Friday, October 24, 2008

"Yum-O! Delish! Pass the EVOO!"

Thanks for tuning in to KITT-FM, where it's all kittens, all the time. And now, heeeeere's your hostess - broadcasting live from our studios in Purrbank, Cat-ifornia - Mother Catresa!

Hi folks!

To all of you culinary enthusiasts out there like me, you'll recognize this post's title and say, "Ah, yes - Rachael Ray!"

And how, you ask, does this pertain to kittens? Rachael Ray is not only a celebrity chef, but a boomerang kitten (now adult) from one of last year's litters who moved back to Mother Catresa's sanctuary this week for a temporary refuge. She joins Darius, who is cooling his white heels in the next-door upstairs room, as my second foster child to move back home after being adopted out. These two alumni from MC's Class of 2007 have fallen on hard times, and Mom-Mom is here to help, and keep them from languishing in a back-room shelter cage for a long period, as they await a space on the adoption floor. Then, with kittens as competition, they may wait an awful lot longer.

And besides, this kitten-aholic is having kitten withdrawals, as I wrote about in my last post. Having my grown babies come home again helps me through detox! (Can I have a sobriety chip?)

Rachael Ray - a stunningly beautiful, long-haired tortoiseshell who is very sweet and friendly - faced a cat in her adoptive home who, even after a year, just wouldn't accept her. So, the poor dear - barely a year old - lost her home and came back to the shelter. Her life is just beginning, but once the babyness of kittenhood wears off, felines become adult cats in adopters' eyes, and usually don't go home nearly as quickly as their baby counterparts. Sadly, cats are often seen as yesterday's newspapers, once that very brief baby phase passes. Still, Rachael Ray is so beautiful and nice, that I think she won't wait long once she leaves my home again.

Miss RR, being the glamorous and sophisticated lady that she is, has brought a lot of joy to my life in the few days I've had her; I think I'm even minding my cooking skills more, so I make more "delish" foods! Ha! I think she is thrilled to have a spacious room to herself, even though she's isolated up there most of the day. It sure beats a holding cage in the back room.

Rachael Ray came from a litter of five kittens - MC's second foster litter ever - with chef names. There were three males - Flay, Puck and Emeril - and a seemingly twin tortie sister, Clemmy. I had them this time last year. I wonder if she has any memory of me, her room, and her littermates at all? I hope so; it should make our bond and her stay more meaningful and comforting to her.

So, I now have my own three cats, plus two more upstairs, for a grand total of five. But don't you dare raise those eyebrows too high - during kitten season, the feline population under my roof can reach double digits!

And by the way, for the record, I like Rachael Ray the chef, as well as the cat. What is the deal with all those RR haters out there? If you're reading this, take this: "Get over yourself!"

Altogether now: Yum-O!!!

Until next time, I remain,

Mother Catresa
Patron Saint of Homeless Felines
(and the "smitten kitten")

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Jonesin' for cat-caine

Thanks for tuning in to KITT-FM, where it's all kittens, all the time. And now, heeeeeere's your hostess - broadcasting live from our studios in Purrbank, Cat-ifornia - Mother Catresa!

Hi folks!

My name is Kellie. And I'm a kitten-aholic.

Alright, go ahead and say it. You know you want to. "Hi, Kellie!"

My last kitten was four days ago, and I'm jonesing, big time. But, one day at a time, right? And hey, doesn't that qualify me for some kind of sobriety chip?

Butter "Butthead" Pecan came around rather quickly and went back to the shelter on Sunday. Much to my sadness, I've been told that I've probably fostered the last of this year's kittens. Not only are we on the "tail" end of kitten season, but we are so full, that unless the humane department brings new ones in, we're probably done.

Sniff, sniff. And crave, crave. I'm having kitten withdrawals. It is nice to take a break every now and then - I can get more stuff done - but, I sure miss having those sweet, playful and cuddly furballs around the house. They are a natural buzz and high. And I need a cocaine - er, cat-caine - fix, now! I admit it: I'm a full-blown kitten junkie.

As many of my readers and friends know, I have struggled with addictions throughout my life, the worst and most treacherous of which were alcohol and nicotine. I am happy to say that both of those things are in the past, though it's still a stuggle sometimes. I definitely have an addictive personality, and I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing. So long as it's a healthy addiction, like kittens, and it doesn't overtake and eclipse everything else in your life by going to extremes, why not enjoy being really into and passionate about something?

Still, something tells me that I should start a 12-step program for kitten addiction. Let Mother Catresa ponder this one, and follow up with a later post.

And just like there's "near-beer" - like my non-alcoholic O'Doul's - do you think there's a non-kitten-aholic kitten substitute?

I don't know. But, as they said in those AA meetings I used to attend, "With that, I'll pass."

Until next time, I remain,

Mother Catresa
Patron Saint of Homeless Felines
(and the "smitten kitten")

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Butthead Pecan

Thanks for tuning in to KITT-FM, where it's all kittens, all the time. And now - broadcasting live from our studios in Purrbank, Cat-ifornia - heeeeeere's your hostess, Mother Catresa!

Hi folks!

My boy is baaaaaack - that little stinker from my ice cream litter, Butter Pecan. "Butthead Pecan," as I'm now calling him, needs some remedial socialization courses, unlike his friendly littermates, who will probably be on the adoption floor at Animal Friends by the end of today. He still hisses, spits and runs from me.

