In a large bowl, blend together sugar, shortening and eggs. Add flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda; beat well. Add cocoa, water and vanilla; pour into a greased 13 x 9 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, until cake tests done; cool. To make kitty-shaped cake, enlarge patterns, page 203 of cookbook, and cut out. Lay patterns on cake and cut around shapes. Place pieces on a large platter or cutting board and frost with Coconutty Pecan Frosting. Add pecan halves for eyes, ears and nose. Add coconut shreds for whiskers.
Coconutty Pecan Frosting:
In a saucepan over medium-low heat, combine all ingredients except coconut and pecans. Cook for about 12 minutes until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in coconut and pecans; beat until cool. Makes about 6 cups.