This is a post in our blog, "Happy Accidents in Soapmaking." We hope readers will enjoy discovering just how much fun cold process soapmaking can be. Curious about the family team at Scent of the Sun? Learn more.
Though we needed to take some time to process it, we wanted to acknowledge that we recently lost one of the team members which make our family business possible: Kay's cat, Minnie. Like all too many felines, she lost a slow battle with kidney disease, although she was a commanding yet loving cat to the end. Though we mourn her loss, as with Rick's cat Hermes, we honor her with every soap we make.
Minnie was a cat's cat. Named for where our friends Pam and Carl found her (McMinnville), Minnie lived many years outside, where she ruled over local fields by claw and by cunning. She was as imperious as she was careful, and as an outdoor cat, she found her way into Kay's life only slowly. But as Kay opened a laundry room to her on cold nights and started leaving food for her, Minnie drew closer. And as she gradually became more comfortable, in time she became a member of the family.
But she always remained her own cat, and it wouldn't be incorrect to say that she honestly did nearly everything a cat could do. She gave birth (indeed, she was found pregnant prior to being fixed) and watched her kittens grow to adults she apathetically regarded. She wandered the fields, a black silhouette in the tall grass, and yet always found her way home at night. And she gently commanded Kay's household, shaping the patterns of the day--as felines often do--by something as simple as a gesture: a scamper towards the bedroom to beckon Kay to bedtime, an expectant glance towards the door to be let outside, or a gently insistent stare to be petted.
Whether indoors or out, however, she was always queen of the room. Just before she found peace, Minnie walked a procession around Kay's house—as if to survey her domain one last time. We, of course, were simply honored to be tenants in her furry realm.
It's no wonder, then, that we used to say that Minnie was in charge of quality control and supervision, and that couldn't have been more true: in each soapmaking session, Minnie was watching. From around the door (waiting to be let outside) as we made fresh batches, she observed. From atop the island as we mixed oils, she watched. And from Kay's desk as we crunched numbers, she diligently supervised. And though she demanded only pets in compensation, Minnie was always there to oversee us.
In memory, she still is.