Smothered Chicken…and no, not with a pillow.

I do love retro recipes. Since most “American” food isn’t what I grew up with, my exposure to them is usually from restaurants or visiting friends. Now I’ve made a version of this but that was kind of tossed together based on something I tasted so going back to an “old” recipe is always interesting. Also, I just love old recipes. Dunno why. Kinda crazy but there you have it.

Badger… An Odd Inheritance

Badger was my sister’s cat. Jenn loved him, he was HERS and well, I never expected her to die. It’s still kind of shocking and I’m still furious about it for several reasons, many of them too personal to share but in the wake of the hole she left… for good or bad… I inherited her cat.

When he first came home, he was burdened with extremely bad manners, a suspicious nature and an injured back and leg. Something had attacked him and did some major damage but he’d been healing up well. He’d been found in the back of a taco shop which everyone assumes is how he ate but to be honest, the little bastard doesn’t eat anything but dried food so I have no idea how he survived. He refuses to eat people food. Refuses. Isn’t even remotely interested. And he’s picky about the dried food he eats. Iams only. Nothing other than Iams.

When he first arrived, he was very aggressive and warned people off. He hated the dog, hated everyone in the house, and would leap at people’s faces. This was a habit I would eventually break. Actually all of his asshole behaviour would be slowly modified over a period of time by intense snuggling when he was bad and warning him to “make good choices”. He knows what he’s doing. And I also knew he would have to learn he was safe and loved and wouldn’t lack for anything.

Over time, he did realize these things and while he wasn’t a hardcore cuddler with anyone but Jenn, he was content in his life.

Then Jenn died and he became my cat.

He’s changed a bit. More reassured, probably because there was a lot of attention spent on him. The introduction of Gojira into the household meant he had someone younger to romp around with and he became the Older Brother, the Mentor of Chaos and Destruction. They have zoomies and slap fights all the time and sometimes Harley joins in. The dog, however, does not.

There is also outside time in the catio I purchased so he can sniff at the wind and lounge in the shade without fear of predators or losing him. He does ask to go out and is very vocal about when he wants to “Go To The Hamptons”. Sometimes it’s too cold and he doesn’t care but caution has to be taken since he does have healed over damage to his spine and leg and the cold will hurt. He’s never left out there alone and when he’s done with his vacationing moment, he clearly tells you he is ready to return to the indoors.

The oddest thing has been the increased cuddling. He will cuddle with people he likes now. You have to earn his trust. There’s a clear elevation of allowed touch when he likes you and Badger will approach to grace you with a snuggle when he’s felt you’ve reached that trust level. It doesn’t take long. He’s kind of a whore but I think he believes he needs to retain his badass reputation in the household.

Which while he is a powerful and large cat with a nasty hiss, he DOES make good choices and reluctantly behaves.

But he does have I NEED SNUGGLES moments. I wonder if he misses Jenn. He did love her so even with his nasty hissy personality which to be fair, sometimes she was nasty hissy too so they got on. I also know she loved him dearly and inheriting a cat often means you associate that cat with the person you lost. I try not to but I do wonder. And I hope she knows he’s loved and well-cared for. Because he is. He’s really a good cat. He tries so hard and while his nature is abrasive, he’s secure in knowing he can reach out and get love. So long as we keep his food dish full and his water bowl clean, oh and sometimes turn on the water faucet in the bathroom to a very low trickle so he can shove his head under it and drink. He’s an odd cat but I’m thankful for him.

It’s good to still have that connection and I hope to continue to make his life a happy and healthy one for many years to come.

