Soapmaking Studio

Soap cat, Kit Kat the first mascot of the Soapmaking Studio in San Diego County, CA.

Soap Cat—Kit Kat

My History with Cats

I can't remember ever not liking cats. My mother will explain, when I was a baby my first intelligible spoken word was, "kitty." I've always had cats as family members—I mean indoor, sleep on the bed, follow me outdoors, follow me back inside, cherished family members, not "psycho see-it-once-per-week permanent outdoor cats."

If the crazy cat lady character from the Simpson's animated TV show made soap, I would be her. I'm 43 and I don't have kids; I have cats. They receive my love and attention whenever I'm home. In fact, I've come home, altered plans, and even postponed vacations to tend to them if they were ill, which fortunately was rare.

I've taken great care, probably the same care one would take with human children, to "cat-proof" my soapmaking areas and soapmaking supplies.

Kit Kat the Mascot, 1993-2012

I can't remember ever making soap without my Kit Kat. He has been with me longer than I have been making soap. (Although I am a sixteenth generation soapmaker, my father would not teach me to make soap because to him it was an unwelcome chore. As soon as he was able, he purchased convenient and inexpensive commercial soaps. After teaching myself to make soap, he finally shared a few of his recollections and soapmaking techniques.) Hence, I've know my Kit Kat longer than I've been making soap.

Kit Kat looking up.

It was 1994 (and I was only 26) when a stray black cat sat at the top of the stairs outside my apartment door and patiently waited for me to leave for work. I already had cats and didn't want any more, so I refused to let the stray inside. Still every evening when I returned from work he would be waiting for me in the parking lot and walked with me up two flights of stairs to my apartment. I would not let him inside. Each morning when I left for work he would be waiting outside my door and would walk with me down the two flights of stairs and across the parking lot to my car.

Kit Kat in the sun on the back porch.

This stray cat was a bit scruffy and rough around the edges. He would let me pet him but would easily become over excited and nip at my fingers. One day, during our usual stroll from the parking lot toward my apartment, the landlord stopped me and asked, "Is that your cat?" I hesitated to answer and the landlord further explained, "If that's not your cat I'm going to call Animal Control because it bit my son." I immediately snapped back at her, "Yes! That's my cat!" I did hope to find another home for him, hence the effortless name, "Kit Kat."

The truth is, he found me. I never wanted another cat; he wanted to be my cat. I used to tell my friends, "He's not really my cat; he's just staying here." Later, in 2005, Kit Kat had urinary problems and I sold my motorcycle to pay for his life-saving thousand-dollar surgery. Truly, he was my cat.

Kit Kat in bed.

He really was the best cat. (Yes, I am crying my eyes out while typing this.) I could tell he loved me. If I was in bed sick, he would stay in bed with me—all day if necessary. Somehow, he knew to wake me up at exactly 6:00 am every morning. He never woke me up late (otherwise I'd be late to work) and he never woke me up early (otherwise I wouldn't get enough sleep). I don't know how he was able to tell time, perhaps by the light outside. Each morning he would softly touch my chin with his paw and quietly meow to wake me up. I do remember my husband complaining Kit Kat's purr was too loud and compared him to a lawnmower but it was to be expected because Kit Kat was a very happy cat.

Kit Kat in the catnip.

My Kit Kat would follow me anywhere around the house. He had to be in whichever room I was. He was my fuzzy black shadow. He'd follow me outside but never leave my sight or the boundaries of the yard. David said Kit Kat reminded him of Ferdinand the Bull because Kit Kat loved to sniff flowers. Kit Kat's favorite place in the yard was in the isolated area of catnip. Other than the catnip, his favorite place was in my lap. I'm very lucky to have had him in my family for so long but I wish it could have been longer.

He was my Kit Kat and I miss him.

—Kerri Mixon

Kit Kat the Mascot, 1993-2012
Kit Kat the Mascot, 1993-2012

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Classes are held at a private home occupied by a pet cat. If you are allergic to cats, please contact prior to enrolling in a class.