Two-Faced Tessa in the Garden

Tessa came to live with us in the most round-about way. She stowed her wee self into the battery compartment of Mike’s Tessla. We’ll never know how she got there, and it was a production getting her out, but after that ordeal, she was here to stay. We were not in the market for a third cat and certainly not a kitten, but as John Lennon said: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

Tessa's portal

Tessa lounging in her kitty portal

Tessa turns three this May.  She’s affectionate when it suits her in the most endearing way. Our sweet tortie climbs on your chest and looks into your eyes, before tucking in her chin and producing a raspy, satisfied purr. We adore her!

Tessa near the rocks

Tessa near the rock wall

Tessa spends her time prowling the compost bin for rats, chasing squirrels and play-fighting with Mouse the Cat, aka, Bubba. He’s more than twice her age and close to double her weight, but they go at it like a pair of kittens.

Tessa in the garden

We call this “the look”

When Tessa first arrived, a steady stream of friends stopped by, intrigued by her unusual markings. Eventually, I created a Two-Faced Tessa The Cat Facebook Page and my son set up an account for her on Instagram as twofacedtessa.  My son attends university several hundred miles away so the updates naturally dwindled, but the pics he posted in the early years are delightful.

Tessa in the fruit tree

Tessa in the fruit tree

I hope her sweet face cheers you as you go about your day.

Tessa in the sun rear view

Tessa on her own terms

Here is a gallery of some of our favorite pics:

37 thoughts on “Two-Faced Tessa in the Garden

  1. What a cute baby picture especially! One of our other ‘used’ cats is similar, but not as drastic in markings facially. The face and feet are whiter on one side, and the other is dark–grey, black, brown. I just don’t have photos, but wish I did–I’m rather lowtech in that regard. If I figure out how to put one up, I’ll show you.

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    • If you use Facebook, you can post your kittie’s picture on Tessa’s page. I love all your “used kitties”, Donnalee. That expression cracks me up. We have one from the humane society, Tessa the stowaway, and a neighborhood cat that didn’t get what he needed at home so he moved in with us.

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      • Nope, I don’t use fb. It’s great you have a few cats. We had five for many years until they passed in the last few years from old age (mostly about 18 years old each). We have the three now, gotten all the same time from the local place. The one girl who looked like this one was there for over six months, alone in a cage right at the front door, and everyone just came in, went past her because she didn’t appeal to them, and that was it. Her sibling had been adopted by somebody else, so she was completely left on her own and very sad and grumpy, having lost everything–home, family. It has taken her a while to get happier, and she still hisses at the boys a lot, but will also go to sleep in the same bed with them if I am there. It’s working out, but they all have cat PTSD.

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        • You are a good soul rescuing all those cats. I worked with a feral cat for a year before she would even come inside. Her first reaction was to bite first. I later discovered she couldn’t hear so that explained a lot. She ended up sitting on my healing foot for weeks after surgery back in 2015. It was really something. I miss her.

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          • Sorry for your loss. I miss my cats who passed on too, since they were with me for so very long–some were born into my hands, some used from the humane society. One of my girls was half-feral, long-haired and gorgeous and ready to kill you as soon as look at you, although she eventually loved me and would climb all over me and purr. It had to be on her terms though. We moved out of a place that had become bad–drug dealers on the floor below–and as I tried to get her into the cat carrier to move, she bit me to the bones in three fingers. I screamed but kept going and we were able to bring her safely with us, but I was in the hospital a few days later with unusable hands.

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  2. I remember your post about finding her. She is a beautiful cat and it always make me happy to see her. Give her a snuggle for me. Our cat, Fluffy, died a few years ago of bladder
    cancer and I miss her.

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  3. Goodness has it been almost three years already! Cats have such a way of ensuring they find the right place to be then attending to life in that place entirely on their own terms. Tessa’s look is so unusual and she is so smart – I remain convinced she knew exactly what she was doing that day she wedged herself inside Mikes car. 🙂 I’m glad to hear she and Mouse are still rough and tumbling – god knows he needs the exercise 😀

    Whenever you tell the story of Tessa I always think of our big white character cat Gullie (Gulliver – for his travels, that’s a whole story) who chose us, moved into a flower pot at the front door and stayed there, gradually wearing down my resistance (I already had three cats back then) and then tricking me by pretending to be passed out to get into the house. I always knew that once in he wouldn’t leave………. He was a swaggerer, a ‘bovver boy’ and he adopted D’s kitten and taught him how to hunt and how to swagger and how to be a Real Cat! The stories I could tell about those two!

