September 7, 2022
The Atlantic Kitten Paw shell is my first favorite shell from the Gulf Coast. I say first favorite because they are all my favorites, it was just lucky enough to be the first shell that caught my eye with its finger-like colorful variegations wrapping around it like a cute little package…. that I immediately wanted to put in my pocket.
The Plicatula Gibbosa, or kitten paw shell is a bivalve that I find commonly on the beaches of Florida’s Gulf coast, its habitat is anywhere from the low tide line to 300 feet in depth. It is a mini version of the lion's paw shell, one of its larger family members, and comes from a small bivalve family with only 16 species across the globe. The kitten paw varies in color depending on its age and fossilization. Shades of orange and brown, grey, and white decorate the striated shell to create its eye-catching pattern.
The kitten paw has flair, it makes great coastal decor from seahorses to flower petals and is a great filler on my beach hearts. My artist eye looks at it and thinks that I need to collect hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of these little guys at a time for my artwork. My eyes focus on only them and next thing you know my bag is full and I feel fat and happy like I just finished a holiday meal. Leaving the beach my mind and soul are refreshed and filled with lots of ideas.
PSA: It is never ok to collect live shells. Just don't do it. It's illegal and detrimental to the ecosystem that already has enough problems… its also bad juju and nobody needs that in their life✌️🧜🏼♀️