The Dinner Dance: A Drama In Four Acts

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!

22 responses to “The Dinner Dance: A Drama In Four Acts

  1. My cat had the same exact problem 6 years ago! He had a bout of it, then they put him on special food to combat it, then another bout. They did a bunch of tests to determine that it was his liver causing the problem, which is really rare. He’s on a prescription food and has been (knock on wood!) healthy ever since. So I completely sympathize and I hope your kitty feels better soon!

    This is a picture of Wilhelm, my little cutie:

    • Aww, I want to scratch his big ears! And LOL at the “don’t F with me” face.

      What food does yours eat? Parker is on a prescription food right now, the vet wants him to take it for two weeks. I hope he doesn’t have to stay on it indefinitely, as it’s pretty expensive and the ingredients are kinda junky!

  2. I think our cats were separated at birth. Fat Kitty does the same thing but it starts the SECOND I walk in the door from work. “Meow! You’re home! FEED ME!” lots of prancing around, he runs into the office where the food is like he’s leading me there. If I don’t follow he runs back out and cries some more. Then he gets mad. “FEED ME NOW BITCH!” GGGGR angry meows!

    Suck a drama king. And he’s definitely NOT wasting away. :)

  3. I totally understand Parker’s sentiment. Dinner IS the most important event of the day.

    Good PSA on feline UTIs. My first cat fell victim to one because we didn’t catch on in time. Super sad. Glad Parker is going to be ok.

  4. I love read wines. I will have to see if this is imported to Germany. Although as an import, it probably is more expensive than the European wines I could get… will have to look and see if there is a dish from the region that might be fun to make. Your sandwich looks great and probably was a good idea after dealing with all your kitty issues. I hope he is back to his kitty dance soon.

  5. Soooo funny ! I’m laughing loud and it’s a good thing, it’s 6am, and I’m running my firts 10km (Marathon de Montréal) in 2 hours, it takes away my little nervosity!

  6. Poor kitty! I feel that way when I’m hungry and waiting for Daniel to get home from work. Is that the car? Is that the door? Oh no! Something has happened. Maybe I should call… But I don’t want to call while he’s driving. Oh, I’m going to die of starvation! *Door clicks* DINNER!

  7. I highly dislike cats (sorry) but after reading this I kinda want to see parker’s dinner dance. And eat that banh mi. can I come over next Saturday?

  8. Aww, I’m glad Parker is ok. Pets are the same as children, no? (Not that I have children, just pets.) I had to take my cat, Sydney, to the vet the other day because she was losing hair under her chin and it was getting all scabby and there was some blood. Turns out she has feline acne (who knew?) and her sensitive little face doesn’t like metal bowls. She’s fine, and I’m $100 poorer.

  9. Oh wow, glad he is okay! Our cat has a similar ritual, only he always decides he is hungry at about 4am and starts prancing around our pillows…it doesn’t matter if we gave him a whole pile of food right before bed – he will still eat it all and want more at 4am. Dumb cat!

  10. Oh! The poor kitty. I’m glad it’s something he can overcome. The drawing of his butthole….I don’t know. No words.

  11. Most importantly, I’m glad your little man is feeling better. Pets are like babies when they’re sick and you feel so helpless. The worst.

    But the first part of the post had me cracking up. My parents’ cat is the exact same way. Such little drama queens.

  12. Love your kitty cartoons, and so glad to hear Parker is getting healthy! I’m more of a dog person (I know, I know…:) ) but I totally empathize with how traumatic pet ailments can be. Hope both your kitties stay well!

  13. I love the 4 phases of Parker’s dinner whining :) Pretty much describes Arthur, my weim! He could be dead asleep on the couch but the minute the clock strikes 4:30 his butt is wiggling in front of me and he pesters me until I give in. I literally come in from work, but my purse down and grab his food bowl … he apparently has me trained well!

  14. My cat does a breakfast dance. It’s like a battle of wits. How annoying can she be to get me out of bed before I’m ready? And this morning, after I finally did feed her, she threw up on the carpet.

  15. Milo is on special food for this problem and will be forever. I’m pretty paranoid about it and always feel relieved when he pees, even though he’s only had to go to the vet once.

    Glad Parker is ok!

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