Wednesday, December 6, 2006


She is fifteen now, my little red tabby girl, Frieda. She still is the dominant personality among the cats in the shop. Judging from my very limited experience, orange female cats seem to have dominant-type personalities.

Only about 20% of red/orange cats are females. There is a reason the phrase "ginger tom" rolls off the tongue. Genetically-speaking, the feline world produces black or red tabby males and tortoiseshell or calico females in abundance. And every now and then, red tabby females.

Like her coat, Frieda is a firebrand--stubborn, assertive, protective of her family and courageous in the face of threats. In her youth, when she was allowed access to the outdoors, she stalked spruce grouse, chased off intruding dogs and challenged eagles and owls who came too close. I fear unrestrained, she would have had a brief but exciting life.

Now settled into retirement in the shop, she is the Queen. Any disturbance (if she doesn't initiate it) will draw her attention. Any threat to her mother or sister will draw her wrath. She oversees her domain with a no-nonsense air about her, emphasized by her short, upright tail, like a little exclamation mark.

She may be fifteen years old, but no one messes with Frieda.

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