To say that our cat, Parker, is food driven is an understatement – a trait clearly evidenced by his scale-tipping weight and swaying belly.
His vigil typically begins around 4 PM and lasts until the very second that slop of canned cat food finally lands in front of him, roughly five hours later. Every afternoon is like Christmas Eve for him, as he awaits the singlemost important event of his day: dinner.
To the untrained ear, it may just sound like a bunch of nonstop noise, a chorus of innocent kitten mews and threatening guttaral grunts all jumbled up together.
But Parker’s Dinner Dance, as well call it, has four distinct stages.
Stage One: Optimism.
We know that dinner is coming. We just don’t know when. Therefore, the best thing to do is just to sit in front of our dish and inquire constantly about its status.
Stage Two: Doubt.
Something must be wrong. Clearly there has been a mistake of some sort. Is dinner, in fact, coming? Let’s up the volume of the whining and see if that fixes things.
Stage Three: Despair.
LOOK AT THIS. SKIN AND BONES. We might die of hunger right here on this floor, right in front of this empty food dish while this STUPID HUMAN passes by the food cupboard like a MILLION TIMES. This is intentional abuse. Someone call the ASPCA.
Stage Four: Revenge.
You’ll pay for your malice, human.
Of course, the moment Lord Fatass gets his food, everything is forgotten. But it’s quite a show he puts on. Oscar-worthy, really.
I often complain about his Dinner Dance because he is constantly underfoot when I’m trying to do chores and make dinner and stuff. But the other day, I noticed it was remarkably quiet in the kitchen as night fell. Something was wrong.
The fat cat was sleeping quietly on the sofa. At 8 PM. Something was very wrong.
He picked at his dinner that night. However, it was the straining to pee the next morning that prompted a drop-everything trip to the vet. As it turned out, our poor Parker had a raging bladder infection as well as some crystals in his urine. He was basically pissing out tiny shards of glass, which I’m sure was incredibly painful for him. But fortunately, he didn’t have a blockage. In male cats, a blocked urinary tract can become deadly in a matter of hours.
Why am I sharing this? I don’t really know…other than as a quasi-PSA, I guess. Until our kitty started having these issues, I didn’t realize how potentially serious peeing problems are in cats, especially the boys. A male cat who is straining to urinate or urinating very frequently should be taken to the vet (the emergency vet, if necessary) immediately.
So dealing with that has been a major consumer of my time over the last few days. When cats have a urinary infection or another issue that makes doing their business painful, they usually start going outside of their litter box, as they associate the box with the pain. (And as gross as this sounds, it’s actually kind of a blessing, because it gets your attention and alerts you to the fact that something is wrong.)
Anyway. I need to make a Costco run to replenish my supply of Nature’s Miracle and paper towels, but I’m happy to say that our big guy appears to be on the mend.
I had the day off of work on Friday, and thought about cooking a fancy dinner. But with all that had been going on, it was just easier to throw together some [only slightly exotic] sandwiches.
I love a good Banh Mi! This standard Vietnamese sandwich, consisting (traditionally) of pate and pickled vegetables on a fresh baguette, seems to have become standard fusiony food-truck fare in the last few years. But I don’t care. The combination of warm meat + cool tangy veggies + fresh herbs all wrapped up in crusty bread is pretty unbeatable.
I guess this is my contribution to the trend: Dirty South Banh Mi.
BBQ pork (Eastern Carolina style with lots of vinegar!) gets smothered in veggies soaked in apple cider vinegar and topped with crispy shallots (onions would work too). Jalapenos give it a little kick. Sweet corn would be awesome on there, too.
And so my tired butt, weary from multiple trips to the vet, spent the night planted on the couch, scarfing this sandwich down. And sipping a bottle of Chardonnay:
Nestled several thousand feet above sea level, Chile’s sleepy Aconcagua Valley is one of the highest-elevation wine regions in the world. It’s not particularly well-known, and what press it does get seems to be for churning out reliable yet inexpensive reds, mostly Cabernet Sauvignon.
So this In Situ 2010 Chardonnay was kind of a surprise. Perhaps reflecting the region in which its grapes were grown, this was a simple but very enjoyable wine. Light notes of lemon and a little butter. A touch of acid, but in pleasant way. Perfectly drinkable and a great value wine!
Bottom line: Get it! (Purchased at Fresh Market, $12.)
Off to bed I go. It’s a wild Saturday night around here, with an early long run on tap tomorrow morning. Good night!