Written by Marjorie Dawson

Celebrate Tortoiseshell Cat Appreciation Day 2021

Celebrate Tortoiseshell Cat Appreciation Day 2021

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It’s here! The special day when all torties get what they believe they are entitled to*. Today is Tortoiseshell Cat Appreciation Day.

Sienna is the Dash Kitten Crew’s own tortoiseshell and we still tease her about being the ‘feral’ kitten brought back to the vets by an angry parent after she (we believe) defended herself against the family’s younger members. We brought her home and she has become the boss, after the passing our beloved matriarch Peanut.

Old fashioned filter of a dark cat photo
Sienna Portrait with an old fashioned filter (Affinity Photo)

Taking a Good Tortoiseshell Photo

Tortie photos benefit from good light. You will see from these photos that Sienna looks her best in the bright light that brings out the delicate patchwork of her coat. If you have an indoor tortie, tempt them to post by a window in in a sun puddle with help their colours glow, and don’t forget to say please!

[NOTE I am missing some photo details and these will be added tomorrow].

  • “……. also called torties for short, tortoiseshell cats combine two colors other than white, either closely mixed or in larger patches. The colors are often described as red and black, but the “red” patches can instead be orange, yellow, or cream, and the “black” can instead be chocolate, gray, tabby, or blue.” Wikipedia
Sienna the tortioshell Hiding and looking cute 2
Smartphone Photo – Sienna the Paper Bag Princess (Dash Kitten)

After some checking up online I discovered that Sienna is a ‘Mosaic’ sortie, which is different from the Chimera which has a striking two coloured face. This means that, like many torties her beautiful colouring is a scattered mix of rich browns, golds and a touch of blonde.

Torties Can Play Nice

This same feral kitten, Sienna, was the only family member to play fair with Dash Kitten who could not see very well. When they played with ping pong (table tennis) balls outing the garden, Sienna always played on Dash’s ‘seeing’ side so he got a chance to interact with the toys. For us every days is Tortoiseshell Appreciation Day because we always remember her kindness to the blog’s Founder Cat.

ISO 800 55 mm F8 1/400 © Dash Kitten

Torties Can Be Fearless

Sienna is able to climb the trees in the garden and rivals Toulouse her athletic abilities. She makes a great photographic subject as she looks down from high up, especially as I was using Sport/Burst mode and captured her with her tongue out.

She has no trouble getting back down the tree either, and unlike Toulouse she has no fear of coming down head first. Sienna runs away when she reaches the bottom of the tree trunk with a triumphant tortie scamper. She may be twelve to Toulouse’s 1 but can outrun him and biffs him into line with a firm paw if he annoys her.

Cat climbing in a tree for Tortie Appreciation Day
ISO 800 109 F8 1/320 © Dash Kitten

Sienna celebrates her birthday, or gotcher day, on 23rd of March and although she is now 12, no one has told her to stop climbing higher than almost any other cat in the Dash Kitten Crew.

Sienna-The-Look

*Torties are honoured every day, but many model themselves on the late and much loved tortie Binga from Sparklecat and always believe that ‘What is theirs is theirs and what’s yours is theirs too’.

My last photo shows Sienna channelling her inner Binga leaping high after a wand toy. Not bad for a so-called ‘senior’

A tortoiseshell cat laying into the air in a garden

Tortie Resources

Marjorie Dawson

Marjorie is a motorbike riding blogger and award winning cat photographer who believes that everyone can shoot and edit wonderful pictures they love regardless of the camera they use.

She is a Professional member of the Cat Writers Association, Kuykendall Image Award winner and published photographer at the Guardian newspaper.

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