Tuesday, Oct 23, 2018
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A fancy feast for National Cat Lady Day

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    Mishka prowls around delicacies that will be served for National Cat Lady Day April 19. From back clockwise: Mango Meow-garitas, Tortie Tuna Tea Sandwiches and Guacamole with Oreja de Gato Chips.

    THE BLADE/LORI KING
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    2nd annual National Cat Lady Day. Tortie Tuna Tea Sandwiches.

    THE BLADE/LORI KING
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  • FEA-catlady17-4

    2nd annual National Cat Lady Day. Guacamole with Oreja de Gato Chips.

    THE BLADE/LORI KING
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    2nd annual National Cat Lady Day. Guacamole with Oreja de Gato Chips and Mango Meow-garita.

    THE BLADE/LORI KING
    Buy This Image

  • FEA-catlady17-5

    2nd annual National Cat Lady Day. Guacamole with Oreja de Gato Chips and Mango Meow-garitas.

    THE BLADE/LORI KING
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    2nd annual National Cat Lady Day. Langues de Chat (Cat Tongue Cookies) with a Cat-puccino.

    THE BLADE/LORI KING
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National Cat Lady Day was first celebrated on April 19, 2017.

Of course, trying to get people excited about a new holiday can be a bit like herding cats — it takes awhile for the event to catch on.

That’s why we’re letting the cat out of the bag and catapulting this special day into the spotlight. It would be a catastrophe, after all, if you took a cat nap and missed it. This has the potential to join whiskers on kittens as one of our favorite things.

Susan Michals gets credit for designating that date as National Cat Lady Day. She’s mom to a 13-year-old Maine coon named Miss Kitty Pretty Girl and also the founder of CatCon, “the biggest cat related pop culture convention in the world” according to its website, catconworldwide.com. This year, the event will be held Aug. 4 and 5 at the Pasadena Convention Center in California.

Ms. Michals “found that while there were many reasons to lambast being a cat lady, there weren’t a lot of reasons put out into the ether to celebrate it.” Since the convention promotes the positives of cat culture, she thought, “Why not set up a date to showcase all the great things about being a feline fan?”

Whether you have one, two, or an entire clowder of cats, there’s always room in your heart for at least one more, right? (It takes so little purr-suasion for a bona fide cat lady to adopt another.) And there are so many in need of a fur-ever home, especially with kitten season upon us. The cat ladies (and cool cat dudes, too) at the following shelters can help play matchmaker for you: Friends of Felines’ Rescue Center (fofrescue.org), Humane Ohio (humaneohio.org), Maumee Valley Save-A-Pet (maumeevalleysaveapet.org), Paws and Whiskers Cat Shelter (pawsandwhiskers.org), Planned Pethood (plannedpethood.org), Toledo Animal Shelter Association (toledoanimalshelter.com), and area humane societies.

On National Cat Lady Day, you might want to celebrate your paw-someness with an order from Toledo’s own Pizza Cat (4034 Monroe St., 419-359-5521, pizzacatinc.com) or Pizza Kitten, located at the Ottawa Tavern (1815 Adams St., 419-725-5483, facebook.com/pzzakitten). They’re the cat’s meow.

Ohio has several cat cafés, too, at which customers can enjoy coffee, tea, and treats while visiting with adoptable cats and kittens. These spots are the cat’s pajamas, as addictive as catnip for feline fanciers.

While the Toledo area, unfortunately, doesn’t have one yet, you can visit Columbus’ Eat, Purr, Love Cat Café (eatpurrlovecatcafe.com); the Kitty Brew Cat Café in Mason (kittybrew.com); Gem City Catfé in Dayton (gemcitycatfe.com), or the Coffee Cat Corner in Gahanna, Ohio (coffeecatcorner.biz).

But you could also put together your own fancy feast for the festivities.

Tortie Tuna Tea Sandwiches use marbled bread to mimic the cats’ colorful coats, and they feature every feline’s favorite filling.

Another option is guacamole served with Oreja de Gato chips (aka triangular, rather than round, corn chips shaped like cats’ ears). And don’t forget the requisite Meowgaritas, Ms. Michals’ own recommendation, to go with them; they’re great for toasting cat ladies on their special day. The recipe we’re offering is an adaptation of one from our purr-sonal favorite Iron Chef, Cat Cora.

And finish off your menu with Langues de Chat, which are French Cat Tongue Cookies. These should, of course, be enjoyed with a cat-puccino.

In honor of Thursday’s big event, Ms. Michals suggests that people pause (or is that paws?) to really appreciate our feline friends and their legendary grace, beauty, independence, quirkiness, and individuality. And be sure to showcase them on social media — where we all know their cat-itude shines most brightly — “with the hashtag #nationalcatladyday,” she said.

