About five years ago at Christmas when I grandson, John, was still in college, we began hearing the most pitiful kitten cries. After quite a bit of investigation we discovered a tortoise shell kitten up a tree. It cried and cried, for several days, and it didn’t seem able or willing to come out of the trees. I say trees because it wasn’t always in the same tree.
It was a lovely kitten, and I really wanted to help it, so we called our grandson who came over, and with our then neighbor’s permission, he got our tallest ladder and climbed onto the roof of her carport. From there, he pulled the ladder up on the carport, as well, and climbed up the ladder to where the kitten was crying in an old oak tree.
He removed to kitten from the tree, got it and the ladder back on solid ground, and we took she into our home. (Someone said they never picked a cat, the cats always picked them, and this was one of those times.)
The kitten was, and still is for that matter, a little spit fire. And I do mean spit. At the time we had a couple of old cats and an old dog, and the kitten made her way around the house spitting and cursing every living being, including the people. She called us all unspeakable names, but it appeared that she liked people ok, it was just dogs and cats she had a real problem with.
We named her Turtle, and we proceeded to tell our other grandchildren that John had gotten a turtle out of a tree and to ask if they wanted to see it. She was an instant hit with the family.
However, it took many months for her to calm down and not curse and spit all the time. At one point we took her to our vet, Jacqueline Talley, and we discussed her temperament. Dr. Talley told us that Texas A&M had done a study on tortoise shell cats because of the unusually, often aggressive, and extremely verbal behavior. Although they are not a breed, they do have some like characteristics.
For one thing they like heights. For another many of them bite and scratch even the people they appear, otherwise, to love. They also talk a lot...a whole lot!
Turtle is fixed and is now the only animal living in our home, but we do have a slight problem, and it’s growing worse. It appears, even though she’s fixed, that she attracts members of the opposite sex - even if they are fixed, too. Our neighbor, Mrs. Pearson, has two lovely, fixed toms who call on Turtle daily. She tells them off, and, mostly, they run away. We call them Ginger Pearson and Tabby Pearson.
Now Joann and Jack Edwards have a solid black tom whom we call Blackie Edwards. He is much less wild and fearful than Ginger and Tabby, and it appears he would like to make his home here with Turtle. He visits at all hours of the day and night, and he constantly serenades her.
Turtle is a lovely girl, and she is quite a flirt, when she isn’t being angry with someone! We love her dearly. She sleeps with us at night. I’m even considering writing a children’s book about her.
We really enjoy the Turtle in our lives! Torties are the best, in my opinion.