December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

Disclaimer: What you are about to see contains images of cute fluffy kitties. It has nothing to do with appliqué, so be warned if you must. Welcome to the Second Annual Cavalcade of Kittens!

In May, the Mackenzie Finishing School for Felines opened its doors for the season. Through mid-December, Dana and I took care of seven consecutive groups of underage foster kittens for the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter, 19 little balls of fur all told.

The kitties we take in are big enough to eat on their own, generally five to six weeks old, and we keep them until they’re at least eight weeks, two pounds, and in good body condition. It’s so much fun, and so rewarding to watch them grow from teensy little klutzes to sturdy healthy pre-teens who run thumping and banging around the house.

I’ll let you know right now, so that you don’t wonder or worry, that each and every one of the kittens you are about to see has gone back to the shelter, been found by someone who fell in love with them, and adopted into a forever home.

fleasOur first batch of the year. Three black ones just like the first group last year. They were pretty scrappy looking the day they arrived.

Three more fleas.Velvet, Cricket, and Bennett. They got along fine with Willie, in fact they even invaded his crate.


Cricket was an especially friendly and snuggly kitty. She liked Willie.

Watch the personal space dude

She even helped me sew.

I help you sew that.

The second group were Bailey, Kelly, and Sweet Pea.

New Klingons on the block.

Willie tried to give them lessons on back-of-the-sofa protocol, but Bailey wasn’t paying attention in class that day.

The Klingon-eating sofa.

I'm sinking!

Watching them play and fight is hilarious, and the poses we find them in make us laugh. Had the baby kitty wars actually done Bailey in? Kelly says, ‘I didn’t do it.’

I didn't do it.

Sweet Pea loves her DirecTV.


And now, gentle readers, it is with great sadness that I must tell you that it was at this point that our darling Willie, aged 16 years and 10 months, left us to go to doggie heaven. Those of you who have been reading this blog for awhile know that he was my heart. Despite all this kitten business, I’m really a dog person and it was Willie who made me that way. Dana too. He enriched our lives for many long years and never had a bad mood in his life. We loved him more than words can say.

Bertram Wilberforce Woofster Mackenzie, 1994 - 2011

Bertram Wilberforce Woofster Mackenzie, 1994 - 2011

It actually helped having kittens around, because the house was not completely empty. If you’d like to learn more about our Willie and his long and wonderful life, please visit his dogblog to read all of his stories.

We called our next group of little cats “The Hooligans” due to their spectacular brash athleticism and fondness for body climbing.


Grady, Teddy and Finley. Sure, they look all sweet now LOL!

Grady was the Head Hooligan.


Finley was Grady’s little Mini Me.


Teddy was much more of a sweetie pie. Here he is whispering kitty nothings into Dana’s ear.


Again with the comical poses. You just never know what you’re going to find.

The Cat On The Hat.


Head plant!


The Itty Bitty Kitty Committee.


Next came two single kittens who were put together for foster. Mookie was an absolute love, a calm, pure, sweet old soul in a little body with big ears.


Buff Daddy (that name courtesy of Dana).


This little buff tiger was not at all certain that he was pleased to be put with another kitten. Mookie was very patient with him, and within a couple days Daddy had forgotten all about it, and it was as if they had known each other all their lives.


The next batch was a litter of four fuzzballs. Two looked like seal-point Himalayan mixes and the other two were long-haired brown tigers.


The Himmies are Cuddles and Petunia, the tigers Button and Rupert. There was never a dull moment with this crew around.

Button and Petunia liked to help me in my studio Here’s Button pointing out a needed edit in my Scrap-Appliqué Playground page proofs, while Petunia prepares for a rear attack.


Petunia and Cuddles both have those gorgeous blue Himalayan eyes.


After the Fab Four came the S’s: Shelby, Spike, and Spencer.


Spencer and Spike were tuxedo cats, Shelby a lynx-point Siamese mix. They were all wonderfully nice little guys… sweet, affectionate, and so happy to be at our home.



By this time, kitten season was starting to wind down, but there were still a couple of singles who could go to foster together. First we got Sassy. She hopped out of the carrier and hopped around the living room like she didn’t have a care in the world. A super confident, friendly, and exceedingly cute little girl full of “tortietude.”

Making sure Dana stays in his chair and does his work.


One informal measure of how big our fosters are getting is whether they can squeeze under the dresser. Sassy still fits!


The next day I picked up Jamie, a black/brown smoke kitty who was full of purrs for people, but unsure of the big wide world. You can see it in his face.


The first time he saw Sassy, you should have seen the stank face! Spit, hiss, oh what a pill he was being! Sweet Sassy kept working on him little by little, and by the time three days had gone by he had totally thawed out, and they were chasing, playing, and hanging out together with ease.

This is the first time Jamie came to settle down by Sassy.


They helped us put up our Christmas tree.


By the time they went back to the shelter, Jamie had blossomed into a playful, friendly, very good-natured little man. He had an instant-on purr motor upon being petted, and this also turned him into a talky cat! He did great at the shelter meeting lots of new friends. Just shows you what foster care can do.

I packed up all the kitten gear and put it away for the season. Sad face. It’ll be a long time until May. But then… what should I discover during my regular shift at the shelter last week, but… three kittens in the hospital ward with sneezy noses! The shelter staff gladly sent them home with me to complete their recuperation from their kitty colds.