Yet, just like my Gormly Girl (G.G.) - my namesake kitten who came to me last December, and I ended up adopting - once the littermates were gone and the kitty had no felines to cling to, there was an immediate improvement. He must be desperately lonely for his fellow kittens - that BP actually cracked a purr, for the very first time, in my arms last night! What d'ya know? And, Butthead Pecan is quite happy to romp and play if you have a cat teaser toy. But the problem with him is, if you approach him to touch him, he hisses and takes off, and zips around the room like an annoying fly. And he is darn hard to catch - I think, from all the rushing, bending and crawling, I'm going to end up with an orthopedic injury!

I plan to spend intensive time every day with BP for the next week or so, and hopefully, I'll get him to the point where he actually comes to me for petting. At this point, though, I'd be happy if he just stopped fleeing me when I reach out to him.

Every time Butthead Pecan gives me cat-titude and hisses, I groan and say something like, "Oh, we're back to that again, are we? Listen, buddy, the longer you keep this up, the longer you're stuck here with me!"

As if he understood, right? If only I could explain things to them. Maybe he gets the idea from my tone, who knows?

Now, as I've said before, I seem to see kitten-related analogies and connections in everything - and I experienced the perfect example yesterday when I went out on an assignment to write a story about Sugar & Spice Ice Cream Parlour. It's a cute, '50s-style, retro soda fountain and ice cream parlour. (Ice cream? I'm seeing a very current kitten connection already, aren't you?)

I sat down with the owners, a twin brother-and-sister duo, and asked them to name some of their customers' favorite flavors out of the 100-plus homemade hard ice cream flavors they make. Some of the top five were - no kidding - Butter Pecan and Cookie Dough!!! Ah, the two males in my litter.

"Oh, I've just got to tell you this story," I said, grinning. The owners eyed me curiously, wondering what was coming next.

"I foster kittens for an animal shelter," I said. They looked at me with intrigued expressions that said, "And you're telling me this because ....?)"

"Oh, there's an ice cream connection, see," I said. "All of the kittens had ice cream names - and two were named after your top flavors - Cookie Dough and Butter Pecan!"

How sweet, they said.

Yes, it sure was.

I sampled some of their favorite Ho-Ho ice cream before I left, and it was delicious. It got me thinking: how about a Hostess litter of kittens? With a Ho-Ho, Ding-Dong, Twinkie, Suzy Q, Donette and Sno Ball?

Shelter staff - are you listening? That's food for thought.

Until next time, I remain,

Mother Catresa
Patron Saint of Homeless Felines
(and the "smitten kitten")

Monday, October 6, 2008

Sweet treats, sweet hearts and stinky butts

We now return to KITT-FM, where it's all kittens, all the time. And now, heeeere's your hostess - broadcasting live from our studios in Purrbank, Cat-ifornia - Mother Catresa!

Hi folks!

Sadly, my ice cream feast is coming to an end. Tonight, when I get home from work, I am packing up my five darling ice cream kittens and taking them back to the shelter, where they will be spayed and neutered on Tuesday. But I get one of them back for awhile - Butter Pecan, the one who doesn't like people very much. He is returning to me for a remedial socialization course, until he's adoptable.

Neopalitan and Spumoni - the two long-haired, poofy girls - are friendly, bubbly little things. So is Rocky Road, the gray and white shorthair who looks like my cat Dharma. And Cookie Dough - aaaawww, that sweet little angel. He is very shy, but when you pick him up, he just melts into your arms and snoozes and cuddles like a little cherub. The little orangey-buff shorthaired kitty is just so gentle and cuddly.

And then, good 'ole Butter Pecan. This guy needs a lot of work, and now, he'll be stuck with just me, sans littermates, until he comes around. He is another orangey-buff male who hisses and runs when you approach him, and squirms like crazy if you actually catch him. I have some battle scars on my hands from trying to medicate him. But interestingly, once I have him firmly scruffed and subdued, he actually stills, and dozes in my arms for awhile. The poor thing is probably exhausted from putting up such a fight in trying to flee me. When he wakes up from his little nap, he looks up at me with an "Aaaaack! You!" look on his face, and splits in a huff.

Please pray that Mother Catresa can turn this little stinker around into an adoptable kitty.

On another note, I have solved the mystery of the feline butt-bombing phenomenon that I blogged about in my last post ("Doin' the Butt ..."). One of the shelter staffers put it to me this way: "Did you not know that offering one's bum means 'I love you' in kitty-ese?"

Um, no, I didn't, but I do now. And that makes sense. These things often happen during a petting session, after all.

"It's one of the finer pleasures in life," the worker continued facetiously, as we both laughed.

Well, I guess life is all a matter of perception, and how you look at it, right? Funny, though - that nasty thing shoved in front of my face still looks and smells an awful lot like a plain, simple cat butt.

Still, I must be touched and flattered by this expression of affection. It's also an act of "Hello, it's me!" feline marking, since cats have pheromone-filled glands back there. But they don't do that, apparently, if they don't dig you.

So, I'll say it: Thank you, Dharma, Rum-Tum and G.G., for exposing your intimate selves to me, and expressing your undying affection for your mom-mom.

I love you, too.

And I'm darn tootin' glad you're not human. You couldn't even pull that one off at a bar.

Until next time, I remain,

Mother Catresa
Patron Saints of Homeless Felines
(and the "smitten kitten")