There are many stellar things about freedom and liberty and all that. (No, don’t worry, I’m not about to announce my candidacy for president.)
Perhaps one of the most stellar is the right to make up words.
Or did you not know that this is one of your constitutional rights? It is. I am 1,000% certain this is covered under the right to pursue happiness. What is life without happiness, and what is happiness without the ability to coin words at will?
Tabby’s Place is no stranger to coining coinages. We’ve long been host to a host of inappropriators (inappropriate + eliminators = Mango, Halie, Tashi, Hootz et al). We all get excited when a nice person or family fills out an adoplication (adoption + application = someone may be getting a forever home).
And, now, we are graced with the beauty of three tortine.
The etymology of this one tastes like oregano. If that year of college Italian still serves me, adding the ending -ina to a word makes it “little (whatever it is).” The plural of -ina is -ine, pronounced ee-nay. And, since I know you’re wondering, you can say “big (whatever it is)” by adding -ona or -ono to the end of the word. So pastina is little pasta. Broccolini is little broccoli. Padrone is an owner or manager (literally, big daddy – no, I am not making this up). And calzone is big…uh, calz. Yeah, one of those.
And today, because I said so, tortina is a little tortie. As I said, Suite B is triply blessed with not one, not two, but three teeny tortine.
You might not realize this if you amble into the suite on an ordinary day. Unless you are Shaquille O’Neal or happen to tilt your neck upward at all times (in which case I’d recommend you see a chiropractor), you just might miss the great tortine sisters, Kathryn and Sophie. In their first couple of months at Tabby’s Place, the girls have opted to stage their own little protest. It’s called “Occupy the Top of the Ramp,” and they’re not going anywhere until their demands are met. The good news is that those demands seem to be getting met, little-by-little, via chin-scratches and gentle blinks from humans.
Sophie and Kathryn (initially named Kate, then renamed in lieu of her regal bearing) came to Tabby’s Place through the Exceptional Circumstances Program, along with their very-orange brother Elliot. (There’s orange, there’s burnt orange, and then there’s very orange. Elliot was the latter – and, as no coincidence, he was adopted almost immediately.) Understandably, the girls are leery of this new wild world. How would you feel if you left your home for a veritable circus, where morbidly obese white cats simultaneously purred and smacked you, while little orange maniacs bounced off the walls while singing and shouting about Virginia? Suite B is a bit of a looney bin, and Kathryn and Sophie are taking their time to take it all in. Fine by us if the great tortine sisters are hosting their show from atop the ramp. I just pity the fool who doesn’t look up and look upon their loveliness. Have you ever seen a face so lovely as Sophie’s half-moon, or an expression so exquisite as Kathryn’s serious stare? Eat your heart out, Jane Austen characters and Bronte sisters and other awesome literary ladies – the tortine girls are all ours, and they’re more epic than anything words could express.
The third tortina is unrelated to Sophie and Kathryn, except for her tortie glory. It’s an open secret that torties share a sisterhood transcending mere bloodlines, so Victoria is kin to Kathryn and Sophie in the ways that matter. If Soph and Kath are tortine, Vickie just might be a tortiniiniini – she’s just that tiny. Upon seeing this teeny tiny tortina, visitors could be forgiven for thinking we’d been testing out a shrink-o-matic laser ray a la “Honey, I Shrunk the Cat” in Suite B. At only 5-6 months old, Victoria is a mere molecule next to the likes of Jackie and Maggie. Even the rather-petite Sophie and Kathryn dwarf Vickie. But let not her size throw you off: Vickie’s a courageous mite, and she’s long since come down from the ramp. Despite her youth, that makes her the reigning tortina of the floor.
So, the next time you’re celebrating your freedom, be sure to coin some words…and don’t miss your chance to visit Queen Victoria and the tortine sisters before their show moves on to a forever casona.