In my favorite scene from Casino, Tangiers boss Ace Rothstein (Robert DeNiro) spots disparity in the muffins served at breakfast, heads into the kitchen and insists that the chef henceforth put an “equal amount of blueberries in each muffin”. Thus, when Mama Su went on a baking binge after 21 cats and kittens were sent north for adoption (thank you, Renee Boches and Kirsten Gross!), it seemed reasonable to suggest the same standard hold for blueberry scones produced at House Kirkland. Unlike Casino, in which the chef defers to Rothstein’s demand, I was promptly pelted with three-corner scones until I retreated to the safety of my office.

In retrospect, “Great, more gingers…” probably wasn’t my best Yelp review and I wouldn’t be spending my Saturday night with a Tide Pen 3-pack if I’d realized that the baking binge was more about therapy than pastry production and not the spot for a Ramsey-esque critique. Despite our best efforts to remain emotionally detached, we fall hard for our furry guests, and this recent transport included lots of KF favorites. On the plus side, we’re in four going on five PetSmarts in Northern California and the increased flow of animals out of the Central Valley should help our goal of putting ourselves out of business. But the fact remains that each placement puts a dent in our crew’s emotions, the wine rack and ice cream stash, and in this case, me.

In my defense, we’re awash in gingers—Hobbs, Lex, Rocky, Woody, Banana, Nash, Simon—so they’ve been on my mind as of late. Take Simon shown here in before and after pics. This handsome rake came to us in July via our friends at Gimme Love Animal Shelter after being hit by a car (broken hip) and we were asked to help get him back on all fours. It appeared his hip would heal, but we had concerns about his less than smooth moves so we hooked him up with an orthopedic specialist who fixed the break proper. After a few months of recovery in the kitten room (less stress, more food), Simon has beefed up,

regained his swagger and but for a rabies shot is pretty much ready to shove your boyfriend down your list of priorities. This luxe fluffball chats, purrs, comes when you call him, loves to cuddle and based on his girth, understands better than I do that the best feedback for the chef is to simply shut up and eat. Simon.

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