Flower Arrangements can Kill Your Cat…

This is my periodic WARNING ABOUT FLOWER ARRANGEMENTS AND CATS. LILIES of ANY kind are poisonous and will kill your cat.
With the holidays arriving and people giving and receiving arrangements, I want to take the time to caution people about the small lilies florists often put into arrangements that many might not know are deadly to our cat.
The pretty tiny accent flowers are what you’re looking for. They come in many colours and are often used around the larger ones to fill in spaces.
Edit: and yes, I included the “alstroemeria” because my vet said those can be very toxic and deadly in some cases with older cats, compromised immunity, or kittens. So, better safe than sorry. YES, they are listed as “non-toxic” but they do cause severe complications and can impact a cat immensely.
The alstroemeria is distracting to people who need to point out a lot of places say they’re non-toxic, causing only mild stomach upset and the runs… which in a cat with UTI or an older cat with kidney issues…is not something they can possibly survive. Bee stings are non-toxic unless of course, you react badly to bee stings.
So lilies… not good. No bueno. Keep your kittehs safe 😃
Keep the arrangement for sure but remove the flowers and dispose of them before your often curious cat nibbles on it. Anything on that flower… anything… is poisonous. Even if your cat is old and hasn’t shown an interest in anything but a can opener in years… it’s not worth the risk.
And oftentimes, you won’t even KNOW they’ve nibbled on that flower.
“Members of the Lilium and Hermerocallis genera are toxic to cats. This includes: Easter lilies, day lilies, Tiger lilies, and Stargazer lilies. … All parts of the lily – including the stem, leaves, petals, stamens and pollen – are poisonous to cats.”

Twas the Day Before Turkey Borking Report…

Gus the Potato got a bath yesterday and he’s very squeaky clean. Of course today is Borking Day so that means… rolling around in the wet grass. Because that’s what Potatoes do.
He always grumbles and becomes a lump when it’s time for him to get kitted up but then as soon as the door opens and JESSICA appears, suddenly he has the energy of a thousand frenzied cairns and he’s ready to be off.
It’s always funny when he’s leaving because the BORK doesn’t begin until he crosses the threshold. THEN, it’s a parade of horns, bells, and whistles. Usually the Bork is short and today it’s really freaking cold so he was bundled up but caution is always used for the old man.
He came back happy and grinning. Once he allowed me to strip him nekkid of everything but his collar, he did his normal romp and cavort, followed by drinking all the water and then getting love from his Auntie… who was also attending to Harley Doodle because that’s what the cat does. She wants love and scritches from everyone. It’s hard to be a Harley. Gus got his snuggles then said goodbye to his Auntie who will be skipping Thursday’s walk because of the holiday but he’ll see her again next week.
All in all, considering he’s coming up on his … 14th year? 13th year? I think 14… he’s doing pretty good for an old Cairn. Their lifespan ranges from 12-14 and he’s in relatively good health. He does get too many treats and yes, there’s a LOT of napping time but I’m going to say, with respect to his old bones, he deserves all the comfy beds and memory foam pillows under them.
From his Auntie Jessica:
The weather was nice out this morning and Gus loved it! He did try to say hi to one couple out walking! Other than that it was pretty empty out. Have a good thanksgiving!

The Borking Report for 11 Nov

Today’s Borking Report:
I worked remotely today because the pain along my lower quarters was fairly substantial, promising to bring me a very long agony and it’s nice that my body communicates this with me. I mean, imagine if your innards didn’t give you a flash stabbing attack at three in the morning just to tell you… AND THERE IS MORE WHERE THIS CAME FROM!
Like pancakes, the first one is the ugliest but the others get fluffier and rounder as time goes by. Which is a lie because it’s NOTHING like pancakes. But I digress. This isn’t about me. This is about Gus the Potato Cairn.
And today’s adventure of… I DON’T WANNA WAKE UP.
His Auntie Jessica pinged early that she was taking him. Around 8:30ish or so. Thing is, he didn’t wake up when I woke up at 5 and go outside so he needed to pee. Which meant he DID NOT want to get dressed. Then he needed to get redressed because the grey hoodie really is too small for him and in protest of being undressed and redressed, he twisted around so the harness didn’t fit him. I pulled him over… BECAUSE HE WAS A DEAD WEIGHT… fixed the harness and his response was to flop over dramatically and lie there with his four feet up in the air.
Like a full cairn temper tantrum.
After some coaxing, I unclipped his leash (we leave it on the harness to make it easier to dress him) and told him to go outside and pee. Which he acted like I was doing him a favour by doing this. He peed, came back inside so I could put the leash back on him and once again, DRAMATICALLY flopped over.
By this time, I went back to work and wasn’t paying attention to his little acts of gothy attitude. When his Aunt Jessica arrived, he decided to be a sullen asshole for a bit then remembered SHE hadn’t woken him up so it was okay to be happy to see her.
And proceeded to scold and scold all the way down the sidewalk. There were workmen next door so they had to be reprimanded and then he had to talk about how shitty of a mommy I am by insisting he wake up and that his Auntie Jessica was the only one who really mattered in the world because she loved him.
Never mind I pay her to be the Potato’s friend.
Actually while we pay the service, she is very protective of the Potato and he is HER pupper. When she went up to her parents’ house in OC for a few months, she would come down on the weekends to visit her boyfriend and arrive early on Friday to walk the Potato and then again on Monday before she drove up the coast. His Auntie Jessica loves her Potato. And he does adore her.
Much more than he loved anyone in the house today but Borking is good for the Potato. And he did remember he loved it once he hit the sidewalk.
From his Auntie Jessica:
Gus had a lot to say today!! He pooped on the grass too like a good boy. I hope he gets plenty of rest. Have a good weekend!

