Thursday, January 5, 2017

#Feline #Tortoiseshell Mirror Images--#Cats This Week by Karen Rose Smith


Before we rescued Halo, a pregnant stray who appeared on our patio two years ago, I had had no experience with Tortoiseshells. But that was all to change when Halo's firstborn was a beautiful little split-face Tortie. Even the vet quickly noted that she was her favorite in the litter of three. Oddly enough, the other two kittens were quickly adopted which left us with our first Tortoiseshell cat. We quickly learned about the unique personalities that these kittens possess. We spent equal time with all three kittens but Paddy slowly developed an independence that was unlike other cats that we had rescued. She loved to snuggle with Halo or her siblings but shied from human contact. She would (and still does) seek a quiet space on a condo or a chair and nap by herself. She was curious and liked to be in the middle of activity but was not a lap cat. Now that she is two years old, she still goes off by herself but she does like us to stop by her resting place and acknowledge her and pet her. She is a sweet cat with a matching personality but definitely marches to the beat of her own drum.

And then there's Bonnie...

Bonnie
Bonnie and her sibling Clyde appeared in our yard over a year ago. They were sleeping under a neighbor's porch and followed another stray we cared for to feeding stations. They survived the harsh winter we experienced last year, including a 30 inch snowfall. I knew I had to try to befriend them enough through the summer that they would trust me enough to come into our basement so they had shelter for this winter. Bonnie was a Tortoiseshell whose markings, aside from the split face, were very much like Paddy's. As the pair spent more time on our patio and began coming inside the basement for their feedings, I quickly noticed that not only did Paddy and Bonnie look alike, but they also had similar personalities. While Clyde has slowly let me pet him before and during feedings, Bonnie is definitely hands off. She does make eye contact, responds to our voices and comes running when we call. But if she is in the field mousing or has her attention diverted by some other outside disruption, she will totally ignore our calls. She often eats and then runs out to wash herself at some distance. She, like Paddy, is sweet and often brings us "presents" from her excursions in the field. She too marches to the beat of her own drum.

Paddy
So I guess I have come to learn about Tortoiseshell cats and their unique markings and personalities by caring for Bonnie and Paddy. While they are definitely not snugglers, they are special in their own way. Both Bonnie and Paddy have provided many laughs and have become special parts of our feline crew.

This week's photos are mirror images of Paddy and Bonnie that show their similarities, yet also capture their own personalities.    


Bonnie
Paddy


Paddy and Halo
Bonnie and Clyde



 




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USA TODAY Bestselling Author Karen Rose Smith is an only child who delved into books at an early age. She learned about kindred spirits from Anne of Green Gables, solved mysteries with Nancy Drew and wished she could have been the rider on The Black Stallion. Yet even though she escaped often into story worlds, she had many aunts, uncles and cousins around her on weekends. Her sense of family and relationships began there. Maybe that's why families are a strong theme in her novels, whether mysteries or romances. Her 97th novel will be released in 2017.
Karen and Paddy

Readers often ask her about her pastimes. She has herb, flowers and vegetable gardens that help her relax. In the winter, she cooks rather than gardens.  And year round she spends most of her time with her husband, as well as her four rescued cats who are her constant companions. They chase rainbows from sun catchers, reminding her life isn't all about work, awards and bestseller lists. Everyone needs that rainbow to chase.

Karen looks forward to interacting with readers. They can find her at the links below. 




©2017 Karen Rose Smith

2 comments:

Billie Jackson said...

I love that you keep us up with these babies. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I love seeing your Pictures. I too am the owner of a Torty. She was rescued 8 years ago. She must be related to yours. Her name is Miss Pickles, a name change from Miss Chocolate after only 2 days. I was going to send her picture but "it" won't let me.

Your fan, Marsha