather that should be rain, is a huge snowstorm. Hence the term lake effect story. The winds pick up the water and send it on as snow.
        When I was still with Allied, I had to go to Buffalo and Syracuse plants on business. No fun in the winter. I like visiting there in the summer, but no way do I want to live in that stretch of our Country.
        I will stay here in our mountains, and take my chances. I, like Berndette, like some snow, but that kind of snow is no good for anyone or anything. I just hope those folks gets that off their roofs before the temps go up and rain comes down on top of it. That will collapse many building. We need to hope for the best for all those folks.

  37. Well, I am sidelined for a bit, I had arthroscopic surgery on my right knee, yesterday.

    It was for some, old injury from years ago. The discomfort used to come and go, but last spring, it came and stayed.

    I am typing this at 4:45 in the morning because my schedule is out of whack, plus the Tylenol 3’s wore off. They tell me it will get better.

    When I left for the hospital yesterday, Taz looked worried and tried ti follow me into the garage; something he normally doesn’t do.

    Anyway, the cats like me being up at this time and I expect I will have “nurse cats” today.

      • Thanks, right now, it is Tims turn, he actually can sit, quiet, like an adult cat………………………well, sometimes.

    • Glen, It is great to hear you have gotten your knee taken care of. There is not better nurses, especially in the very early wee hours of the morning than the little kittens nurses and purrs. They will stay by you side all night and keep you company. Even the younger ones know when we are not up to par. Get better soon.

    • Glen, best wishes for a speedy recovery. The anaesthetic will no doubt have some impact on you for a few days to come – so, rest, rest, rest and then rest some more. Let the cat nursing comfort you!

      • Thanks

        This was the first time I have had a general anaesthetic since 1970. It was an odd experience, they put a mask over my face, it seemed like it wasn’t working, the next thing I knew, I was awake and they told me it was done.

        Right now, Taz is on watch, sleeping in the cat bead beside my chair.

    • Glad to hear that you being well taken car of by the purrmedics. Gigi is going to be a good nurse, Taz and Tim are probable worried that you won’t be well enuf to go out for food. Not sure how Kasey would have been but Stir would look at me as to say ” Get better and get me dinner or your on the menu next”. ( actually Stir was always worried if I was unwell. )
      I know cat purrs always make you feel better.

      PS – I love anesthetic
      For my broken leg they cave me catnip for humans – I was on Cloud 9
      Did not feel a thing for hours.

      • “( actually Stir was always worried if I was unwell. )”

        Yes, that’s the way Kasey was, she would stay with me most of the time when I was not well.

        • So miss those Torties. They fought hard, played hard and loved hard.
          Stirfry had the heart of a lion and everyone knew it.

          • Those three Torties were and always will be the Torties for the times. Steeler, Stirfry, and Kasey. Always protective and always ready to rumble so to speak. Missing them is as natural as breathing. They left huge sets of paw prints on ours and so many others hearts.

  38. It would seem that Tim is finally being put in his place.

    He is just over 2 years old but still very kitten-like; VERY active, plays like he is 12 weeks old and has no cat manners.

    He pesters the other cats constantly.

    They have allowed this, with a few exceptions.

    Taz was a former immature, hyperactive orange kitten, but he is now 16 years old with arthritis. The inner kitten in him still likes the idea of mixing it up with Tim, but at his age he tires of it. He is good with the little guy but when pushed far enough, he will use his 22 pound bulk to squash him once and a while, but not enough to curb his behavious.

    Gigi, the gentle giant would play with him, but would usually run away when things got rough, although there have been incidents like the recent one where she ran him over.

    It seems they have been reluctant to hurt the “kitten”.

    However, this week I have seen a change. Two days ago it seemed like Gigi started to channel a bit of Kasey.

    Tim was incessantly bothering Gigi but this time, she did not scoot away.

    She turned on him, adopted a glaring “torti stare”, went into a semi crouch and slowly started moving towards him in a menacing fashion.

    This puzzled and unnerved him, he did not seem to know what to do. He made a few ineffective swings at her but she just kept stalking him, he kept backing up. She wound up backing him up about 10 feet, then he ran out of the room.

    Yesterday morning, she assumed a Kasey tactic, “guarding”, she lay down in a “pinch point” in the house where everyone had to pass by to get from one place to another. When Tim would go by, she would swing at him. The latter she repeated the process of backing him up.

