By Victoria Cumings
For anyone not familiar with calico cats, kitties with tri-colored coats, meet Angel, a purrfect example with a beautiful mix of white, black, and orangey-brown in her long, feathery fur. Soft and puffy, one can see why Angel is lovingly referred to by her pet mom as a little “burnt marshmallow”: white on the underside with a blend of toasty golden tones on top. Two patches of color on her shoulders look similar to wings, which is how Angel originally got her name.
Now around four, Angel was adopted in September 2021 when her pet mom got word from a vet friend that an adult female at a cattery being disbanded was in need of a home. Her mom jumped into action (and onto a plane to Pittsburgh!) to bring Angel to her new life and forever home on the Upper West Side.
Angel is a RagaMuffin, a breed known for their docile but affectionate personalities and thick, sumptuous fur. Angel certainly is imbued with these characteristics, being a tad meek but, once warmed up, friendly and comfortable mingling with both people and pets. Angel is regularly found snuggled on the sofa, nestling her luxurious coat in her pet mom’s lap for belly rubs and manicures whilst they check out what’s on TV. The two have a special closeness, no doubt developed through spending time together during Covid, but also from some wonderfully interactive play techniques Angel’s mom employs.
For example, Angel has learned to respond to a playback device on which her mom has recorded her own voice calling out “brushies”. This is designed for pets to recognize a consistent tone relaying common phrases. In Angel’s case this signifies her mom is offering up a brushing, which is heaven for Angel. Her ears prick up and she’ll bound over in response, delighted to have her long hair combed and groomed.
Angel’s cleverness is on full display too when playing “clicker wand”. This is aimed at developing feline enrichment – her mom points a long wand down at the carpet and when Angel comes over and taps it, it makes a click and she gets a treat. With indoor cats, ensuring brain stimulation and regular doses of activity is important: this game keeps Angel well-entertained, and also well-fed with her reward of choice being a dollop of “Lick ‘n’ Lap”, a healthy cat snack.
With Bird TV on in the background, and a basket of toys that would be the envy of any cat, Angel has plenty to keep her occupied. Along with her more educational amusements, Angel also enjoys batting her little red mouse (a gift from the vet) through the apartment and digging around in a plush velvet, layered, flower blossom-shaped “snuffle mat” which conceals hidden cat treats.
Angel’s sociable nature means she’s comfortable around people and other animals. She’s lucky enough to have a country manor (her mom’s parents’ house on Long Island) where she sometimes meets the neighbor’s dog or sees her cousin, her mom’s brother’s cat. She also generously welcomes into her home a Siberian kitty her pet mom occasionally sits for a friend. Easygoing Angel takes all of this in her stride, enjoying being part of a loving community and even participating in family “Facetime”.
At night, Angel can be found curled up at the foot of the bed. For day naps, she’ll find a cozy spot in the closet where she can keep the coats company. If the door is closed, Angel won’t hesitate to try “Open Sesame” – calling out at the door, and if that doesn’t work stretches her long body and soft chunky paws up to the knob to try it herself. Ever helpful, Angel escorts her mom to the garbage chute and once alerted her to a dead mouse under the radiator, which might otherwise have gone unnoticed!
An early riser, Angel acts as her mom’s alarm clock, waking her then running over to the window to see what kind of a day the world has to offer (as well as to spy on the neighbors across the way). Some time ago she went through a spell of being too good at her job, waking mom at 3am each day. A combination of advice from a cat therapist, some “tough love” being kept out of the bedroom, and a meal as late in the evening as possible eventually put a stop to this and now all is forgotten, with Angel thankfully having developed more peaceful nighttime habits.
Angel is clearly wonderfully well-settled into life on the UWS. Her pet mom takes immense joy in sharing her days with this sweetest of roommates, who has a contented purr that gets a little louder each day.
With the comfortable life that she leads, it’s hard to imagine a cat happier than Angel . . .