“Cats are always a source of wonder, amazement, and curiosity — you never know what to expect. They always keep it interesting,” said Ms. Michals. As do her fellow female feline fanciers.

So if you, too, are a cat lady, be sure to celebrate your day with pride. 

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2nd annual National Cat Lady Day. Tortie Tuna Tea Sandwiches.

THE BLADE/LORI KING
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Tortie Tuna Tea Sandwiches

The kitten-faced serving idea was inspired by Pinterest.

TUNA:

2 7-ounce cans solid white tuna, drained

1 green onion, finely chopped

1 small celery rib, finely diced

2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1⁄3 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish

1⁄2 teaspoon lemon pepper or freshly ground black pepper

Seasoned salt or kosher salt, to taste

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

SANDWICHES:

12 slices thinly sliced marbled rye bread

Creamy salmon or crab dip

12 sliced green olives

Chives

Prepare the tuna: Place the tuna into a bowl, then flake with a fork. Add in all remaining ingredients; mix until well combined, adjusting all seasonings to suit taste.

Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.

Prepare the sandwiches: Lay half of the bread slices onto a work surface and divide the tuna salad among them. Sandwich the breads together with the remaining slices, then use a 4-inch cat face-shaped cookie cutter to cut one portion from each sandwich, reserving the scraps for nibbling.

Place a dollop of the dip in the center, to make the cat’s nose; take the chives and insert them into the dip to form whiskers. Place two more small dollops above the nose, and place an olive slice onto each one to make eyes. Serve immediately.

Yield: 6 sandwiches

Source: Adapted from Kittencalrecipezazz, geniuskitchen.com

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2nd annual National Cat Lady Day. Guacamole with Oreja de Gato Chips.

THE BLADE/LORI KING
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Guacamole with Oreja de Gato Chips

There’s no need for a copycat version, since Chipotle shared its popular recipe.

2 ripe Hass avocados

2 teaspoons lime juice

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

¼ cup red onion, finely chopped

½ jalapeño, including seeds, finely chopped

2 tablespoons prepared mole sauce

Triangular (aka cat ear-shaped) chips, for serving

Choose the right avocados. They should feel squishy yet firm (like the palm of your hand), and be a nice dark green color on the outside. Cut the avocados in half and then remove the pits (carefully!). Scoop the avocados and place in a medium bowl. Toss and coat with lime juice.

Add the salt and, using a fork or potato masher, mash until a smooth consistency is achieved. Fold in the remaining ingredients and mix well. Taste the guacamole and adjust seasoning if necessary, then serve with the chips.

Yield: 1 generous cup

Source: Adapted from chipotle.com

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2nd annual National Cat Lady Day. Guacamole with Oreja de Gato Chips and Mango Meow-garita.

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Mango Meow-garitas

1½ cups cubed mango

¾ cup tequila

½ cup triple sec

½ cup fresh lime juice

4 cups crushed ice

2 tablespoons colored sugar

Purée the mango in a blender. Add the tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and crushed ice. Blend until smooth.

Pour the colored sugar into a saucer. Run a small wedge of lime around the rim of each of 4 glasses and dip the rims into the sugar. Carefully divide the margarita mixture among the glasses and serve.

Yield: 4 servings

Source: Adapted from catcora.com

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2nd annual National Cat Lady Day. Langues de Chat (Cat Tongue Cookies) with a Cat-puccino.

THE BLADE/LORI KING
Enlarge | Buy This Image

Langues de Chat (Cat Tongue Cookies)

These cookies are the perfect accompaniment to a cat-puccino.

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup powdered sugar, sifted

3 egg whites

Pink food coloring (see note)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

⅔ cup flour

Pink sanding sugar

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper. Draw 2 sets of parallel lines with a 2½-inch space between the lines of each set — this will help to pipe cookies of a precise length. Flip the parchment over so that the marker lines are on the underside.

Beat the butter and powdered sugar together with an electric mixer. Combine the egg whites with the food coloring and the vanilla; add to the butter mixture and beat well, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add half of the flour and beat in, then add the remaining flour and beat until smooth.

Spoon the batter into a large freezer baggie and snip off a corner ½-inch in diameter. Pipe lengths of batter between the sets of parallel lines, leaving at least 2 inches between each cookie. Sprinkle the batter lightly with sanding sugar.

Bake the cookies for about 9 to 10 minutes until they are golden at the edges. Lift the entire sheet of parchment from the tray to cool for a minute, then remove the cookies from the paper to cool completely. Repeat until all of the batter has been piped.

Note: Whether using liquid or gel food coloring, add just a tiny amount to make a very pink cookie batter.

Yield: About 30 cookies

Source: Anna Olson, foodnetwork.ca

Contact Mary Bilyeu at mbilyeu@theblade.com, and follow her at facebook.com/​thebladefoodpage, bladefoodpage on Instagram, or @BladeFoodPage on Twitter.

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