    She doesn’t pick on him all the time, it is just done occasionally when his is particularly annoying to her. He does desperately need to learn some cat manners and it appears she is finally teaching him some 😉

    • You can only push a Tortie so far. Then look out !!!!!!!!!

      Diver and Frank are doing the same thing with Onyx. They play with him and use the weight advantage to keep him in control. Diver holds him down with one paw and will alternate between play biting on him or grooming kisses. He’ll run away but seconds later come back for more.
      Even my semi feral Eclipse has played with him.

      • This morning, I noticed, she is still friendly and not hostile to him, but he has not been pestering her either; and pestering has been his normal routine up to last week.

        Moral of the story, awaken the “inner torti” at your peril 😉

        • I have decided that I am part tortie … sometimes people awaken my “inner tortie” … and then they don’t know what’s hit them.

        • This statement is so true of even my life “awaken the “inner torti””. I know I have this along with my Torties. I think Steeler left me with the “Tortitude” of her spirit. Stirfy let me her Tortitude to defend t all costs attitude and Kasey let me with the “Tortitude” of never give up. Add all that together and “Yes I am definitely made of of “inter Tortie”.

      • Jay, Onyx is a baby. He is the all that is sweet and lovable. Diver, Frankie, Eclipse and yes even the Goddess, Arianrhod have taken to the little one. Now, Styx, is the opposite. She is acting out Tortitude at everyone equally. Although she is nothing like Stirfry, she shows she is a Torti. Every kitten in your house loves, plays, and gives kitty kisses to the little one, but not Styx. That Tortie is nothing to mess with. Not a Stirfry, Steeler or Kasey, but she has a jealous streak in her when it comes to you. She wants no one or no furry little ones around you.

        • Well, this morning, Gigi ran Tim pretty hard.

          She isn’t mean to him but does use her 15 pound “presence” to get and keep him on the run.

          By the chirps and body language, it is all in fun, but she definitely stays in control of the situation unlike before.

          It would have been over before it started with Kasey, she did not grasp the concept of play fighting 😉

  39. Going thru some old folders

    Something Ingrid wrote back in 2011
    Just as nice now as it was then.

    A Cat Poem

    From Ingrid King

    Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor

    peering apprehensively into the cages.

    I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her.

    I meowed, not too exuberantly, so she wouldn’t be afraid.

    As she read the sign on my cage I hoped that she

    wouldn’t feel sad about my past.

    I only have the future to look forward to

    and want to make a difference in someone’s life.

    She got down on her knees and made little kissy sounds at me.

    I shoved my shoulder and side of my head up

    against the bars to comfort her.

    Gentle fingertips caressed my neck;

    she was desperate for companionship.

    A tear fell down her cheek and

    I raised my paw to assure her that all would be well.

    Soon my cage door opened and

    her smile was so bright that I instantly jumped into her arms.

    I would promise to keep her safe.

    I would promise to always be by her side.

    I would promise to do everything I could

    to see that radiant smile and sparkle in her eyes.

    I was so fortunate that she came down my corridor.

    So many more are out there who haven’t walked the corridors.

    So many more to be saved. At least I could save one.

    I rescued a human today.

    • This is so beautiful – it makes me cry every time I read it. AND, I think it’s so true – I thought I had rescued Gracie – but I’m pretty sure she has rescued me as well.

      • Marg, I know Steeler rescued me. So I do know how you feel about Gracie. This is truly a beautiful writing. If you close your eyes you can see those precious little ones in there enclosures coming to the front to feel your touch. I would take them all if I could. Each and every one is precious.

    • I did not write this, as attributed in the original post on my site, this poem was originally written by Janine Allen CPDT, Rescue Me Dog’s professional dog trainer. Janine’s passion is working with people and their dogs. She provides demonstrations for those who have adopted shelter dogs, lends email support to adopted dog owners that need information beyond our Training Support Pages, and aids shelter staff and volunteers in understanding dog behavior to increase their adoptability. Copyright 2011 Rescue Me Dog; http://www.rescuemedog.org/. It is a beautiful poem. Please remember to share it with the proper attribution if you share it outside of this site as well.

    • We rescued Gigi at the end of February 2013.

      She was already fully grown, approximately 5 years old. She had lived with a couple since she was about 8 months old. The wife had passed away and her husband was moving and could not keep her.

      He was desperate to have someone take her, otherwise he had no choice but to take her to a shelter.

      This 15 pound, quiet, long haired torti “gentle giant” would likely not have done well in a shelter environment.

