Friday, March 15, 2013

Torti Talk

I have tortis here.  Lots of tortis.  They seem harder to adopt out.

Tortis are your in command women cats with all the associated stereotypical baggage attached to such a label.

Tortis would rule the world, gladly take it over.  Probably would run it efficiently too.

Tortis are typically awesome hunters.  (my cats are not free roamers)

Tortis and calicos are always girls, except when they are not.

Meet Calico John, a big male calico I trapped in Albany a few years back.

Yes, Calico John was a boy all right!  Male calicos are rare and NOT valuable as some people seem to think.  Urban  Myth time!  They are usually sterile but they still can spread disease.

Tortis are three colored cats that are primarily one color.

You can call them calicos too.  The most common dominant color is black, plus dark orange and white somewhere to grab the three colored torti label.  When a torti is mostly orange, I call them fire tortis.  When the dominant colors are faded (gray, peach and white), they are called muted or dilute tortis.

Tortis have a reputation as possessing dominant personalities and that they dislike other cats.

How wrong!

Their counterparts, the calicos, whose three colors exist in more equal doses, are known as smart clowns, funny and acrobatic.  If they were humans, they'd be the entertainers, the comics, the actors (who mostly aren't so funny), the boy and girl band members, the attention seekers.  Why the torti gets a bad rap, as too smart, too talented at hunting and too dominant because of their brain power, I don't know.  The CEO's of the world, the leaders, the dictators!  But I've known some not so smart tortis!

Tortis can be hard to adopt out unless their colors are unusual in some way.

Don't be afraid of a tortis brains!  Or they commanding presence.  Or their self assurance.  They're wonderful cats.

Do you really want an inbred purebred instead?  Give me a break!

My torti/calico crowd (I sometimes interchange the terms on cats whose tricolor combo could be called either) can really include muted calico Deaf Miss Daisy!

Miss Daisy's been with me over ten years now.  She was thrown from a car out on Seven Mile Lane then burned her paw pads on the scorching pavement of August until she curled up in a ditch and a kind farmer I knew back then found her there.  He called me up and said "I found another one. Come get her."  So I did.  I tried to find her a home, after getting her loose teeth pulled, and various other medical problems under control.  She was loud, due to being deaf.  Took an entire year for her to fit in with my other cats and I had very few other cats way back then.  An entire year.  And she yelled loudly a lot.  Tried my patience!  Now she only screams in delight when she sees me coming home!  I love her so much!


Speaking of muted calicos or muted tortis, Mums is here!  (photo above) She hails from the Shovel Killer Christian Neighbor colony in Lebanon.  An old woman wrote the Corvallis paper bemoaning how people treat people who help stray cats.  Seems she was feeding strays.  One neighbor, a Christian who played in his church band, wanted to kill the cats with a shovel. Hence the colony name.  I took out 11 cats.  I still have Tugs and Mums.  Tugs, a classic torti, is Mums sister.  While Mums is easy going, Tugs is mischievous and more of a loner.  However, as she ages, she has become quite the social butterfly.  These girls are now almost six years old.

As for classic tortis, Gretal is here also.  I met Gretal when driving Highway 34 one evening.  There she was, with her brother, an orange tabby, just skinny scrawny teenagers, shoulder to shoulder, scared, walking the shoulder of Highway 34, leaning against each other.  They were right across from Safehaven.  Someone had tried to turn them over an hour or so earlier and been denied as they were full.  So she dumped them.

I spent the next three days trying to find them and catch them in a howling freezing rain and windstorm.  I just camped out in my car along that highway til I got it done because they were going to die if someone didn't help them.  Hansel got a home.  Gretal didn't.  She's now almost 8 years old.  She had to have all her teeth removed, as she is allergic to her own teeth.  Now she's one happy kitty, and comes to let me know when she wants wet food, loudly meowing in my face.  OK Gretal.

Eight year old Gretal!

