Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sorry it's been so long

A couple weeks ago, one of my oldest friends flew from her home near a famous city far, far away and came to stay with me for a week. City Mouse visits Country Mouse. I'll call her by one of her many nicknames, Sparty Bo (which has nothing to do with Michigan State's mascot; she and I grew up in New Jersey). During Sparty Bo's visit, we concocted some fabulous plans to do creative things, but somehow most days got away from us as we gabbed at the kitchen table. We did manage to cook quite a bit. Sparty Bo's a vegan, and she does some impressive things without the aid of meat, dairy, and eggs, which you can read about on her cooking blog. It was fun to eat and cook along, but I'm not ready to go vegan myself, as I harbor a fondness for real butter and cow's milk. I did make a vegan mousse-style dessert, Chocolate Espresso Soy Dreams, and didn't miss the dairy at all. (I used a few tablespoons of brewed espresso, rather than the instant espresso powder the recipe calls for, if you're interested.)

Sparty Bo and me at the wee little airport in Grand Rapids:

At Gerald R. Ford Int'l. airport

Dave and I have two cats, Chun-Li and Cammy. They were housecats for a while but, after repeatedly proving themselves unworthy, were moved to the garage. (They're both spayed and have all their claws, both good things for most cats, I feel.) They can come and go as they please through a kitty door. They have a pet crate with a leopard-print pillow inside to sleep on, and a heat lamp above to keep them warm in the winter.

Chun-Li has been down on her luck lately. While Sparty Bo was here, I found Chun-Li hiding under a tool chest in the garage. Tufts of fur were all over the inside of the crate, and her collar was missing. I found it underneath the leopard-print pillow. Dave inspected her, and she didn't seem visibly wounded, although she protested if he touched her neck. She was kind of sleepy and dumb(er than usual) for a few days. My best guess is that she got her collar (it's the breakaway kind) caught on the crate and hurt herself in the process of wrenching free. Or maybe she got into a fight.

She got well, but then she got her butt kicked by one of the many indigent cats that roam through Freeport. Chun-Li and her sister Cammy are both named after characters from the old video game series "Street Fighter," so I guess they're just living up to their namesakes.

There's an enormous orange cat that harasses Chun-Li. Normally I find ginger-hued cats adorable, but this guy is just huge, creepy, and gross. I'd say his Street Fighter alter ego might be Zangief. He's definitely a bully; he looks almost twice Chun-Li's size. Chun-Li's sister, Cammy, has a particular nemesis, too, but he's similar to her size, so it seems like a fair match. His fur is what I would call "smoke blue," startlingly pretty--I'll call him Vega.

Anyway, a couple nights ago, I heard caterwauling and thumping on the front porch, and opened the door to see Zangief shoot off into the night, and one of my cats roll from her back to her feet and sprint away. I thought it was Cammy, but the next day Chun-Li had wounds and a dismal look in her eyes. I took her to the vet today, and she ended up getting stitches in her head and under her left front leg. She looks really goofy with a big swath of fur shaved from her head, but she's acting like she feels better. We're going to try to keep her contained while she recovers.

Yesterday morning I emptied the kitchen wastebasket and ran out the back door to dispose of the bag. When I tried to get back into the house, I found I'd been locked out--by Ike. Ike's figured out how to lock and unlock on our doors, and while he doesn't yet know how to turn the knobs and open the doors, I'm sure that's coming any time.

I started rapping on the glass part of the door, and Ike came padding up, giggling at the funny game Mom was playing. I ran to the front of the house to get our spare key from its hiding spot--but it was gone. Growing a bit frantic, I ran to the back of the house again, this time to the sliding glass patio doors. The lock inside is a lever, and Ike has recently discovered that it's delightful to flip the lever up and down, up and down. I knocked on the glass until Ike came bouncing into view, carrying the empty kitchen wastebasket. Again, he thought I was just the funniest lady ever, but he ran over and flipped the lever up. I burst inside, took the wastebasket away, and attacked him with hugs.

Later on, my keyring firmly in hand, I went back outside to double-check for the spare key. I found it; it had somehow fallen from its hiding nook.

As I was getting my hair cut last week, Dave walked into the salon, carrying Ike. My stylist looked up and said, "That's not your baby. He's blond!" Here he is at the playground, inexplicably blond, but definitely my boy.

Friday at the park


  1. What great stories! Poor kitties. Poor mama. Poor vegan. Care if I blog about this picture of Ike?

  2. Aunt Betty was blonde as a baby, as was her son, Michael, and my daughter, Jillian. Ike comes by it naturally, although, I can't promise it will stay blonde into even his teens.