By Victoria Cumings
Having moved some time ago from Hamilton Heights to a lovely home in the West 90s, ‘torbie’ Donut is now firmly an Upper West Sider, and proud member of the warm and welcoming cat community that exists in this wonderful neighborhood.
With her beautiful mix of tortoiseshell markings and tabby stripes, Donut has a unique look (torbie being a combination of ‘tortie’ and ‘tabby’). Her long arms are different streaks of warm colors, and she has a classic tabby ‘M’ on her forehead. This combined with the delicate marbled mingling of cream, orange, and almost black on her belly and legs distinctive of tortoiseshells.
Donut’s pet mom has always been a fan of felines and grew up with cats. Imagine her surprise one day in 2020 when her then boyfriend came home with an extra special Christmas gift – a beautiful tawny-brown cat! Having the familiar sandy tones of a fresh baked pastry, Donut’s cat mom initially considered calling her Bagel, but saw a spark in her eyes that said, ‘something funkier please’, so Donut it was! Perfectly delicious, and perfectly fitting given Donut’s cinnamon sugar coloring and sweet personality.
It was ideal timing as, with the misery that was Covid, Donut’s mom was craving some animal company and affection. Three-year-old Donut had been living with a foster through Animal Care Centers of New York City, but with her new mom found her forever home. The two hit it off and have been side by side ever since. Now five and a half, Donut is a little shy but has grown into a happy, content little couch potato, soaking up all the pleasures and benefits that come from being the Big Apple of her mom’s eye.
When she’s not lounging around on the sofa, Donut is an intrepid explorer. She particularly likes to hide under the kitchen sink, deftly opening the cupboard door by herself and venturing in to sit with the boxes and towels. Other times, she’ll creep into a dark clothes closet, curling up in a corner to nap atop a pair of soft leather boots. She’s cleverly mastered opening both hinged and sliding doors, so there’s no stopping Donut! Even when it comes to a knobbed entryway, impossible to tackle without thumbs, a pitiful cry to mom will help her gain access.
Donut’s resourcefulness and occasional mischievousness means one needs to always be on the lookout. Possible hiding places are cleared to accommodate a sleeping cat, and, given Donut’s propensity to nibble on Ziploc bags, all soft plastic is banished or put safely away. Given she is rather food-motivated, cat munchies also mustn’t be left out, as experience tells with Donut once busting into a bag to help herself while mom was distracted with work. It’s difficult to deny this little girl though. She has a funny trick of standing upright on her hind legs, holding her diminutive arms out like a Tyrannosaurus Rex, only cute instead of scary. Who could say no to that!
Donut has plenty to keep her amused at home. She’s the proud owner of a gorgeous three-tiered carpeted cat condo, which sits in prime New York real estate right by a big window. From the middle level she has a perfect view out to the pigeons landing on the sill, and of everything going on in the apartment. Though so far a little reluctant to venture to the top level, no doubt with time Donut will make her way up a notch for an even more expansive view of her kingdom. Toys-wise, Donut has it all, including the usual assortment of mice, a brightly-colored soft candy corn, and even a plush 1-train logo she chases around like a soccer ball. A favorite plaything is a life-size furry rat, very appropriate for New York City. Donut likes to grab it tight with her arms, pull it into her belly, then furiously paddle-kick at it with her legs, a most entertaining thing to watch!
Sometimes, Donut’s mom will let her have a supervised wander in the hallway outside their apartment. Whilst she hasn’t made it up or down stairs, she does like to explore the landing, getting a tiny taste of the outside world. Other than this, Donut is a homebody who enjoys resting in the living room watching ‘cat TV’ and hanging out with mom, who laughs at her every time she gets up to find where the squirrels have disappeared behind the screen. At a recent viewing of The Lion King Donut was incredibly intrigued by the cat-shaped silhouettes; this goes to show felines do recognize one another as such!
Eating and sleeping are of course two favorite pastimes for cats. In addition to daily servings of scrumptious chicken and salmon wet food, Donut has an auto feeder which spits out snacks at opportune moments, so she doesn’t go hungry. This helps with her sensitive stomach, as it’s better for her to munch on small amounts throughout the day rather than have only one of two hefty helpings. She does work up an appetite though, so sometimes will wolf down her meal too quickly and promptly bring it right back up. This is no fun for mom, who has a bit of a ‘sickth sense’ about Donut throwing up so will try to maneuver her away from rugs and furniture if she suspects something is about to happen . . .
Though, with her slender arms and nicely proportioned body, Donut evokes elegance and grace, she’s actually also somewhat clumsy. Attempts at chasing pigeons situated on the other side of the window have led to crash landings, as have missed leaps onto the A/C and repeated instances of falling asleep too close to the edge of the radiator, resulting in Donut simply sliding off the side of it. This of course causes her to wake up with a start, but five minutes later she’s back there, fast asleep, warming her body against the smooth wood.
In the evening, after zooming around the apartment to burn off some energy, and giving her cat condo a good scratch, Donut will mellow out and find a suitable location to zonk for the night. When she was a little fatter, she slept fully on her back, but now a favorite spot is splayed out in the middle of the carpet. Lucky Donut also has some beautiful velveteen blankets to lie on. She enjoys giving these a good kneading, as cats do, to exercise her claws (‘making Donuts’, as her mom calls this).
It’s no wonder Donut’s mom is so devoted to kitties. She runs her own cat home décor business and Donut is her muse. From fun cat-butt cushions to stunning line art drink coasters, Donut’s apartment is decorated with pretty items celebrating our enchanting feline friends. Mom takes a great deal of inspiration from Donut, and especially enjoys gazing at her serene facial expressions and miniature, perfectly rounded ‘bubble paws’ (though it’s look don’t touch, or this might invite a swipe). Like other cool cats, Donut even has her own Instagram account – check her out at @austinwood.shop.
With a life that’s peaceful, happy, and fun, Donut has it all. She’s made herself perfectly at home with her mom, whether snuggling on her lap in front of the TV, getting her bi-weekly brushing, or waiting patiently from a comfy bench whilst mom takes a shower or does some cooking.
Donut – our neighborhood ‘Queen of Cozy’ enjoying life one sweet day at a time.
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