A Portrait of Potato #sol22 20/31

Officially her name is Sweet Potato, but we call her Potato. Unlike our other cats, she hasn’t accrued nicknames. A friend suggested Tater or Tot, but my husband said no. Sometimes it’s Potatoa, pronounced like Krakatoa, and precisely because she too can erupt with the chaotic energy of a volcano.

(shaved calves from surgery)

She is a tiny six pounds (and one pound of that may be tail)–all of it wild. She leaps into the sink while you’re washing dishes. She races down the stairs in front of you and flattens herself on the very step you’ve got your foot poised above. She scales the walls using the edges of picture frames as her ladder. She thrusts her head into the pan while you’re cooking. She stalks the house scanning floor, walls, ceiling for something to get into.

She is a cat who frequently needs to be saved from herself, but she won’t appreciate your efforts. She squirms and bucks and flounders in your arms, and as soon as you put her down, she tears right back to wherever she was just removed from.

She loves with just as much enthusiasm as she lives. She runs to greet me when I come home from work. She throws herself onto my lap in the evening, her whole body vibrating with purrs, and stretches her paws to pat my face as I pet her. She wakes my husband a dozen or more times a night ferociously grooming his beard and sticking her feet in his mouth.

Her favorite toys are a spinach leaf (fresh leaves supplied daily) and a pink sock that she dashes around the house carrying while she moans loudly.


My theme for Slice of Life 2022 is finding inspiration in the writing of others. Each day I plan to find my slice in someone else’s words or forms. This post was inspired by Cat Musings at The Journey.






33 responses to “A Portrait of Potato #sol22 20/31”

  1. evarkaplan Avatar

    This slice must be turned into a picture book! How can it not? It’s a perfect theme for a series! I am not a cat lover, but this cat is something special!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      She is such a delight. Even as we’re yelling “Potato!” we’re also grumbling, “Good thing she’s so sweet.”

  2. Juliana Ellington Avatar
    Juliana Ellington

    Three cheers for a picture book about Potato!!! This is a great portrait and covers her personality so well. She really is a very special cat.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I originally had a much longer slice drafted with her origin story but I cut all of that.

  3. carwilc Avatar

    What a character!!! So much energy!!! I love her!!! And I don’t even really like cats that much! I agree with previous commenters, this could be a picture book.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I wish I could snap a photo of her with the pink sock. It’s as big as she is! She pauses for just a moment and dashes off again, though, so I never capture it.

  4. Natasha Avatar

    I love reading about your cats! The details you choose convey so much love for them that the reader can’t help but also fall in love.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      That’s such a lovely comment! They provide such good material and also invite me to observe more closely.

  5. Book Dragon Avatar

    What a character! She must bring you so much joy.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      She is so full of joy herself.All of my other cats seem to experience a variety of moods, but Potato is unique in seeming always happy.

  6. jarhartz Avatar

    Oh those eyes! I love, love her. The wildness of her tail and joy. And I love your portrait of her. A picture book would be amazing.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      To me, her eyes always look like she’s about to spring up the wall–which is exactly what she’s probably thinking. She has a very expressive tail that does quite a bit of communicating.

  7. Amanda Potts Avatar

    I love Potato – though she sounds like handful. And this, of course, makes me wonder how Chipotle is doing…

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      She is certainly a handful. So much cat, as we often say. Chipotle is very fond of her. She often crawls right on top of him to nap and he doesn’t mind at all. (He is purring in my lap right this moment!)

      1. Amanda Potts Avatar

        Give them both an extra rub from me 🥰

  8. arjeha Avatar

    She is one beautiful cat. So full of life. She is definitely a bundle of energy. I can see her running around, climbing, jumping, helping you cook. We have a cat that acts in a very similar way.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I wouldn’t want more than one like her because she is A LOT, but she’s a delightful companion, even though she’s always up to something.

  9. Terje Avatar

    Those eyes! What a personality. Potato in Estonian is Kartul.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I love knowing that! Kartul would also be a cute name for a cat!

  10. […] Today’s post is inspired by Elisabeth Ellington’s wonderful Portrait of Potato. […]

  11. Melanie White Avatar

    Oh my, I was cooing at the pictures and the eyes of Potato (nothing like eyes of potatoes) are beautiful.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      She certainly looks wild and alert in nearly all of her photos! She is busy taking in the world.

  12. Natalie Dunne Avatar

    She sounds like a fun little kitty! So cute!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      She is so much fun–a handful–but so lively.

  13. Trina Avatar

    Sweet Potato sounds fun and a whole lot of personality! Our Emma is just a bit bigger than she is at nearly 7 lbs.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I didn’t realize Emma is so tiny!

      1. Trina Avatar

        She is. Apparently she has always been this way. The kittens are so much bigger than she is!

  14. karpenglish Avatar

    I love her facial expressions in your pictures, and how she always looks surprised. I am also dying at her running around with a spinach leaf. 😂 She would have fun (and much troublemaking) with our Savannah kitty. She has not yet confiscated any spinach, but she loves to carry her floppy bird all around the house, moaning and purring. Aliza and Potato could argue about which had the best toy.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      They would have so much fun together. The house might be in pieces after they were done though. Potato is very much a “notice what other cats are doing and do it too” kind of cat. Long before she could actually jump to the places where the big cats go, she was trying to make the leap.

      1. karpenglish Avatar

        Yeah, the house would be in pieces, and my cat would definitely teach her many bad things, like trying to jump six feet up to the top of my grandparents’ china cabinet. She’s absolutely fearless and extremely curious, which is an interesting combination.

  15. livinglife816287820 Avatar

    What a cat, what personality and sass! She sounds both a delight and exhausting. I love her.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      That describes her very well! We often say that when she’s no longer kittenish, she’s going to be the world’s best cat. She just needs to take a tiny bit of the edge off to be perfect!

  16. Susan Kennedy Avatar
    Susan Kennedy

    Rum Tum Tugger is a curious cat. 😺

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