Thanks to the clue at 44A "Diagonally ... or a hint to four of this puzzle's squares" (KITTYCORNER) we find a CAT, curled up rebus-style, in each corner of today's puzzle. I enjoy a rebus, but it would have been cool if the word 'cat' could have run diagonally from each corner, so that the entries would have been kitty corner in two ways. My favorite of the eight cat answers is [CAT]CHY. I like how the 'cat' in that word kind of springs out at you. SNO[CAT] and COPY[CAT] are less interesting. And I understand that LITTERBOXES are places some house pets "go" in real life, but I am curious to learn how it is also where some house pets "go" in this puzzle. Anyone care to let the cat out of the bag?
I felt like the cat that swallowed the canary when I entered RBI off the clue "Effect of a sac fly." It was the 'sac' that gave it away. I liked the clue "Create, as a chair" (ENDOW). The "Host" (ARMY) clue-answer pair is nice as is "Fortify" (STEEL). I also liked the clue "Sauce with a vowel-heavy name" (AIOLI). DAINTY is a nice entry and is sometimes used to refur to cats.
I won't pussyfoot around the fact that I didn't like ILLY for "Poorly." In fact, I don't like illy as a word at all. I also disliked DYE for "Ingredient in many a breakfast cereal." Maybe it is true, strictly speaking, that dye is an ingredient, but it seems a bit WIDE of the mark. There's more than one way to skin a cat, and to clue the word 'dye.' In fact, in yesterday's puzzle, I actually considered 'dye' as the answer to 13D. "Means of putting down roots?" A stretch? Maybe - but one that will have you grinning like the Cheshire Cat. :)