My cat Tippi is in love with me. And I’m not talking puppy love either. This is full-fledged kitty passion. I’ve never experienced anything like it. Now don’t get me wrong; it’s not like she’s always been enamored with me. Quite the contrary. No, this love affair has taken years to blossom, which makes her recent adoration all the more perplexing.
If you know torties (tortoiseshell cats), you know they have what’s referred to as tortitude. And trust me here, that’s not an exaggeration. They’re often temperamental and unpredictable, facts I never knew back when I was mostly a dog person. Didn’t know much about felines at all, only that my cats were all different. Surprise, surprise; cats have personalities. Go figure.
I found my first feline, a calico kitten, on a ranch I jogged by one morning. She was barely alive so I scooped her up, took her to a vet, and was told she had pneumonia and probably wouldn’t make it. But Rudie was a survivor.
I found my next kitten living in a discarded tractor tire on a beach at Lake Tahoe. Sierra was a devil child. She tormented poor sweet Rudie with her mischievous play and feisty take-no-prisoners attitude. Yes, she had her sweet moments but I’d say she was mostly a holy terror.
Oliver, cat #3, came to me as a foster with a hole in his neck. Once it healed, I couldn’t give up this tuxedo boy. Then there’s Jack, another foster I ended up keeping. He had a uniqueness about him, a laid back demeanor, all peace and love. He should have been born in the 60s. Jack thinks he’s a dog; he wrestles with my Dachshund, Wally, and grooms my dogs’ necks and ears.
Savannah came from the same place where I trapped Tippi and 21 other ferals living under a grocery store. Too shy for adoption yet too tame to return to that difficult life, Savannah ended up with me. Do you see a theme here? She’s still quite shy. In fact, I doubt my friends have ever seen her.
Anyway, during Tippi’s first 3 years with me she possessed the infamous tortitude. Get too close and I’d be sucker punched. If I leaned in without proper notice, again a whack in the face. If I rolled over and disturbed her on the bed…you guessed it. My other pets stayed clear of her quick right jab. They’re no dummies.
Then, a year ago it all changed. I suddenly became the object of Tippi’s affection. What I did to deserve this, I have no clue. She’s my shadow in every room of the house. (In fact, she’s sitting inches away as I write this, gazing adoringly at me.) She even follows me into the bathroom, placing her front paws on my knees while I’m on the pot. She has no shame.
Tippi, (aka ‘Tippi-Toes’ and ‘The Tipster’) even misses me when I’m bathing. So she jumps into the garden window next to the shower stall to keep an eye on me. She reaches for the glass, pawing at it in anticipation (I assume) of when she can snuggle with me again. She also sleeps across my neck every night, no doubt one of the reasons I’m an insomniac.
Yep, it’s been a long time since Tippi swiped at me. It’s almost like an alien has invaded her body.
But I admit, when it’s not creepy, it’s kinda nice being adored. I’m her absolute favorite person and you can’t ask for more than that from a tortie. Especially when there’s a decent chance that next week she’ll despise the sight of me.