It may be the third-most-asked question at Tabby’s Place.
Hot on the heels of “Don’t they ever fight?” and “Where do you come up with all the names?”, people regularly ask: “Aren’t orange cats always male?”
The answer is generally staring them right in the face: no, and there are a half-dozen furry women who would be very happy to set you straight.
Far be it from me to be any kind of furrist (furrist, n.: stereotyper of cat attributes on the basis of coat color). But I will admit that, in my experience, like that of so many others, the vast majority of orange boys are mellow, mooshy good-time guys who love to be loved. Consider Mango, Steve and Captain for starters. (Yes, there are exceptions.)
The orange girls, however, are another story. A glorious, edge-of-your-seat epic saga, in fact.
Perhaps a study in contrasts will help. Awhile back, listening to late-night AM talk radio, my fella and I heard a very strange discussion. The radio host and his guest were very excitedly discussing…tiny oranges. My beau and I looked at each other, wondering if our half-awake brains were having a synchronized hallucination. If he weren’t there to confirm what I was hearing, I’d have been sure I’d imagined it, but the radio dudes went on to repeat themselves: tiny oranges. In this context, tiny oranges were a glorious and victorious thing, some kind of nutritional compound that will give you ageless vitality, shiny hair, a new Maserati and world peace.
All those benefits notwithstanding, I’m afraid there’s one thing “tiny oranges” can’t do: compete with the Big, Giant, Colossal Oranges living at Tabby’s Place. And here, of course, I refer to our orange girls.
Not that they’re colossal in terms of space. But make no mistake: these particular Dorito-hued divas are bigger than their bodies give them credit for. (Dear heaven, I just quoted John Mayer. Someone please take me away now.)
Exhibit A: the Kentucky firecracker, Natalie. Smaller than a breadbox, with courage bigger than a planet, Natalie has a spirit that takes up almost every atom of space in Suite B. Walk into the solarium, her main domain, and you’re immediately aware of her essence. (That may have something to do with the fact that, more than likely, she’s climbed halfway up your leg and/or licked your face and/or attempted to kill you before the door shuts behind you.) She is one of the few cats who is all love and all fire, with no contradiction between the two. Some days you get the innocent-eyed love bug, some days you get the lit fuse. But, every day, you get the glorious creature who knows her own glory.
Or take Valencia. The only one of our non-tiny oranges named for an actual orange, V. is the head-tilty heroine of Suite A. Bigger, brasher personalities like Kate and Jambalaya may steal the initial scenes when you visit the suite…but Valencia’s saucer-sized eyes will steal your soul. (Actually, that sounds creepy. Although she might approve. But…let’s say “your heart.”) She’s still learning to trust us, and she’ll always have her fire, but when Valencia gazes at you, she gazes into you. No tiny orange, this girl.
Then there’s Geri. Ben‘s stoic sister has never been what anyone would call mellow or goofy. She’s something better…she’s Geri. Profoundly, undeniably herself, the serious girl has become very serious about those she chooses to love. Human or feline, to be in Geri’s inner circle is to be very dearly cherished. Ger doesn’t let just anyone into her heart, but once she does, you have a friend for life. Karina knows, as does Trifle, that it’s worth every iota of the wait.
Even the littlest orange, baby Lilliana, was anything but “tiny” in the soul sense. Amidst a carrel of crazy kittens, Lil was most definitely the craziest. Who can imagine what havoc she’s happily unleashing on her forever home now?
So, do female cats come in orange? You betcha – and the only heart-size in which they aren’t available is ‘tiny.’