This is our precious pet “tortie”* cat, Hazel. I captured her in a mellow moment sitting on the living room carpet near her scratching post. I was glad that she cooperated for this photo by letting me get her close-up.
We adopted Hazel from a shelter at Christmastime 2013. I have always loved cats, and had had pet cats before, but not for the last 20 years, because my son was found to be allergic to cats when he was a child. However, by 2013, he had outgrown this allergy and was ready to move out of our house anyway.
We fell in love with Hazel when we first met her and since then we have been very close. She is very affectionate (when she wants to be) and sleeps between my legs most nights except in the summer. When we first get into bed, she goes first to my husband, purring and curling up as he rubs her, even her belly, but then she bites him – affectionately! After that, she leaves and comes back to sleep between my legs when she thinks I am asleep or at least settled for the night. She follows this bedtime routine about 300 nights of the year!
We enjoy watching her in her antics, especially when she is stalking a bug, such as the colorful moth that had posed on a screen.
Hazel had not been a popular choice at the shelter due to prejudice against “tortie” personalities – this is an extremely independent breed and often does not submit to affectionate gestures from humans, but people had not taken the trouble to get to know her! When she was brought to the shelter, she was pregnant and gave birth to six kittens, for whom she was a devoted and affectionate mother. Her kittens were adopted quickly, but she remained at the shelter for two years! However, Hazel quickly won our hearts and I think we won hers!
*”Tortie,” for the cat-uneducated, is short for “tortoiseshell,” which refers to the breed’s coloring, a mixture of black, tan, and a little white. More than 90% of “torties” are female.