Hell, What Happened to October?

We had a great Halloween and I’m ramping up to do the wording thing. I’m actually also wondering how all of you are doing? There some odd fluctuations in my brain and that’s being worked on as well as hammering at doctors and more tests… nothing life threatening but mostly annoying.

And you know what is often nice? White rice and beef gravy. I highly recommend it. We prefer calrose rice in this house but that’s a personal preference (it’s the best rice).

Of course, now I’ll have started a rice war and lines have been drawn.

Let’s Go Borking with Gus the Potato!

Today’s Borking Report!
It’s cold as heck this morning but it’s going to ramp up to the high 80s. The Potato was grumpy about getting out of bed to go on his bork and he was pissy about being dressed. However, as SOON as Jessica came over and said, Come on, Gus Gus… he was off as if we’d been holding him back from his ultimate dream.
Seriously, he’s a brat.
He went for his bork, telling the world about his opinions on everything from carrot cake to why it’s unfair dogs cannot vote then came home. Where he promptly refused to let his jacket be removed and cavorted about without saying goodbye to his auntie Jessica. Harley more than happily provided a farewell belly rub dance for her while Gus got a bit of hash brown and bacon.
Now of course, he’s back in bed for his mid-morning snooze and acting as if all is right with the world. Which of course it is if you are the Potato.
I bet anything he’s missing our house guests because most of the time, they don’t know the rules (or ignore them) and sneak him bits and pieces of noms. Sadly for him, there are no guests this week so he’s got to be dependent on us for his snacking.
From his Auntie Jessica:
Even though Gus was pouting today he still had a fun walk! He told the neighbors all about his day! He was walking pretty fast today. Maybe he just wanted to get back inside for some potatoes!

Today’s Borking Report…and Ramblings.

Today’s Borking Report!
This morning was a bit of a struggle for the Potato. Somehow he got his thumbnail caught in his collar ring and it was a traumatic few moments when he was screaming at me while I was trying to get it off. And mouthing at my fingers. I knew it hurt so I quick released his collar and got him free. It’s never happened before and of course, this morning while I was running a bit late, he had that moment. As soon as he was free, Gus was all… okay, let’s go potty! As if he hadn’t spent the last few seconds screaming that I was killing him.
Cairns are very stoic. If he’s making a fuss, then I know it hurts. But he was none the worse for wear, went out to potty then came back in to go RIGHT back to bed.
I’m sure it made for a scolding about me to Jessica when he went for his walk because as usual, the dog is mouthy. Since I am at work (in the building work), he went off for his bork without me but I did get the status update.
He still loves to roll in wet grass but refuses to go potty on it. He’s the death and trial to his Auntie Jessica.
From his Auntie Jessica:
Gus had fun rolling around in all the wet grass! I hope it wasn’t too cold for his joints today! He did poop on the walk today but in someone’s driveway. So close to the grass. He almost made it! See him soon!