Kellie Pickler: A “100 Proof” Love of Cats

January 24, 2012 at 3:33 pm , by

Photo: Russ Harrington

Are you a cat lover who’s tired of the host of feline fashion faux paws … er, pas … that you see in the stores? Well, you’ve got a friend in country music’s Kellie Pickler, who recently teamed up with Fresh Step litter and the ASPCA for a great cause that’ll benefit both cats in need and your wardrobe.

Now through March 15, in honor of February being Cat Appreciation Month, Fresh Step litter will donate $1 (up to $100,000) to the ASPCA for every photo posted on their Facebook page of a pet owner wearing a cat-proud outfit. If your closet is currently cat-pride free, relax and don’t cough up a hairball. That’s why Pickler partnered with fashion designer and fellow cat lover Geren Ford, creating the limited-edition sweater you see Pickler wearing here. When you visit the ASPCA website to purchase the sweater ($35), 100% of the proceeds benefits the ASPCA. You can also virtually “try on” the sweater at Fresh Step’s Facebook page, post it, and make the $1 donation. It’s so easy, your cat can probably do it!

Pickler, who unfortunately had to relocate her beloved cat Pickles due to her husband’s severe allergies, is thrilled to be part of such a pro-cat program, brushing off any fear of being stamped with a “crazy cat lady stigma” as cooly as she’d brush cat hair off a couch. “I’m not ashamed of anything,” she says matter-of-factly. “I don’t really worry about what everybody else is doing and what they like. I kind of do my own thing. I love cats and I’m not going to not love cats just because somebody else doesn’t think it’s cool. I don’t think they’re cool if they don’t like cats.”

She was in a similar mindset while making her brand new CD, 100 Proof, which is out today and takes Pickler back to some more traditional country roots. “On my last album, I made a record based on what I thought radio would play and what I thought people would want to hear,” she explains. “I didn’t do that with this record. I’m not trying to get anybody to like me with this album. Nothing’s forced. I was me, I didn’t make this record for anyone but me and I think it’s okay to do things for yourself every now and then.” Her new approach has produced an album that is her strongest, most personal effort yet. In fact, by not worrying about what anyone wanted to hear, she just may have made the record everyone was waiting for after falling in love with her on American Idol in 2006.

Continue on after the jump for more dish about Pickler’s brand new CD …

Photo: Russ Harrington

Pickler cowrote six of 100 Proof’s 11 songs and even exposes some raw nerves on “Mother’s Day,” a track she cowrote with her husband, songwriter Kyle Jacobs. The song is a moving and wistful nod to her estranged mother, yet despite the tricky subject matter the writing session with Jacobs remained positive. “We wrote it right before we got engaged, actually,” Pickler reveals, admitting that mixing business with pleasure luckily comes easily for them. “We’ve written many times since we’ve been married. It’s not weird, it’s actually really a beautiful thing because we share so much of the same passions. It’s really neat: You get to know each other even more when you write together. It’s very intimate.”

The CD’s “Tough” and “The Letter (To Daddy)” also shine some light into the darker corners of Pickler’s past, but there’s plenty of fun packed in there, too. In “Where’s Tammy Wynette,” the opening track on the CD, Pickler calls upon the spirit of the queen of country music when she sings, “tell me how you fry a skillet of chicken in high heels and a skirt,” all while staying “torn between killing him and loving him.” And “Unlock That Honky Tonk” promises to have fans singing into their hairbrushes in mirrors all across the country come Saturday night. “I think that’s definitely going to be the party anthem off the record,” Pickler predicts. “I see that as the getting ready anthem for a fun night out with your girlfriends, or your guy friends or whoever.”

Heck, Cat Appreciation Month is right around the corner—maybe your cats want to party a little, too.