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.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Temptation Celebs!

There once were two cats from Chicago
Who loved to watch Dr. Zhivago
They'd cuddle and snack
Freeze frame and go back
To see snowfalls and eat asiago.

I think I've been at this too long when I come up with random stuff like this. I think it's pretty good, though. I'm just glad they weren't from Minneapolis.

It's high time Vinny and I stepped aside for just this once, so we can shine the spotlight on these two Chicago cats who won in my first contest, ever. Imagine, a church cat running a contest. A bingo game maybe or a wheel that goes round and round, but I have never done a "pawing" and I am happy with the way it all turned out.

They are Minchie on the left and Laila on the right. You see, it so happens these lucky cats hail from the home of the White Sox and Blackie Ryan creator, Father Andrew Greeley. According to mom, Peggy, Minchie is the older of the two at 6 with Laila being only 3. Their blog is-- which is too funny because if I hiccup and drop the "a" it becomes "catholic" which is quite the coincidence. 

Now, every cat has a little Walter Mitty in him or her, so I asked the question as to what would they be doing if they were human? They had interesting answers:

Laila would be a champion boxer. Imagine that! As it turns out, it was a natural answer for her since she was named after Laila Ali, daughter of Mohammed Ali. Also, I heard she practices on Minchie, just in case she wakes up one day in the ring.

For Minchie, being human would mean being an opera singer. Singing arias is not unusual for him since it's one of the traits of a Turkish Angora.

So, I guess the message here is not to sell the feline short. If I were human, I would be the best detective ever. Or, maybe I would be in show business since I like to talk, a characteristic of the Maine Coon. With my luck, though, I'd be stuck in silent pictures! There are times when I've thought it would be cool to be a pilot. But, more probably, I would have been a priest. You see why I have to have nine lives? I can't make up my mind.

In this life, one thing's for sure. My blog has become a great place for me to express myself and for the nicest folks to visit. So, to Laila, Minchie and Peggy, congratulations for winning and adding a little excitement to my windowsill!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday Morning Congrats!

The paw you see here has pulled the winning name for the Jim Shore Angel & Cat figurine!

The winner is Peggy McNamara with friends Laila & Minchie. They are from Illinois and we'll have a post devoted to them at a later date. Everybody else, please check your email. My paws have been busy this morning, let me tell you! 

I'm happy this went so well, but I'm glad the drawing is over, as I have been in suspenders since I woke up last night. (hehehehe)

Thanks again to all of you for entering!


Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Wing and a Prayer

Ode to a Collection Plate

Oh, finest vessel of red and gold
You carry spare change
They have, you hold
Besides the bills and coins will be
Bubblegum, toy mice and origami!

This time, the collection plate will carry all of the names of people who entered the contest for the Angel & Cat figurine. This fancy, velvet-lined, brass-plated, oversized cat dish is the only thing worthy of holding the names of my fans. I have it on good authority that this plate is similar to ones used in the finest cat restaurants where you sniff corks, waiters fold towels over their sleeves, and you don't jump down off your chair when you drop something.

Anyway, our first contest is over and I want to thank each and every one of you who entered. Not only did you enter, but you wrote notes, too. Now, if you missed out, there'll be another contest, trust me. In fact, between you and me and the litterbox, the giveaways for the next one have arrived from the UK and are being saved for around Christmas. That's the only scoop I have. My lips--lips?--are sealed.

An update on the parrot--his beak should be sealed. What a loudmouth. Now, people are coming to the rectory just to hear him speak. Jack thought it would be fun to sneak him into the confessional. You never know what that man will do, or the bird, for that matter.

So, we'll have the drawing tomorrow as planned. We'll ring the bell and make the announcement. Good luck to all!


Saturday, July 17, 2010


It's summer. People are coming and going, mostly going, and Mary Lou, in a fit of loose screws decided to "sit" some pets for parishioners--for a modest Temptation contribution, of course.

Since Memorial Day, we've had a gecko, another cat--a female who only stayed a few days and I got to play host--and a pair of rabbits.

The other day, one of the ladies in the auxiliary brought over her parrot since she and her husband were going away for a month. Well, guess what. She shouldn't have done that because the bird won't shut up, says nasty things, and I'm about to snatch it from its perch.

It's embarrassing the things he says. For instance, instead of "Polly wants a cracker" which is stupid anyhow, he says, "Polly wants crack." Hey, you're missing a few syllables there, birdbrain!

