Written by: Yassar Nakchbendi, Chirpy Cats
The room was flooded with the sound of persistent and excited meows. Each cat was desperately singing their finest ‘a-cat-pella’ to lure potential takers. There was a shadow at the corner of my eye and all I could see was a black cat with a sad looking white whisker and a pathetic little squeak.
Unlike the two flirty little grey and white sisters in the cage next to hers, she was quiet and reserved. She meowed only when we made eye contact, just a gentle polite plea as if to say “Look here, I’m cute too, take me with you.” I must admit I was drawn to the two sisters who obviously took lessons in putting your best paw forward and looking cute. But despite this I felt sad for little White Whisker. I knew she was going to have a harder time selling her value and worth.
According to the card on her cage, little White Whisker was not a black cat but actually a pregnant young tortoiseshell named Cleopatra. The dim lighting in her cage hid her lovely tortoiseshell quilt. She was found wondering on the streets, hungry and cold and taken in by our local veterinary hospital.
We had no intentions of getting another cat as we already had four. We were there only to collect our old dog’s medication. But I also knew that torties are often subject to the same silly stigma black cats in shelters endure. Little did I know that while I was making friends with White Whisker, my husband had already signed the papers to bring her home. He had seen her there two weeks prior to our visit and was already entertaining ideas about adopting her then!
Her unborn kittens didn’t make it but mama was ready for adoption and two weeks later, Cleopatra, renamed Scout, joined our clowder of cats.
If you are owned by a tortie cat you know the common personality trait that goes with it. Feisty, fiery and a ton load of tortitude. Scout’s most notable feature is her gorgeous orange ‘ring of fire’ necklace she wears around her neck with feisty tortie pride. We think this fiery blaze of fur has endowed her with extra doses of tortie clout. No other cat is allowed to invade her fiery bubble, except her best pal Mr. Jack. But her grey furry friend is not the only one to be welcomed inside her inner circle. She shares a special cat-human bond with my husband, her cat daddy. She is his office companion and purrsonal trainer, ensuring he never misses a workout.
The tortie palette adds a splash of color
Scout is the resident interior decorator and the bringer of gifts. Her favorite season is Fall when she spends her days collecting leaves from outside in the catio and offers them as gifts to her human while he works. We will often find colorful leaves scattered all over throws and cushions in the living room. This is one girl with a keen eye for color and style. Little plush mouse toys are fished out of secret storage spaces and dropped at our feet, accompanied by her familiar siren-like calling. Perhaps this is Scout’s way of thanking the human who insisted on bringing her home.
Scout heads the catnip harvesting quality assurance team when it’s time for harvesting and drying. She takes her job seriously and will weed out the good from the “meh.”
In addition to her diverse skillset, Scout has mastered the art of making biscuits. In the video below she reveals that this doesn’t make her a pushover, but a tough tortie with a soft side. She has since lost her little white whisker and has found her true calling in the Chirpy Cats home.
Yasaar Nakchbendi is the author and founder of the award-winning blog, Chirpy Cats where she expresses her love for all things feline with a focus on cat environment enrichment in multi-cat households. Helping cats live enriched lives with their people. Follow them on Instagram.
Awww! She’s lovely and I’m so happy she has a forever home! I have two dark torties who are Mother and daughter and a light tortie who is the only girl in a litter of six, so she has to bring out that tortitude against her brothers quite often. I also have a long-haired muted tortie who is feral, but lets me pet her and is learning to trust me. I love the sweet feisty torties!
Loved your story about Scout. On Jan 1 I went for a walk in my neighborhood in Bronx New York and found a young kitten on a sidewalk all by herself. Someone had given her a can of food and water. But it was 7 degrees outside!! I picked her up immediately and took her home to my older cats. On the way home she Thanked me with one very long Meow?. Everything as worked out fine after a little while. She looks just like Scout. I thought she was a calico like my others because of the gold all thru her black coat. Now I know Luna is a Tortie who is so sweet& cuddly. I love her very much. But one strange thing. She does not Purr at all. When I bought her to the Vet I forget to mention it to them. I have never heard of a cat that doesn’t purr??
I had a ginger and white cat many years ago. You could feel the vibration of purring but no sound at all. Vet said it was sonrthing to do with formation of soft pallette. I currently have twin cats – male is black and (mostly) white and female is tortie and white with lits of ginger. About 18 months ago she gave up the sound of talking. Lots of talking to me but silently. However once in the car to vet, she finds her voice!
What a beautiful girl! So glad she has a well-deserved, happy home. We have a Tortie named Itty-Bitty, and I’m crazy about her.
She’s so lovely?. why did you change the name? Cats are a kind of royal, cleopatra is a very suiting name for a beauty like her… but scout ?? Might be ok for a dog ..
May god bless you for your kindness giving these cats a loving home, ????