Because I am in the mood to do so, here are some more pictures of my mostly-dead cats.

DRYER DEX

The famous photo of Dexter in the dryer. Like many cats, he liked to climb into the dryer when it was still warm. He stopped doing this when my mom threw a load of wet laundry into the dryer, not realizing he was inside. ūüėõ
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Well, I had an eventful day off. I think I have a migraine coming on as I am very dizzy and a little nauseous. To make things even better, I went with my mom to take King to the vet as he hasn’t been acting himself for the last couple of days. We ended up having him put to sleep. He had a bad heart and was having noticeable difficulty breathing.
He was only ten years old, but he has always been a big cat. The vet had always told us he was just a big boy. He had a very large frame and great big feet. He was weighed at the vet’s office and came out at 25 pounds, 11 oz. ¬†He did not seem to eat more than any of our other cats. ¬†Perhaps he had a hormonal or other such issue that went undetected. ¬†We’ll never know.
Although King was big and liked to act like he was a tough guy, he was really very shy and skittish. He was afraid of everything from plastic grocery bags to umbrellas. He didn’t like to hug or cuddle, but he liked to sit next to you or perhaps sit on your hand or foot. He could touch you, but he preferred that you not touch him. ¬†He would hiss and growl menacingly if you tried to rub his belly, but brushing him would send him into ecstasy. At night he would barrel down my mother’s bedroom door so he could lie at her feet and purr all night.

I will remember him most rolling around on his favorite rug in the living room every evening, gazing all around him like everything looked so different and crazy upside-down.

He wanted you to pay attention to him, his big tail pounding against the floor when you would affectionately call out his name, but reaching down to pet him for more than a few seconds would usually make him squeak disapprovingly before skulking away. ¬†That was another thing: he didn’t meow. ¬†He squeaked. ¬†Sometimes he made little chirping noises.
He was an odd cat and not overly friendly, but he was so endearingly sweet to those he liked. He just liked to be near you, comforted by your presence. At night he would wander the kitchen and cry. When you called him into the room, he would circle your feet a few times, let you give him a nice scratch on the head, and then he’d go sit a few feet away, tail flicking contentedly, purring like a damn lawnmower.

The only exception was my mom. ¬†He liked to cuddle with my mom, but only when he was in the mood. ¬†He would lie on his back across her lap like an overgrown baby and sleep soundly. ¬†He once jumped into my lap when I was sitting in my mom’s chair. ¬†He jumped up, looked at me, realized his mistake, and promptly took off.

I know both my parents are really stunned by all this. My dad tries to hide it, but I know he and King were especially fond of one another. My dad is not a cat person. Our remaining cat, Buttercup, gives no fucks. ūüėõ ¬†I no longer live at home and can’t have pets in my apartment (otherwise all three of the cats would have been living here) and it’s hard enough for me living a few miles down the road. ¬†I get so lonely here after work and I miss having Dexter to sit on my shoulder or Buttercup to help me eat ice cream. ¬†King usually slept with my mom every night. ¬†Brandon and I work opposite shifts now so I spend a lot of time alone these days. ¬†It’s jarring to go from having constant companionship to having none at all.

I still miss my Dexter so much (he’s been gone five months) and I know King was beside himself without him. I like to think of the two of them together again, cuddling on my mom’s bed, squabbling over who gets to sleep in the cardboard box, or of all four of our cats sprawled out, evenly spaced in a straight line, all within the path of a tiny sunbeam. Cats are weird.

Mmmmm

Behold: the wonderful tofu marsala I made last night. ¬†I followed the recipe from Yellow Rose Recipes by Joanna Vaught, which is out of print but worth tracking down. ¬†Lots of recipes for everyday-ish food, and light on the “weird” ingredients. ¬†I took her suggestion of serving over mashed potatoes (you can see I had more potato than anything, LOL) and it was possibly better than any chicken marsala I’ve ever had. ¬†Not thick or chunky/fatty. ¬†Just tasty.

I didn’t marinate the tofu for as long as she called for (she recommends 4-8 hours; I did tw0 because I was hungry :P) and I made a couple of small substitutions, nothing major. ¬†I couldn’t find my oregano so I left that out. ¬†Meh. ¬†The only mushrooms I had on hand were a small can of tiny button mushrooms, and I was surprised at how tasty they were in this. ¬†I’m used to my dad dumping these guys on a pizza. ¬†They still tasted like the can.

Honestly, the tofu is the most labor-intensive part of the whole dish. ¬†It was good but the mashed potato + marsala sauce was what made my eyes go back in my head. ¬†Will have to do this again soon. ¬†Might just do the potatoes and the sauce. ūüėõ

I seriously love mashed potatoes so much.  I made more today because I was craving sauerkraut and the grocery store had tofu dogs on sale last week and I was just curious enough to try.  Unfortunately, the dogs were just not good.  The texture was close but they had a weird aftertaste.  Too much of that fake smoky flavor or something.  I live right across the street from a very popular local hot dog stand (it always smells great outside, like chili spices) and being able to see it from my kitchen window while taking a bite out of my sad orange soy dog was just too depressing.  I chopped one of the dogs up and mixed it into my potatoes and sauerkraut, but they just were not the same.  I had to toss the rest.

The Internet says that the hot dogs are better grilled or sauteed, so maybe I’ll try again some day. ¬†Not for a while, though. ūüėõ

Right now I’m trying to make some ribollita, which I’ve never had before. ¬†The recipe I kind of followed called for leeks and turnips, both of which I’ve never cooked with before. ¬†I couldn’t find turnips at the store, but I did find parsnips, which I figured were close enough. ¬†The recipe also called for butternut squash, but I forgot to even buy that, so I googled, and apparently ribollita is one of those soups where you can kind of add whatever the hell kind of vegetables you want to it. ¬†So I subbed in a zucchini. ¬†I love zucchini. ¬†The stores around here went through a weird phase through most of December where they either had no zucchini or it looked really crappy, but I finally found some nice-looking ones. ¬†I am a little apprehensive about adding a bunch of bread to my soup, so I’m hoping this isn’t a total disaster.

Now I am googling for ways to use my leftover parsnips and leeks.  Probably gonna make some potato leek soup.  Exciting!

I feel badly for not posting in here more. ¬†It doesn’t really matter because nobody reads this, but meh. ¬†I want to write about my tatting and my plants here soon. ¬†Stay tuned, nobody. ūüėõ

EDIT: I’ve decided I don’t like the bread in the ribollita. ¬†Otherwise it’s good. ¬†Next time I’ll use a second can of beans and mash them up before adding them to the soup to thicken it up.