May 19th of this year, I adopted a 6-week-old female kitten as a birthday gift to myself. Anyone who really knows me, knows that I am a cat lover. I have often told people that my destination in life is to someday be the neighborhood “Cat Lady”. Seriously, I really do see this in my future. It had been 5 years since I had a pet of my own. The longest amount of time ever for me! My mother had also been a cat lover and from my earliest memories, cats were a part of my life. Needless to say, I was over the moon to adopt my new little girl. It was love at first sight. I named her Paisley. This name suited her because of the pattern of her coat. She is what cat fanciers refer to as a Dilute Tortoiseshell, or Dilute Tortie for short.
A Tortoiseshell cat has a dark mixed coat of black, orange, and sometimes brown. They appear to be cousins of the Calico. A Dilute Tortie is just what it implies. The colors are muted to soft grey, yellows, creams & sometimes white. I have never owned a Tortie of any kind in my entire 56 years of being a cat enthusiast. But my sister Jeanie did. My memories of that cat, named Cookie, are anything but sweet! Cookie was attached to my sister and only my sister. No one, and I mean no one, could touch Cookie except my sister. If you tried, you were guaranteed to have blood drawn so quickly it would leave you wondering what in the heck just happened. We were teenagers at the time and had to share a full-size bed. Cookie wanted Jeanie and the bed all to herself.
One night after being attacked for the umpteenth time just trying to get into bed, Cookie and her razor-sharp claws were the last straw for this camel! In my anger and frustration, I grabbed my mama’s scissors. I looked my sister dead in the eye, scissors in hand, and told her, “If that psycho cat so much as looks at me again, I will stab her!”. Jeanie made sure to keep Cookie away from me every night from then on.
When I picked out little Paisley for my very own, that Cookie cat did indeed come to mind. Surely this angelic, soft colored, light as a feather, tiny little kitten, couldn’t possibly have a personality anywhere remotely close to that dark, demonic Tortie I had once known! I think you know where this is headed. After some research, I have learned that cat fanciers regard the Tortie (of any color) as very unique. Not just in looks and rarity (it’s very rare to find a male Tortie), they do indeed share a very similar set of personality traits, lovingly referred to by enthusiasts as “Tortitude” (sounds cute doesn’t it?).
If by chance you are wondering, yes, my Paisley fits neatly into all the above-mentioned categories. She can be the sweetest, most lovable little angel one minute, and in a split second be drawing your blood. Much blood. Being that I got Paisley in May, I have only worn shorts. You know where this is going again right? My story at present is, “I have been picking blackberries”. Since I live in a very rural area in Tennessee, this is quite believable. I figure that will work until it’s time to prune the rose bushes. Hopefully by then, she will have outgrown some of her aggressiveness. If she doesn’t, I can assure you that it will not be from a lack of love.