Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pretty Penny

Penny is our only girl. She was the first kitten we raised together, and we are so very proud of her.

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.

That was three years ago, and we decided Penny would remain our only girl.

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.

She has a couple of curious sleeping habits. When it is cold, she has learned to slip herself inside the made bed, between comforter and blanket. There can be three or four cats curled up or stretched out in various ways on top of the bed, but if we look a little further, we’ll find a little lump in one section. The only way to know for sure if it’s her, is to touch her from on top of the comforter. She’ll start purring. The other curious habit is that if she’s not curled up in a ball, she twists her body – tail and hind legs going one way, head and front paws going the other, giving her the nickname Twisty-Girl. We also call her Penny-Paw-Two-Two and Pretty Girl.

Penny is one of our most athletic kitties. A consistent 9.3 lbs for two years now, she’s a sleek and skinny girl who makes some fantastically long leaps. We’ve seen her launch herself off the end of the kitchen counter and land in the middle of our living room. From a sitting position, she can jump over a two and a half foot baby gate without touching it and she loves to run from one end of our house to the other in her favorite game – chase. Penny usually leads the morning cavalry as soon as she hears “Kitties out!” She sails silently over the baby gates leaving the others in her dust.
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.

When I look at her vibrant yellow, black and white markings, it reminds me of a young girl in the 1920’s who is wearing a black and orange striped fur cape draped around her white shoulders. Her head even has a few patches that look to me like one of those flat-to-the-head hats tipped on an angle with black lace covering one eye. The backs of her legs are dark yellow, prompting yet another nickname “Butterscotch Pants.” Her solid black tail has one single ring of orange in the center, and looks to me like it was plugged onto her hind end as a last minute thought because they ran out of matching tails. 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.

I count on Penny to remind me to feed Moseley his dinner. Beginning at 3:30 in the afternoon, I’ll find her at my side wherever I am in the house, and wherever I move, Penny’s there, keeping an eye on me for can-time, sitting, squatting, and sometimes rolling on her back to get my attention. If I’m in the kitchen, Penny will lay on her back, fully stretched out, in the middle of the walkway to Moseley’s room. Should I take two steps towards her (towards Moseley’s room), she bolts to her feet and leads me to his door, looking back for me and rubbing on things along the way. Lassie couldn’t do better.

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.

Penny loves her tail. She loves to chase it. She will go round and round in a circle on rare occasion – her true love is to chase her tail through the holes in the cat tree. Sometimes she’ll weave in and out of the bottom legs of the tree chasing it while laying down, pulling herself around the carpeted posts. Mostly she loves to hang upside down through the hole on the top shelf of the tree and look for her tail, which is straight up in the air. The tip will, ever so casually, bend forward just enough for her to see it from below, and off she goes around the outside and down through the hole again after it. Every other round she’ll stop to check in with us and make sure we are watching her.

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.


  1. Penny is totally beautiful, and I understand completely why you decided to keep her as your only girl kitty. Hey, wait a minute, only one girl kitty, hmmmmm, I've got three sisters. That's OK, they are cool, and so is Penny. Hey Penny, I really like your climbing tower!!!

  2. Penny is a sweet funny girl. Mum says we share many characteristics amongst which are sleeping in the bed, sleeping twisted in two different directions and the trilling purr.

  3. Oh my pretty Miss Penny lives up to her name. What a lovely girly girl. She reminds me our Miss Boo who is such a regal little lady.


  4. Penny is lovely. We love the picture of her on the keyboard!!

    Sniffie and the Florida Furkids

  5. Penny certainly is pretty. She has a lovely personality, too. I enjoyed meeting her.

  6. Penny is just a delight. What a cutie.
    And your introduction was great.

  7. Aw... Penny is priceless! We love her smudged nose!

  8. Hello, Miss Penny! We very much enjoyed meeting you. You are such an adorable lovely girl and what a splendid personality to go with your beautiful self! :D

    Purrs and hugs,
    The Kitty Krew (and a special hello from our calico, Roxy!)

  9. I can see why you love Penny. What a sweetheart. I enjoyed reading about her.

  10. Penny is so very purrty! Her baby picture is just so adorable!

    Thanks for the tip about the camera card! Guess what.... the pics were on there. Yay!!

  11. You are beautiful. You look wonderful in calico.

  12. Penny is a pretty girl! Like the picture of her 'sharing' the basket and stretched over the desk! Hmm. I betcha the kitties will want to say stuff on their own.... :)

    And Tommy says she smiled on the Easy Bake Oven you said on my blog. She had one too--and loved it. Her Daddy would eat about everything she pulled outta there. Strong stomach for her Daddy! :)


    PS. Psst...don't tell...Tommy's real name is Lisa too! She says you two are 'simpatico'-I gotta Google that--and she says she wants to write (write what I don't know) along the coast of Maine.

  13. Penny is indeed a very pretty and special kitty! When you said she was the only female amongst 8 male kittie, I immediately wondered if she was the boss (that seems to be the way it is most often). I think you answered my question when you said she could take over any napping spot she chose, and the boys would move! LOL!

    Our little Domino is the female boss kitty of two quite large mancats, and she rules with a tiny iron paw! She just raises that paw and the boys back off.

    Penny is very feminine and athletic like Domino, too!

  14. Penny is a beautiful Calico!!

    Thank you so much for stopping by and celebrating my special day with me!!
    Maggie May

  15. Thanks for visiting and following our blog.

    We're so glad that the beautiful Penny found such a wonderful forever home. We look forward to reading more about her and the rest of your kitties!

  16. She is SO BEAUTIFUL!!! Hmmm, maybe she needs a bit of *RUMBLEPURR* to snuggle with?

  17. Hi pretty Penny! So nice to meet you.

  18. I think I'm in love with Penny! And Nick and Wizard and Moseley... oh my, and I still have more to read about!


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