      We met her and it was apparent she was a nice cat and would be a very compatible addition to the cat family.

      So, she was rescued and came home; her former owner was very thankful, we were please to give a nice cat a second chance.

      Her “people” were of French Canadian extraction, so they had named her Gigi, since that was her name for 4 plus years, there was no question that we would keep her name.

      At the time I was reluctantly aware of Kasey’s age and growing health issues. While I tried to be realistic about her condition, in March and April 2013, it seemed like some med.’s and special food had her coming around, gaining back weight and seeming to improve.

      Still I had no idea we would lose her within 2 1/2 months of adopting Gigi.

      It was very tough for me to lose my “soul cat”.

      However, having my big “fluffy” torti did did help somewhat through the whole, sad experience.

      So it would seem that, in a way, Gigi rescued me.

      • True Glen.
        I think maybe our cats know when they will have to leave us and somehow send out the word that another cat or kitten should come to us. 2 Panthers had been to my house all summer and I had planned on trapping at least one. Never knew I would lose Tabby and Stirfry before Summer was over. And Onyx came to me the night of my heart attack.
        Justice and Liberty were sent by Steeler and Freedom had been around for a few years while Steeler was with Bernie.
        Never try to guess the Logic of a Tortie.

        • Yeah, it is really sad to lose our soul gats, but it is funny how that seems to work out.

          Gigi and Kasey had about 2 1/2 months together. Kasey accepted her unlike she did with any other cat, like they were “sisters from different litters”. It was noticeable and very unusual.

          It is great that through the unfortunate losses that the Panthers came along. From your other post, it sounds like they are fitting in pretty well.

          • And the great this is that thru Ingrid’s blog that Kasey, Steeler and Stirfry will never be forgotten. They became Famous and known thru out the world as the peak of Tortitude. They also went from being a one family cat to Our family cats. I cried just as much when Steeler and Kasey passed as when Stirfry did. Now I know they are all together and waiting for us.

          • Glen and Jay, we all three have had the same, albeit slightly different, changes in our lives when our soul Torties left us. Each of us have seen somewhat of what happens when our soul kittens leave. They make sure in their own way, we find happiness but they will always be our only real soul Torties. I know Jay and I grieved the losses of these three very precious Torties, Stirfry, Kasey and Steeler. Even when I come to this site, I immediately remember our three. They gave so much to everyone without us realizing it until after they had to leave. We will forever remember these bigger than life, Torties.

          • I loved it.

            Never had any panthers before ( Frankie as a Tuxie was my closest). Sharing Bernadette’s and Harry’s helped.
            But Onyx and Eclipse are so adorable. So glad I have them.

          • The recently retired vet who founded the clinic we take the critters to lives a few miles away and belongs to the local chapter of the BMW Motorcycle Riders, that I joined after buying one, myself.

            He and his wife have 5 black cats of varying ages, all short hairs.

            They are very social and when we go there to visit, it seems there is always an audience of at least 2 or 3 little panthers. Once you pet the one, he believes that you should continue to pay attention to him.

  40. As many of you know, Bernie had a portrait of my animals done a few years ago by Bernadette Kazmarski – a famous artist in Pittsburgh.
    She had me holding Steeler and another of me holding Stirfry in the same painting. As you all know this is the only way those 2 Torties would ever get together. There are some cats with Tortitude but only a few where Tortitude is ingrained in every cell. Steeler and Kasey are such cats. Brooke almost as bad. And I know that any book on Tortitude would have Stir’s picture on the cover.
    Well, I had a picture of Steeler commissioned by Bernadette as a present to Bernie.
    It took a while until we were able to stop by and pick it up. I don’t get to travel out that way too often and Bernadette is so busy with Rescue groups, art exhibits and such.
    Well, in Oct. it finally happened and Bernie and I were able to travel to Carnegie and see 5 famous black cats and 2 fosters. Bernie was surprised to see a painting of Steeler and was speechless.
    Bernadette did a write up of this along with links to my painting and a trip to Virginia for Friends on CC to get together and meet Ingrid at a book signing.
    I placed some pics and a video on my FB page but here is a link to Bernadette’s article.