I’m back in business! I’m so glad, because otherwise it would have been the first Christmas in 23 years without any animals in the house.


Meet Max, Wylie, and Cullen, our current crew. I don’t know if you can tell, but Wylie is about half the size of the other two. Nobody knows quite why. These guys were dumped off in boxes at a pet store. We don’t know if they’re from the same litter, but it matters not, because they all love each other, everyone, and everything. They’re about the nicest cats EVER.

Little Wylie and big Cullen.


The biggest, Max, with his giant white paws.


These guys are still with us now, helping us open our presents. Thank you so much for putting up with my catblogging. I vow to keep it to once a year! Happiest of holidays to you and yours.

By Kay Mackenzie


16 Responses to “Cavalcade of Kittens”

  1. Joanna on December 25th, 2011 10:08 am

    I love this post. How nice of you and Dana to care for these little lovebugs. Merry Christmas.

  2. Dolores on December 25th, 2011 10:17 am

    I read it all. What a big heart you and Dana have. I’m sorry about your dog but glad that you have been blessed with little furballs to keep you company during the holiday season.

  3. Rachel on December 25th, 2011 11:27 am

    Merry Christmas! So sorry for your puppy loss…LOVE the kitty brigade…How fun!

  4. Debbie St.Germain on December 25th, 2011 5:02 pm

    This post is too cute, love all the kitties, they are all so beautiful and sweet. How fun to be a foster mom and be able to get them ready for adoption.

    I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.


  5. Donna on December 26th, 2011 3:51 am

    I admire you for wanting to foster kitties – I’d want to keep them all!
    I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of Willie. Such a good pet and member of the family.
    Thank you for the kitten tour – enjoyed it immensely. Blessings!

  6. Suzanne on December 26th, 2011 5:31 am

    Pls. don’t apologize for the kitten posts on my account! I love the little guys. Reading this made me want to go out and foster some too, but I don’t know if my 5 could deal with babies. I’m so sorry about your lovely Papillon.

  7. Donna A on December 26th, 2011 5:35 am

    I love cats! We have 4 full grown (now) cats who live here full time. They are all neutered and came from a tiny kitten that came here in the winter of 2007. We felt sorry for her because the snow was deep and she was soooo little. So we opened the garage door a smidgen so she could get in out of the cold and get something to eat. I found her sleeping with the local tom cat in a box of bark that I kept in the garage for fireplace kindling. Needless to say she gifted us with 4 kittens on Mother’s Day; 3 females and 1 male. Knowing full well that this could escalate very quickly, I found homes for most of them as soon as possible. Spooky-Do stayed here and you can probably figure out the rest of the story. Anyway, I think you do a wonderful thing to foster those kittens and can ultimately give them away. It’s hard to love them and give them away.

  8. Mary on December 26th, 2011 6:23 am

    What a nice X-Mas present. Anyone who doesn’t enjoy this post is an old Scrooge.
    I’m sorry about Willy and glad you had some company during this season. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Karin on December 26th, 2011 6:32 am

    What a sweet post – all about love & sharing, what better time than now? My heart goes out to you at the loss of your dear Willy. No words can describe your love or your sadness; just know that so many of us share your pain & sorrow, and we totally understand the love you will always have for him. I still mourn for my pups that have passed, and some of them have been gone for years and years….but they will always be missed.

    I’m so glad you are able to share your love with so many kitties – it seems they have all benefited greatly and now they can share that love with their forever families, and it’s all because you helped them overcome their poor starts in life. You are truly blessed people!

  10. Sue on December 27th, 2011 6:31 am

    Kay, My condolences on your loss of Willie. Oh, that our dogs could grow old with us. I hope your memories of Willie will comfort you in the days to come. Sue

  11. Sandra Davidson on December 27th, 2011 5:22 pm

    So sad to hear about your loss of Willie. It is always so hard to lose an animal as they become such a big part of the family. I have had both cats and dogs and suffered through many losses.
    After I lost my last cat I said no more but my Kids made me get another kitty who help me recup from Breast Cancer and I love him so much. I love all those kitty’s I would love to do that but my hubby wouldn’t let me. You are a wonderful lady and this new bunch will help.
    Blessings Sandra

  12. Becky Ezra on December 28th, 2011 1:21 am

    bless you girl!

  13. Deb G. in VA on December 29th, 2011 7:45 am

    I’m so sorry to hear about Willie. I know it’s hard to lose a beloved pet, hopefully all the wonderful memories of him will help you thru the difficult times.

    I enjoyed the post about the kittens!

  14. Billie K on December 29th, 2011 10:31 am

    So sorry to hear about your Willie! Hugs from Texas

  15. Connie on December 31st, 2011 1:33 pm

    So sorry to hear about Willie, hugs from Iowa. What you do fostering all of those sweet kittens is just wonderful! 2 stray kittens found us last year and we just love them (they are both fixed now) and another young cat just joined us.

  16. The book goes to… and, what I got for Christmas : All About Applique on January 6th, 2012 9:49 am

    […] here’s what else I got for Christmas. You remember the Cavalcade of Kittens? And how I said there was a followup? You remember the very last batch, the ones with the sneezy […]