To say that my boss is a cat lover is mild. She is a cat fanatic!  Her current collection includes Sam, Lucy and Gabby.  They are very loved, very spoiled and very special.  So when Tracey was preparing to celebrate turning 50 the obvious theme for her special birthday cake was CATS.

Of course the cats for her cake needed to be authentic. So the first step needed was to collect photos of the real thing.  This was going to be a fun challenge as each cat had very distinct markings.  The second step was to research on line for fondant cats.  There were so many fun ideas to use for my creations.

Now I needed to plan the cake. I decided on a small stacked cake to display the cats and all my ideas brewing. I wanted one cat to have his tail hanging over the side. Sammy got that spot.  Lucy, our only female, needed to have the coy look of a girl. Tracey loves her flower garden and has a small memorial section with bricks honoring two of her former cats. You will see Junior and Barney honored on her cake as well.

First I prepared the fondant by making the colors needed to match Sam, Lucy and Gabby. I made the cats in the evenings after work. These cats were a fun labor of love. They had their face and paw markings as exact as possible. I pulled the white fondant up their legs and paws with a paint brush that had a very nice result. I glued the parts of my fondant creations with a paste made of royal icing mix using a collection of children’s paint brushes that I keep with my supplies.  It was also important to also match their collars and tags: Sammy –red; Lucy – pink; Gabby – green.  As an afterthought and to fill up some cake space, I added food bowls the same color as their collars. Their whiskers are made of the covered wire of flower stamen.

Even though I love creating ‘flowers and things’ with fondant, I prefer the taste of my yummy icing on a cake.  But I do like the smooth look.  To do this I add a cup meringue powder to my basic butter cream recipe.  After the cake is iced and has a bit of time to set up nicely, I pat it with a cotton cloth. The colors of the cake were planned to match her invitation as I knew these colors would be carried out with other decorations.

The finished product was a huge success. Tracy loved her fondant cats so much that she varnished them and created a shadow box.  I was truly honored with her response.  A special cake for a special lady.