    Siddy will be 6 (!) in four days – now that’s six years that have disappeared in a puff of smoke! This means that five years ago we were spending time together in DC and Virginia………

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  4. I remember when she arrived; she’s certainly grown up a lot from that wide-eyed kitten. Remember when we discovered she was a chimera, which is why her face is half-and-half? Two cats for the price of one 🙂

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  5. Pauline is right, Tessa knew the right place to get trapped in! I have probably told you my theory of the Central Committee of Cats, but I am going to tell it to you again….When I was thinking about getting a cat, i noticed that there was an increased number of cats around, looking in the front gate, walking along the fence. I made up my mind that it was the Central Committee of Cats, checking me out to make sure I was a suitable cat person. Lo and behold a week later there was a notice in the school newsletter announcing kittens free to a good home. I ended up taking home two of them!

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  6. Tessa is something special, must be if you manage to find your way under the bonnet (hood for other countries) of a car…and wow amazing facial colouring, not even a blurred line as far as I can see…

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  7. Well I’m almost sure Tessa has cat-tuition because she landed herself in the most loving home. I can’t believe she’s already three 😀 Look how tiny she was when she arrived (in style). It’s so nice for your kitties to have the garden to roam. I bet Mouse is living his second childhood (kittenhood) with this young thing bouncing around. Glad she’s such good company too. I’ve be lucky to have cuddly cats but I’ve met some that prefer to be left well alone. Ours are both sleep off their supper 😀 They’re so angelic when they’re sleeping LOL xo

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    • They are angelic when they sleep. Mous is snoring next to me on a soft blanket. He “survived” his monthly flea treatment and all has been forgiven. I hope you’re enjoying happy craftroom days now that you have a break from the store. I hope those gals are doing okay. I worry about all the small businesses as they struggle to get through this. xo

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      • It’s actually nice to be at home. I’m getting all kinds of things done AND playing in my craft room 👌🏻hehehe. We have an online store and new product is still coming in. They’re at the store daily picking orders and will deliver in Edmonton or mail for free if you spend $25. or more which isn’t too hard to do. We have customers all over Canada, so hopefully, being that we can’t go to a store, folks will visit on-line. We needed the basics yesterday, bread, milk, eggs…so I put on all the gear (two sets of plastic gloves) and went to Safeway. It took 2 hours because I wanted to give people lots of space so waited till no one was at the bread, no one at the milk…etc. But I was happy to see everyone being very respectful and social distancing. The checkout has red tape on the floor every 8 feet to be in line and they totally clean off the belt and payment pad between every customer. How are things in CA? xo

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        • I’m so happy to hear things are going well at the store. It’s great to be able to switch to online orders so nimbly. I hope with the money they save on wages they can make enough to stay afloat. Nina is doing the same thing, curbside pick up, delivery within 15 miles and online. She’s also hosting a couple of giveaways and doing challenges on her Facebook page. She’s running the store and homeschooling four boys now that the schools are closed. I can’t even imagine. We started a county-level shelter in place three weeks ago, then it became state-wide two weeks ago. Can you beleive Florida is only NOW telling people to stay home. As of today, they have a similar number of Covid19 cases as California, but with half the population. It’s so fool-hardy and terribly sad that a certain group of peole won’t take this seriously or act like it’s a hoax.

          Today’s stats: Over the last seven days, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Santa Clara County has increased by 90.6 percent.

          According to updated data released by the Public Health Department on Friday, 1,094 people in the Bay Area’s most populated county have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, an increase in 75 cases since Thursday. Drearie!

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    • Ha! Her expertise lies in swatting pieces to the floor and then jumping down to collect them. She’s a good puzzle-warmer too, though Mouse has her beat in that department. Once he decides to spread his ample girth accross the puzzle, the jig is up.

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  8. My goodness! Three years!!! It’s hard to believe. She is so beautiful and so obviously appreciative of who she chose to be her family. Happy 3rd year to Tessa. She is quite photogenic. It’s like she knows she is famous. Hope you are all doing well there. Sending big squishy hugs.

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  9. I remember the tale of the kitty captured in the car! She is really unusual looking with that symmetrical split. It idid cheer me, but so did the looks of your garden. Lovely already.

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    • Wow! That is an impressive number of co-habitating cats. We came close to having six once. The strays and misfits just kept arriving at the door. Four officially lived here and the other two spent time and ate meals along the way. We’re down to three now. It’s a comfortable number for our time and space and the assorted cat personalities. Thank you for rescuing all those kitties.

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