Notes from a parish cat and his author Julie Mackenzie

My photo
I am Father Tom Fish, esteemed member of the religious team at Temptation of Christ Parish in the novels by author Julie Mackenzie. As to my background, I was invited into the rectory as a stray, laid on the charm, and was invited to stay, even honorarily ordained and no less spiritual than my sidekick Father Will. He dotes on me to high heaven and forgives all of my street cat proclivities, whatever the hell that means.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Parish Kitchen Strikes Again

Spring is a time when thoughts turn to love. Flowers bloom, birds sing and Vinny casts about the neighborhood looking for objects of affection, the four-legged kind.

I, on the other hand, am a church cat and a neutered one at that. I ignore my incarcerated hormones as I take a whiff of the spring air and turn my attention to food, catering to the palate instead of the prostate. With appetite in mind, I once again offer up one of our parish kitchen's favorites:

          Crab Newburg

2 c. crabmeat
4 T. butter
3 T. flour
1/2 c. boiling water or hot milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 pint light cream
Few grains pepper
Dash of nutmeg
Splash of sherry
(and a heigh ho ho..)

Melt butter, add flour, salt and pepper, slowly add hot water or milk to make a thick paste. Then, add the light cream and stir in as you add 2 cups crabmeat and a dash of nutmeg. Stir until well heated through. Just before serving, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sherry. Serve on toast points, saltines or in a cat's dish. Serves 4 (3 1/2--hehehe)

Enjoy and don't forget a nice nap for dessert!


Saturday, April 17, 2010

You See, It's Like This...

Quite a pose, huh? Mary Lou caught me in one of my more human-like positions. I've decided that I'll use this as the photo for my resume, if ever I should need one. As you can see, I'm enjoying her windowsill in the multi-purpose room that she uses for sewing, TV and an occasional nap. The ivy above and I have an understanding that if it ever touches my head, I will rip it out by the roots. I think it's taking me seriously as I see it begin to turn its dangling tendril, or whatever you want to call it, back upwards.

I remember this day clearly as I had just gotten into some of her catnip (not hers, silly) that the housekeeper uses to stuff my toy mice. Potent and clarifying, I tell you, enough to make you want to jump up on every windowsill in the world and take a look around. Out of this particular window, I can see over to the parish condos and catch glimpses of residents. It's warmer out now and, just like turning over an anthill, people are going in every direction to enjoy the spring weather.

I choose a particular windowsill depending on my mood. What do I feel like watching? The one that faces the front of the rectory, of course, is the busiest; but it's the busiest both inside and outside and it can drive a cat nuts.

I'm anxious to get outside myself and play. If I can just convince Mary Lou and everybody else around here that I'll be perfectly safe running off into the woods or visiting some of my favorite people, I'll be good to go. 

Besides, I need to check on Vinny. Haven't seen him around. Even though I don't care for him, I still would like to know what's going on. After all, in spite of everything, he is still part of our special fraternity of cats..(I can't believe I said that. The catnip must be more potent than I thought!)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

National Humor Month

April is National Humor Month, thanks to best-selling humorist Larry Wilde who declared this a month to laugh back in 1976. So, my friends, you have thirty days--well, actually twenty now, to think funny, be funny, and your personal mission is to make every person you meet laugh or at least, smile.

So, you can't think of anything, you say?

Here are some of the funny things I've heard said around the rectory. Not everyone will think they're funny, but they do qualify in my most humble feline opinion, as humor. They have been taken from the novel, A Temptation Tale.

"'Seize the day?' Depends on the kind of day I'm having as to what I'll seize." (the housekeeper)

"Baptisms are out. The water, you know." (Fr. Jack referring to yours truly)

"You spread butter, you're spreading cat hair, it's disgusting." (the housekeeper, exaggerating yet again)

"No wonder the corn plant in the lobby needs psychiatric care." (Fr. Will)

"Heaven better have tenders." (my wish for the Afterlife)

Sign on alms boxes: "Give Temptation Some Love" (increased donations by 100%)--Nobody's taking credit for this one.

"It's bull barnacles, I tell you!" (when Jack is making a concerted effort not to cuss)

        Oh, and finally, my favorite dog joke: A dog walks into a bar, limping. He looks around and says, "I'm lookin' for the man who shot my paw."

If anyone has funny expressions or jokes they'd like to share, please do!

Happy smiling, everyone!


Saturday, April 3, 2010

It's Easter!

Easter Sunday is tomorrow and I will once again be making a grand entrance into the church, beribboned, bejeweled and--yes, besmirched in the eyes of all dignified felines. (No, I won't allow a picture of such travesty on this blog!) But, I do it. Mary Lou, our housekeeper, is good to me, so I deal. Besides, it makes everybody happy; so I give in, tail up and smiling.

The flower ladies and Emmanuel, a floral designer, come up with a color scheme to make your heart sing and flowers that look like they should be in a Martha Stewart photo shoot. The vestments are really exquisite, too. A lot of choices in deep pastels and whatnot, but Father Jack likes the one you see above which was completely made by hand. In the old days, nuns would make vestments and, like Betsy Rosses in black habits, they worked on them in all colors, centered with crosses instead of stripes. Jack doesn't like the pastel ones. He thinks this one makes him look slimmer (I shouldn't be telling you this) and besides, it was made by a very old friend of his. Sweet man that he is, Jack has been paying tribute to her bewitching stitchery with every wearing.

Mary Lou puts colored eggs into my water bowls. I have them scattered all around the rectory. The best, though, is the Easter basket Fathers Will and Jack think they're hiding. I have cat treats coming from those dear ones, chicken egg munchies and little fish bunnies with the most delectable heads!

Happy Easter, everybody!