This post is dedicated to one of the love's of my life.
A gorgeous Calico, affectionately called Chelsey Girl.
Wait, before we dive into her story, I bet you are wondering what is a Calico Cat exactly. The term "Calico" refers to the cat 's colors and not a particular breed of cat. The pattern emerges when the cat has 2 X chromosomes. This happens usually with the female cat and very rarely with the male because males normally have only 1 X chromosome. Therefore, the majority of Calicos are female. For a male to become a Calico, he would have to possess 3 sex chromosomes (2 X and 1 Y) which would be ultra rare.
The patterns vary greatly and can look very sporatic which is part of the attraction to these beauties. The colors are black, white, and tones of brown.
OKAY...let's get back to Chelsey's story...
I adopted her one weekday from a pet shop in Greenville, South Carolina. I had been searching for a while for the perfect addition to my family. At the time, I had a very energetic 3 year old son. I knew I would need to find a kitty that had an outgoing personality and would not be too timid in the household. My son was a typical little boy that loved to play hard!
I saw two beautiful kitties that I asked to spend some time with. One was reserved and a bit shy and soooo sweet and the other was a bit more spunky and cute.
I actually was initially attracted to the really sweet one but saw quickly that she may feel a bit intimidated in our household. Then, my focus turned to the highly spirited little Calico. I could hold her but only for moments at a time. The minute she leaped out of my arms and onto the top landing of a cat tree, I knew I had my girl.
I brought Chelsey home and began a 19 year love affair with the amazing kitty.
My hunch was right on target, she fell into perfect play with my 3 year old. They grew up together and often entertained one another. Here's a shot on Ryan's 13th birthday with Chels.
It's hard to properly cover all the amazing antics Chelsey did over the years,
but I want to highlight some that really stand out...
-- She loved it when Ryan would set up his race car track. She would slink down at a curve and wait for the car to zoom by. Once it hit the curve, she would pop up and paw at the car, normally derailing it and feeling like she had won! So, so, cute. You would think most kitties would run and hide at the noise, but it attracted her immediately. Along with race cars, models trains were right up her alley too! The train always went up at Christmas so this quickly became a favorite time for her.
-- Hide and seek! That's right. She loved to zoom through the house and duck under something like a chair or couch. Ryan would look for her and eventually find her. Once she knew she was exposed, she went run (aka zoom) through the house to find another place to slide into.
-- Ryan had a huge tree house in the backyard. She absolutely loved running out to it and literally "flying" up to the very top. It had a dome-like tarp over it which she enjoyed very much. I caught her one time prissing around on top of this tarp. Whether she was hangin' out on top of the clubhouse or chillin' on the pool deck, she always enjoyed being outside with us.
-- The Water Gun. One would think that a cat would be scared of water being squirted toward her but Chelsey thrived on this activity. She enjoyed chasing the water streams as fast as Ryan could dish them out!
- Chelsey and the Candle. I love to burn candles throughout my home. One evening Chelsey got a tad too close to one and singed her tail. She was always the nosiest of kitties and wanted to check out the flame. It grabbed her tail and burned it a bit. She started running throughout the house trying to escape whatever had her tail. It could have been very serious but thank goodness she did not get hurt anymore than a few burned and stinky hairs. She kept running around the house for about 10 minutes. I can also say she never wanted to check out a burning candle in the bathroom ever again! She opted to just "hang" in drawers... ;-)
-- One day I heard some very strange noises coming from the back of the house. It sounded like a "thump, thump, thump" over and over...almost in a rythmic pattern. When I walked to the back of the house, I heard it strong in the hall bathroom. When I looked inside, I saw Chelsey running around and around in circles INSIDE the bathtub. She was actually "banking" herself off the side of the tub and chasing her tail. Talk about one of her funnier moments!! I still smile when I think of this "tail".
-- Ryan was using the bathroom when Chelsey happened upon him. During the "peeing", the little arch of water falling into the commode was just to much for Chelsey to ignore. She thought it was some type of string to chase and yep, you guessed it... she went diving in after it! My son starting yelling, "MOOOOMM". I had to go clean Chelsey up and retrieve her from the "water fountain". Another "golden" moment I will never forget!
