(masthead) All Seasons bed and breakfast inn, Fairbanks Alaska
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Aurora Borealis

“This was one of the best B&B’s we ever visited. It beats any 5-star hotel in comfort and hospitality.”
—Swaran, St. Louis MO

Mary's Stories

The Cat
Published August 5, 2009 in the Fairbanks Daily News Miner.

A few winters ago on a cold day in November a friend came to visit and to wish me a happy birthday. She greeted me warmly, congratulated me for having made it another year, and announced with great pride that she had found the perfect gift for me. As she came inside the entry, I could see zipped up in the front of her coat the head of a very small sleeping kitten.

I thanked her for remembering my birthday but told her I could have a cat at the Inn. All our advertising describes the Inn as a smoke and pet free environment. It is surprising how many travelers have allergies to one thing or another but cats seem to be at the top of the list.

As we stood in the entry, we went through a ten minute back and forth conversation at the front door with her insisting that the cat would be good company, my guests would enjoy it, it would not make a mess, and so on and so on. With every convincing reason she suggested I offered a not-a-good idea comeback. There was simply no polite way to tell my friend that I could not accept her gift and there was no way she would allow me to refuse her gift.

After exhausting the topic, she unzipped her coat and pulled out the cutest cardboard kitten you have ever seen. The kitten appears to be asleep its tail curled around itself, eyes closed, and head tucked into its body. It now sits perfectly on an end table under a lamp sleeping peacefully as if someone should put out a do not disturb sign. This little gift has created a lot of laughs and has been enjoyed by hundreds over the years.

A group of airline pilots were booked at the inn. They called ahead to say they would be coming in late and were given directions as to how to let themselves in. At breakfast I asked what time they had arrived as I had not heard them come in. One of the guys said they had tried to be very quite and not disturb anyone. Another said in all sincerity, “We were so quite we didn’t even wake up the cat.”

Numerous guests have been taken in by the cat. We sometime hear happy comments like, “Oh, you have a cute little kitten” or “Thanks for having the kitten for us to enjoy, we miss ours.” Sometimes we hear harsh comments like, “I thought you said you had no pets, “ or “I told you I was allergic to cats.” When they realize the joke is on them they are often embarished. Then there are the appalled comments, “You actually stuffed your dead cat” or the true pet lovers comment, “I had my cat (or dog) stuffed too.” All kids love the cat. The poor thing is almost bald across its back from so much petting.

Even guests who recognize it for an imposter are quick to say, “Oh, it’s not real” but enjoy the humor of having been taken in by the cat. Cats like peanut butter and jelly or a staple of pleasant memories for most folk’s. No matter what their opinion, no one leaves the Inn without something to say about the cat or the pancakes.

PB& J Pancakes

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • Butter for top of pancakes
  • Raspberry Syrup, recipe below


In a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients. In a small pot over medium heat, melt the peanut better. In a medium bowl combine egg, milk, oil and melted peanut butter. Slowly whisk the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients. Add a little extra milk if the batter is too thick. Let the batter sit for 5-10 minutes. Preheat a griddle to 350 degrees.

Spray the griddle with Pam. Pour about 1/3 cup of batter per pancake on the griddle to form pancakes. Flip when air pockets start to pop on the top and the underside is golden brown. Top pancakes with butter and Raspberry syrup.

Raspberry Syrup

  • 2 cups of fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil until sugar is dissolved, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to break up berries. Lower heat to a simmer and cook until liquid is reduced to a syrupy consistency, about 10 minutes. Strain syrup to remove seeds and serve warm over pancakes.

763 7th Avenue,
Fairbanks, Alaska 99701

(907) 451-6649
Toll Free 1-888-451-6649
Fax (907) 474-8448
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