I think Mary Lou's a little sick of him, too, and we've just got the month started. During the summer, Jack cuts back on his games with the men's group, so when he got a few guys together, he made the mistake of having the parrot see his cards. Everybody thought it was hilarious. I was so close to that idiot's tail, I almost got him (the bird, not Jack).

Hope you're having a good summer. It's been hot and Will's been a real nag about my Maine coon mats, but Jack and Mary Lou told him to put a lid on it. She brushes me and cuts them off herself which makes for great cuddle time.

We're supposed to have a chihuahua here next week, complete with sequins. What the heck is this? Vegas?

Last call for angels and cats. Be sure to enter the drawing! Remember, the paw that posts is the paw that draws the winning name! 

Take care, everybody. And always keep all four feet on the ground, even if you only have two.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Never, Ever Land

Name one cat who likes to go to the vet. Worst part is, we never see it coming which really gets me. We somehow get the hint though, when out of nowhere, comes the flying cage.

This is the new one (the old one had a sort of Sing-Sing look to it) except that Mary Lou says it kills her back. Regardless, it sits by the front door, menacing with purpose. The top gets unzipped and I get stuffed into it, like a bear into a funnel and I voice my displeasure with cusswords that haven't even been invented yet.

Make no mistake. If the vet place flew a flag, it would read: "Home of the Fightin' Tooth and Nail." We meet the troops just inside the door. It's nuts. Flying cages everywhere, sitting, of course in the middle of the floor or by some owners' legs. There are dogs, too, untrained mutts flinging kisses and slobbers (not like our cat fans). They are not required to be housed in anything which, to me, is grossly unfair. Anyway, we all await our turn.

Just looking around, you know this is one of those situations when there's a legitimate excuse for anarchy and mischief. I know I won't get a shot at either until the cage is ditched and the doors of the examining rooms get into full swing--literally.

Once, I had the whole place in an uproar and had the best time. I got out of one of the rooms, everybody was running down the hall after me--that is, until this white-coated, center-fielder type scooped me up under my belly and swung me around and with a heave-ho, handed me back to Mary Lou. The waiting room saw everything. They cheered, dogs barked and the cats hissed (they were showing their support). Ignoring all, Mary Lou stuffed me and my indignity back into the cage and paid the bill.

I don't go to the vet very often, but when I do, each and every time it's an adventure, even though it comes at a price. The housekeeper is considering an all-cats vet everybody likes, but I don't know. I'll miss my buddies down at the 'Nail.


Don't forget the drawing! Only two more weeks for the "Angel with Cat." Anyone can enter. Even dog lovers who haven't been converted yet. You can go to the contact/links page of the site in my address book on this page and leave your name and email info. Only one entry per email, please!

Good luck, my friends and thanks!


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Run(a)way Daydreams

You just missed it.

Mary Lou, our housekeeper, had me in doll clothes before this was taken. I was outraged. She got away with putting me into a doll carriage, though, even if I did have a few choice words.

I don't mind being dressed, really. After all, a white face, bib and Maine Coon fur can get old for me, too.

I even had thoughts once about designing a line of clothes for cats just so we'd have some variety. Here's my own Project Runway.

(cue the piano man)

For the cat catching mice, we have a nice little number: Plaid sleeves, a pocket for bones. The pants would have patches on the knees for waiting by mouseholes. They would come in such hairball hues as gingerbread head brown, meatball melange, and chicken tender white.

For feline loungewear, we have what no cat can resist: A sateen jumpsuit with velcro features. It, too, comes in a variety of colours, midnight madness mauve, zippy nip blue, and tawny trout. Don't forget the coordinating smoking jacket back in vogue in basic Hugh Hefner black with claw-resistant sleeves for escorting feline admirers.

If your cat is looking for something to wear every day both practical and fashionable, let me turn your attention to the pants of houndstooth twill with brushed cotton shirts. Similar to canine trousers, cat pants have elastic at the waist for tumbles and pounces.

Cat t-shirts are purrfect for the warmer weather. One can select any number of slogans or sayings: Starting with old-time church Latin "id est quid est," meaning--It is what it is. Other choices include "Hairball hurls for humanity, Holy cats+Holy water=Holy Hell, Will Purr for Food, and the paws-down favorite--"It's Been 5,475 days since my last confession."

Good. I feel better. Nothing like a touch of the imagination to liven things up a bit.

Don't forget to enter my drawing for the beautiful "Angel and Cat" collectible, great for home or office, or to honor a beloved pet. (see last post)

A lot of humans and cats are entering. It's so good to hear from all of you!

Good luck and Happy Fourth!