I have Poppy too.  The darn people over on 34th street who get cats then don't take care of them and let them breed, they called about Poppy and her siblings and mother.  I was going to get them all fixed and return them.  But then I found a home for her mother.  When Poppy, a teenager, cried in the trap, I couldn't return her to living under a filthy apartment just off a busy street.  I did return her siblings.  They're dead now.  The line of townhouse trash apartments over there, where she came from, are death traps for cats.   People there get them, then they leave them.  Poppy has had chronic herpes since she came here.  Born with it over there, exposed in the womb, deep in her system.  Poppy is seven years old.


I also have Slurpy, from out near Lebanon, the Save the Kittens colony.  I pulled 24 kittens out of the woods, out of twisted old dead car bodies, and out from under pallets out in knee deep grass.  I got a lot of adults fixed also, in a non helpful environment, to put it mildly.  All the kittens were sick.  Some died.  Poppa's president and her friends fostered many of them.  Heartland took in eight but returned three when they became ill, including Slurpy.  She never got a home.  She went to another rescue briefly a year and a half ago, who said they could find her one.  But then they told me to come get her, that she was ugly and I raced up there to get her back.  I was mad!
The kind hearted and greatly adored Slurpy gives Deaf Miss Daisy a bath.

Chirpy Slurpy.  Slurpy is a happy torti who often chirps and twirps when she is really happy or excited.  She is kind hearted, selfless and wonderful!

Ok, we can't forget Starry.  Starry is from a swamp in N. Albany.  I trapped her and brothers Peko and Nemo in the steaming searing heat of summer.  I trapped their mom too and returned her once fixed, but the kittens had giardia.  Peko got a home.  Nemo also went to a home, but was returned a ruined kitty after two months.  Seems they'd put him alone into a room and left him.  Outside of food and water, he got no attention at all.  Once back, no more of him being all over me to be petted and held.  He's terrified of leaving here again so he stays in the cat yard.  I don't know what went on in that Salem home but he will never be suitable again for a home.  He has friends here and is happy however.  Starry on the other hand is super friendly.  Talk about an attention seeker, that would be her.  If I start petting another cat, she wants petted.  She wants on my lap when I watch TV.  But she's also very giving, the first to offer to groom other cats who need some love.  She is also a clown!
We can't forget Meesa.  Meesa comes from down town Albany and a problem location along a street where lots of drug addicts get cats and leave them.  A kind couple feed the unwanteds.   I met Meesa's mom first when getting cats fixed along that street.  She was a tame girl and had kittens already, Meesa being one of them.  But these folks who owned her mother had rooms in their rental waist deep or deeper in junk and trash.  You could not get into those rooms but that's where the kittens lived.  I urged them to find the kittens and tame them and all that, but they just threw them outside to fend for themselves.  They migrated down the block eventually for food to the kind older couples porch.  Meesa had her first litter there the next summer.  Only one survived, a male.  I got him fixed.  She had another litter that fall.  I got called.  Come get them, they pleaded.  I did. But when I was told by the man he'd given a neighbor permission to trap and kill the cats he fed, I didn't return Meesa.  I couldn't do that to her.  So weak I am.

Her two boy kittens got a home together.  Her two girl kittens are strange indeed.  I call them the Quirky sisters.  Echo and Fantasia.  I never found them a home.  I tried, that's for sure.  Meesa, their wildish mom, is still here too.  She's a torti tux.

That's it for the true tortis here, I think!  All of them except of course deaf Miss Daisy, would love a great home. And Gretal who is too attached to me and too shy of anyone else to go elsewhere.  At this point, since many of the cats left here have been to a home and been returned, I am picky, choosy, willing to wait for the right match ups, if they come and if they don't, well then they'll remain here all their days.

I have a true calico--Haley, from the Albany business, and her sister, Raindrop.  From that same business, I have three torbis (tortis with tabby stripes)--Stiletto, Alexi and Cougie.  I have one other torbi---Chessie, from another cat killer Albany complex.  Stiletto and Alexi, although young adults already when I took them in, have finally tamed down and would love homes of their own.
Haley on the left, Stiletto on the right.
Cougie, a torbi!
Alexi, also a torbi!

Chessie, fixed at a Neuterscooter clinic, at my expense, sports a left ear tip.  She's a darkly striped torbi.  Chessie has become extremely playful lately.   She's not a young girl, but I don't know her exact age.

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