Meet Winifred Burkle, Jewellery Inspector, Super Awesome Kitty Extraordinaire

by Jen on June 15, 2011

That face!

It is ridiculous how much I loves mah kitteh*, Winifred Burkle (more on the name later). And I never would have found her if it weren’t for my jewellery making obsession.

Here’s how it all began: One day in early December, 2010, I needed to pick up a few supplies, so my hubby and I headed out to the nearest Michael’s store in Mississauga. While I perused the pretty, shiny things, my hubby got bored & decided to go have a look around in the adjacent Pet Smart.

About 3 minutes later, he came back, saying excitedly, “Put down your stuff, you have to come see this cat, she’s soooooo cuuuuuute.”
Well, I’ve never been one to turn down the opportunity to look at a cute kitty (we’d never owned one because of my allergies, but frequented pet shops just to visit them), I put down my stuff & follwed hubby in the direction of the cuteness. And oh. My. Goodness. He wasn’t kidding.

There behind a big glass wall, in a teeny little cube amongst about 11 other teeny little cubes, sat a little grey kitty with the hugest green eyes I’d ever seen.

An associate came over to talk with us, and we found out all the little cubicle kitties were there from the Toronto Cat Rescue (who were at the time overwhelmed with kitties due to the Humane Society debacle that happened shortly before this), a no kill organization. They all went back & forth between foster care and different Pet Smart locations, this was the last day for all these kitties before heading back to foster care. Would we like to meet any of the kitties? “Oh God, yes, this one!”

We headed into the teeny little room behind the teeny little cubicles & got to play with our kitty for the first time. Actually, she spent most of the time ignoring us & trying to fight all the other kitties, especially one rather vocal kitty named Midnight who was really sweet & just wanted to be friends, and the 3 tiny six-toed kittens. This is when we found out she had a queen complex, among other issues.

They believed it was due to the fact that she’d had a litter and was not allowed to bond with her kittens before they were taken away from her 🙁 She’s also terrified of men. Except my husband, Ryan. She liked him from the get go, in the store she would always walk by just close enough so he could pet her.
Then the woman asked if we’d be interested in adopting. I looked at Ryan, he looked at me, and we knew the answer was yes. Allergies be damned!
“Are you sure you didn’t want to meet any of the other cats? Maybe one without so many… issues?” Nope. This is the kitty.

So she explained how the whole screening process worked, we rushed home to kitty proof the house & waited for the call. First the interview, which I let my husband do because I suck at talking, then more waiting. While we waited, we discussed names.

The one she had at the time was “Mittens”. Blech. No offence to anyone with a cat named Mittens, but the second you met this cat you’d know it just didn’t suit her at all. Plus, neither of us have ever been fans of the cutesy names. So we brainstormed. We’re nerds, so we had lots of nerd tomes to draw from & Ryan finally said “What about something from the Whedon-verse?” Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dr. Horrible, Dollhouse… so many choices!

We kinda liked Penny (from Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog), but since my name at birth was Penny (that’s a story for another day), we thought that might be a little weird. So we finally settled on an Angel favourite: Fred, aka. Winifred Burkle. It just suits her so well.

We finally got the call to come pick her up & immediately went back to the store & bought damn near everything kitty related. All the essentials (and then some), along with toys, toys & more toys. To this day, her favourite things to play with are still boxes, and crumpled up pieces of paper.

She loves her daddy the bestest. She thinks I’m pretty cool (we chat quite a lot on my days off, and she has to check out every new piece of jewellery I make before I photograph it), and even tolerates a good ear scratchin’ from a total stranger (as long as it’s a girl) once in a while. We still marvel at her cuteness on a daily basis, and can’t even imagine a life without her.

*Seriously. I even got a little verklempt just writing this.

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