Tootsie (a rescued “typey” Maine Coon)

This is an update on Tootsie, a rescued, polydactyl Maine Coon who has been described as “typey”. That cat breeders’ word means that she looks the way a Maine Coon should look. In other words, Tootsie is a genuine purebred Maine Coon, the salt of the earth American barn cat mouser turned show cat. She lives with Valley Girl in Atlanta, USA. Valley Girl (an internet name shortened to “VG”) has a blog about cats and other things that is a sub-domain of PoC. “Sub-domain” means it is a part of PoC but a free standing website at the same time.

Tootsie a typey rescued Maine Coon photos by Vallegy Girl
Tootsie a typey rescued Maine Coon. Photos by Valley Girl.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

VG is a science lecturer who likes her photography. She is more used to SLR cameras. SLR stands for “single lens reflex”. This comes from the old days of film. The term is still used. You look through the lens via an eyepiece, a pentaprism and a mirror.

Tootsie is quite a well known cat on the internet. If you google “polydactyl maine coon” you’ll probably see a couple of pictures by VG of Tootsie at the top of page one. Great. One of the pictures illustrates an article on a cat’s sense of touch, which I wrote years ago.

Tootsie’s coat is described as “silver patched tabby”. Tabby is the best for Maine Coons as it is the way they looked 400 years ago. It makes them look more like barn cats. We know that Maine Coons have a predisposition towards polydactylism. Some people say this is because the original Maine Coons were long haired ship’s cats from Europe and sailors selected cats with polydactyl feet because they believed they were better seafarers. The extra toes making them better on deck.

I’ll finish with a few quotes by VG on Tootsie from her Flickr webpages and her website. Tootsie is a pretty active cat and she has a good turn of speed:

..I clocked her on one long stretch about a week ago- well it was a “guesstimate”, but she was moving at ~ 25 mph…

VG found Tootsie online:

I found her online, via a local cat rescue charity. Uh, this was the photo they posted….And, the description was not exactly encouraging either- shy, needs patient person, etc. But, she is a purebred Maine coon, and I’ve long been fascinated by tales of the Maine coon. She was put into rescue because her owner became ill, and could no longer care for her.

Here is the picture of Tootsie as advertised by the rescue center.

Tootsie, purebred Maine Coon at rescue facility waiting to be adopted by VG.
Tootsie, purebred Maine Coon at rescue facility waiting to be adopted by VG.

I’ll let VG make a comment to fill in some blanks that I have no doubt left. Associated page: American Polydactyl Cat.

21 thoughts on “Tootsie (a rescued “typey” Maine Coon)”

  1. Hi Valley Girl nice to meet you!
    Well she is beautiful no doubt and you can definitely tell she’s a girl; very pretty! Took me ages to read this as I was in and out of all the links but I have to say I have fallen for King Louie he was amazing I love the video of him groomung the dog and the one of him doing the same to his dad! He seems to have lived before that fella! He has such presence! I feel for his family he must’ve left a huge gap in their lives after his passing in 2009 have heard how they are doing a few years on? Did they get another Maine Coon? He reminds me of AJ from Rusti Blu who is the ‘Uncle of everyone’ he is huge and we were overwhelmed when we met him! He is probably a similar size and weight to King Louie. You can meet him here

    This is where our Ozzie came from although previously all our cats have been rescues and strays. We tried to get a rescue however all the cats on the Maine Coon rescue websites were outdoor cats and we have a main road so this didn’t happen.

    I really enjoyed reading all your blogs and now you’ve retired I look forward to more. I only met one Polydactyl cat but I think they look sweet like cats with mittens or thumbs!

    • HI Leah, nice to meet you too. I checked out the link for the cattery. The gallery has some really fun and sweet pictures. And lovely cats. I saw an Ozzie- gorgeous black MC- I assume that is your Ozzie, although owner names are not “Leah”. I’d love to see more pix of Ozzie, although I understand from photographer friends that black cats are really tough to photograph.

      I let Tootsie go outside, but don’t leave her out when I’m not home. I live in a condo complex that is an extraordinarily safe location for many many reasons. And Tootsie “knows” that she can only venture into the area immediately near my condo. She’s really a shy cat still, and runs at the sight or sound of humans or human activity. Plus, contrary to some cats, she comes in when she’s called. And more lately recognizes my “tap tap tap” on the patio door as the “come in” signal. So, I know she’s not straying very far from home.

      In the place I lived previously, just a few miles away, (before I adopted Tootsie) I would have not let her go outside.

      I read in a scientific study that tracked various cats that female cats establish much smaller outside “territories” than do male cats- irrc correctly about 1/4 the area. So that in itself might make it safer to allow females outdoor.

      Apparently Tootsie does go to visit the patio on a nearby condo, where “Garfield” (neutered male tabby) lives. And occasionally I see Garfield on my patio. Garfield’s human and I joke about their budding romance, although we haven’t caught them together, yet.

      About King Louie- yeah, still tears me up to watch those videos. I haven’t talked to snowmom in a while, but at least at the time they weren’t ready to get another MC. Those kitties can be heart breakers. I saw your comments on the blog post, and thanks! Yes, sometimes that special cat appears at the right time.

      As for polydactyls, Tootsie is the only poly I’ve met in person. But, having looked at a lot of poly pix, it seems that there are different variations in the number and shape of the toes. It’s hard to tell which of these are adaptive i.e. advantageous just from pictures. Tootsie’s front paws have an obvious “thumb” (extra digit), but the other part looks pretty much like a regular paw. She definitely uses her thumb and paws to pick up objects in a way that a non-poly couldn’t. I have reason to suspect that her polypaws are also quite useful in capturing prey… but that’s another story. Except I should add that she doesn’t kill her prey, and brings them in as “gifts”, very much alive, and intact.


      • Hello again yes thats our Ozzie however we got him off Tracey and Nick. He’s fully grown now and yes he’s amazing and very spoiled! I’m not good with the photo posting so when I get chance I’ll ask Michael if he will post some photo’s either that or I will email them to you if you’re happy for Michael to send me your email address.

        I think you are correct sometimes its not easy to photograph Black cats because its quite difficult to capture the detail.

        • HI Leah,

          Best send them to Michael, b/c I’m still suffering from the demands of my “day job” and get overwhelmed with that.

          I’ve posted a lot of Tootsie photos on flickr- Michael’s a flickr member too. It doesn’t eclipse POC, of course, and has a different purpose. You might consider joining. As things have transpired, I’ve made friends with various people from all over (well mostly US, Canada, England, Scotland, Wales and France) who have Maine coons. Although flickr is a photo site, it’s also a social site. I certainly don’t know all of the people who post pix of their Maine coons, but among the people I “know” virtually, we are kind of a “Maine coon” family. Nothing exclusive about it, and no need to be an expert photographer. It’s fun share our Maine coon tales.

    • HI Leah, I just tried to leave a response to your comment (below) on my tka post. For some reason, I couldn’t get it to “take”. Not sure what’s up. I’ll have to get Michael’s help.

      ~Hi Leah, thanks for your comment. Yes, I think there is something to what you say about the right cat at the right time. I left you a longer and related comment at POC.~


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