Penny’s name reflects an old wives tale that tri-colored cats were deemed rare and valuable if male. We called them money cats regardless of whether they were female or male. I’m not quite sure how anyone was supposed to make money from a tri-colored male cat, but that’s what I recall from my childhood. DP started calling her Penny pretty much the day she got her from the local shelter as a foster kitten. Within days we knew we’d keep her. The shelter notes said she was found alone on the street at five or six weeks old. She was so dirty when she came home that DP nearly scrubbed the little black smudge off her nose before she realized it was a permanent beauty mark.
Penny is a very sweet natured girl…for a calico. Anytime she is sleeping we can give her a single loving stroke and she’ll break out purring. Even if she doesn’t fully waken, stretch and yawn, she purrs a loud, sidesplitting purr, her ribs move in and out so forcefully. When she’s awake and kneading “in the zone,” she squints her eyes at you with all her affection. Sometimes she includes a little high pitched trill within the purr – so endearing. She’s afraid of visitors, but if they stay long enough, she will come out for a peak and sniff, staying low to the ground.
Generally, she likes to watch our group games and doesn’t participate unless the toy comes her way. Then she’s enthusiastic for a few seconds, but she won’t go after it into the playing field. She is a tough girl who does like to tussle with the boys, but she’s quick to run off and escape any strong-arming. Her speed and agility certainly make up for her lack of bulk, but she usually gets what she wants from the boys. If she wants the big basket under the office window and Nick is sleeping in it, she’ll jump right in next to him and after a few licks will start biting him for it. He either leaves or shares it, which is actually the two of them pushing their back feet against each other until they fall asleep.
Since she has a lot of white, we are glad she is a clean kitty, unless, of course, she has “can-head.” Can-head is a condition she gets after she licks Moseley’s empty can of wet food in the evenings. The gravy gets all over her head, sometimes in an actual ring around her cheeks. Licking up gravy off an empty can doesn’t seem dignified, but I think she sees it as her sovereign right and privilege. It delights her so much, she uses the trill purr while she’s licking it. She maintains a dignified posture, appearing quite regal while sticking her nose inside a sticky tin can.
One thing that’s a bit disappointing about Penny is her turn-of-the-head aversion, when our face gets too close to her. She can come sniff my nose at her discretion, but if I move my head within twelve inches of her, she turns her head away. She might even get up and walk away if I push it. She loves being petted, and on rare occasion will sit on your lap, but kisses must be captured quickly, before she runs off.
Miss Paw-Two-Two is so very well mannered that she is one of only a couple of kitties that are allowed to sleep on the bed with us overnight. She’s usually the only one who can stay all night without causing any disruption. She does sometimes like to position herself in the crook of my legs, which can make for an uncomfortable night for me. I find I sometimes have to scoot her to one side or the other just so I don’t get a cramp. She takes it in stride, barely moves, but always starts purring.
I hope you’ve enjoyed meeting our precious, pretty Penny.