Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

May 9, 2013

Townsman's Top Pets

Twin `torties' a natural pair

The Andover Townsman

---- — Pet lovers are nothing if not passionate. And that holds especially true for Townsman readers. So we want to give Andover’s favorite “Towns-Pets” their due.

We’ll be spotlighting the top dogs and cats — not to mention fish, birds, hamsters, chickens and maybe even some snakes and turtles, too — as a regular feature in The Townsman.

Readers are encouraged to submit a photo of their pets, with or without their owners, along with a brief description of them and what makes them so special. We’ll pick one top pet a week to feature as often as we can.

Townsman reporter Dustin Luca kicks things off this week with his “tortie twins.” Athena and Shy, who are believed to be about 13 weeks old, were adopted at the end of March by Luca and his wife, Stephanie. The two fur kids were a Christmas gift from Luca’s parents, following the death of his 18-year-old cat from natural causes last December. Luca’s parents paid for their adoptions in full at the MSPCA’s Nevins Farm adoption center in Methuen.

Predominantly female, tortoiseshell cats, or torties, get their name from the coloring of their fur coat, which weaves black, white and orange tones together.

Athena, known for her brazen, warrior-like mentality, and Shy, named for her quiet personality, together with their mother, were surrendered by a household in Lawrence. They were the only kittens in the litter, Luca said, so the decision to adopt Athena and Shy as a pair did more than put them in a better home — it kept the tortie twins together for life.

Nominations for Townsman’s Top Pets can be emailed to