    http://thecreativecat.net/commissioned-portrait-steeler/#.VGTKyOktDIU

    • I know many of you have seen that fabulous work of art by Bernadette by now. Now let me say to you it is art, to me it is a priceless treasure, bringing my beautiful and loving Steeler in such a wonderful loving way to me to be the first face I see every day when I awaken and the last face I see before I turn off the light. Bernadette words show the love she had in her heart for Steeler because it comes through in her words, which she so eloquently put to paper. This was a labor of love, I know that Bernadette. Every stroke on Steeler’s portrait is done with a tender stroke. I will forever treasure that.
      Now for those of you who were not here a few years ago, let me explain a little of how we all met. Bernadette, Jay, Ingrid, Harry, Julie, Rachel, a child who shall not be tagged, and myself went to Ingrid’s book signing in VA. What was a group of strangers (most of us) became a group of lifetime personal friends. Little did I know then that I was going to need each of you so very much. These wonderful people became my beloved extended family. They were right with me, during the worst period of my life. A phone call away. And when I called, they were ready to just listen or talk. I will forever love you all. I think those words need to be told to your loved ones while you can and not when their time is gone. So I have always told this extended family I love them.

      Now for Jay. Jay, yes you can savor the “moment in time” when I truly was speechless. That may not happen again for many years to come.

      I cried as I read Bernadette’s words and the tears were mixed with sadness and happiness. I shall forever be grateful to Jay and Bernadette for this everlasting loving surprise.

      • Let me just say that I have no idea what she’s talking about and I have never met any of these people 😛

        (The best part of the experience was when my teenage daughter said, “Dad, let me get this straight… you’re going to meet people that you only know from the internet? Is that a good idea?”)

        • That’s brilliant, Harry … (“Dad, let me get this straight… you’re going to meet people that you only know from the internet? Is that a good idea?”) …

        • Typical Lawyer – deny everything. 🙂

          I remember that meeting. I was so looking forward to trying the cat named food at The Stray Cat Café and having a mixed drink. Feral Hiss and Neuter Shooter were the names. But I was sick with Bronchitis and could barely eat. The drink was awful. But the Company was fantastic.
          I was threatened with bodily harm by 2 women so I must have had fun. 🙂

          And meeting the Shubin Cats was a highlight. I never knew a Tortie could lay near another cat without wanting to tear it apart.

        • I have driven with Bernie many a time and never had a problem.
          ( I have to say most times I have gone that fast I was at 40,000 feet in a jet though)

          And Bernie did say that the conversation of Bernadette and her Garmin was entertaining.

      • Thanks everyone for your compliments on Steeler’s portrait. You know my work comes from my heart, my art and my writing both, and it’s not a commitment I take lightly. Knowing all that Steeler meant in Bernie’s life made the portrait an emotional experience, and then writing about it a delicate undertaking, not to focus n the extreme sadness of the story, but the good that came to everyone from this one cat, to remember her and how special she was, and all the people she touched. it’s an honor to be a part of it.

        • Steeler brought us all together. She was a truly wonderful cat. And who knew that a Tortie would have people all over the US cheering on a football team at the Super Bowl. People who never watched football. Until then I just watched it for the Commercials. Now I am a Steelers fan and have a Terrible Towel that Stirfry lay on every weekend.

  41. Hi everyone. Well I some of you know that Jay commissioned Bernadette Kazmarski, artist and writer to do a portrait of Steeler. Jay told you all he had did this. I told you all you would have to wait to see this beautiful piece of art, until Bernadette did her story on the portrait and Steeler. Well today she has blown me out of the water with a beautiful article with the portrait of Steeler and even showing the portrait I commissioned for Jay a couple of years ago for father’s day. Please everyone go to her Creative Cat.net and see her very fantastic works of art. I have waited for her to do her story before I would show the portrait. Bernadetter, you are one of the very beautiful and good people in this world. Thank you for being so special and bringing my Steeler to life with your words and portrait.
    http://thecreativecat.net/commissioned-portrait-steeler/#.VGRk8L5rXSc

      • Ingrid Bernadette captured the soul of Steeler. You are so right, this portrait is my greatest treasure. Bernadette gave me more than a portrait. She gave me the eyes of Steeler looking at me again.

      • Glen, Bernadette can work magic with her hands and eyes. She sees the depth of the soul and puts her heart and soul in all her work. She is so truly talented. And to think, this fabulous woman is our friend. Wow, how lucky we all are.

    • Bernie, I just posted something on CC not knowing that you had seen Bernadette’s article. Might be redundant but I was so happy to surprise you.
      And you being speechless is like meeting an honest lawyer. Rare – real rare. 🙂

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