-- Did my house stay in tact with a kitten around? Well, for the most part yes, except for a corner of the wall down the hall. She found that stretching up and scratching the wallpaper (this is when it was the "in" thing) on the corner of the wall was very satisfying I suppose. I eventually decided to strip all wallpaper and paint so thank you Chels for prodding me forward with your home decor sense!
Chelsey loved the outdoors and would beg to go outside on a pretty day. I let her come and go as she wished and never put constraints on her. She would usually stare in at the back door at dusk because she wanted to come back in for the night. She also loved sleeping with me in bed. On a beautiful day, she could be caught napping under any flower or plant. I think she thought we couldn't see her though...
Have you ever lost your cat? Well, I did in a major way one time!
Chelsey ALWAYS came in at night except one night she was a "no show". I never learned what happened to her but she was missing for about a week. I was totally distraught. I made flyers and posted them everywhere. I visited the humane society daily to see if she had been brought in. Then, one night, she showed up at the back door. I was elated! She was in great condition so I almost felt like she had been trapped somewhere for a period of time. She had been spayed as a kitten so I didn't think she was out chasing the guys... I was just so glad my girl showed back up!
As Chelsey aged, she desired to stay closer to me and indoors a lot more. Again, I let her make the call. She always got to have her way for sure!
Some Chelsey Stats:
Name: Chelsey Lynn DeYoung (aka - Chelsey Girl, Penelope, Chiquita)
Born: April 21, 1993
Why did I want a kitty: It had been about 3 years since my last sweet cat past and I felt it was time to get another one. Cats have always held a very special place in my heart.
Food: Chelsey ALWAYS ate IAMS dry food. I tried canned food with her at times but she would always turn her nose up at it...
Fav Treat: Paws down - Temptations. She loved these goodies!
Fav toy: Chelsey NEVER turned down playtime with her favorite mouse filled with catnip. She also loved ribbon.
Quirks: She never was a huge lap kitty. I could pick her up and love on her but if I sat her in my lap, she would jump down pretty quickly. Also, she never said a word - never ever hardly meowed.
Characteristics: Would put up with most anything in the name of "play". Loved to run and purr - very loudly I might add. Enjoyed people but needed her own space at times.
- Rambo - A ferral male cat that came to terrorize Chelsey. No, seriously I rescued this little rascal and Chelsey did learn to tolerate him and teach him who was boss.
- Drake - Ryan adopted Drake during college. Drake was a sweetheart to Chelsey so she thought he was pretty cool.
Her Funniest look: Have you ever seen a lion cut on a cat? Well, since Chelsey was very furry and finding it harder to groom herself, I let someone give her a lion cut one summer. She had accumulated a lot of hair mats and this was the least painful and easiest way to address them. She looked pretty funny for a while and I actually think she was a bit embarrassed. Needless to say, I didn't choose this look for her a whole lot.
Funny story - well sort of: Other than the ones above, here is one where she did meow. My son's friend, Nick, was over playing one day. Nick somehow found some play scissors and actually cut Chelsey's whiskers off!!! Can you believe this? He left about 1/2 inch on each side. I was sitting on the couch watching tv... I know - I should have had my eye on this kid! Anyway, she came up to me, sat down beside my feet, looked up, and just cried. She was pretty much telling me what a horrible thing he had done to her. I looked at her and noticed something was different...then I saw it. I'm like, "Chelsey, what happened to you??" It surely did not take me long to discover the truth and trust me, we all marched to this little boy's house and told his mom all about it! Chelsey's whiskers eventually grew back out just fine but for the interim, she did have trouble gauging the width of openings and if she could fit through them. This is about the look she gave me right after it happened!
An office kitty: Chelsey always was in the center of my work, whether it was on the computer or at my desk. She was my first hire actually. :-)
Hopefully, you have enjoyed reading about some of Chelsey's finer moments while she graced our family with her presence. I hope and pray that her little soul lives on somewhere in the heavens and that I will be able to see her again some day. You may not believe in such a thing but I insist on holding on to that believe! I will always miss this sweet and highly spirited kitty and feel very blessed to have known this beauty ~~
Count yourself blessed as well to have glimpsed into her life.
Do you own an amazing Calico?
Do you know an incredible Calico?
We want to hear about her too! Comment below
We are betting that there may be some similarities. After all - a Calico Cat is in a class all by themselves...