|Dangerspouse Rides Again|
Garage - Track
Jun. 11, 2017 - 4:23 p.m.
When I came home from work a couple of weeks ago there was a dead cat in our yard:
"There's a dead cat in our yard" I said to NewWifey(tm).
"WHAT?" NewWifey(tm) shot out of her chair and ran to the back porch. I followed, stopping only long enough to knock together a liverwurst sandwich and open a beer.
Outside, NewWifey(tm) was leaning over the rail peering at the little black form sprawled in the scree at the base of our stone wall. Something must have attacked it head on, because large patches of fur were missing around it's ears and eyes.
"Goddammit" said NewWifey(tm). "Why the fuck do these things keep coming to our yard to die? Remember that fox last year? And the giant turkey - remember that one? There must have been twenty vultures sitting on our railing that day, and ten more on the ground tearing it to shreds. God, what a mess."
"I remember" I said.
She sighed. "I guess we better at least put the poor thing in a trash bag before we have another feeding frenzy on our hands."
"By 'we', I assume you mean 'me', right?" I said.
She handed me a plastic bag. "Try not to get any ticks on you."
Rats. I put my sandwich down and made for the deceased, stopping a few feet away to take one last picture.
But just as I hit the button:
It was alive!
"Hey honey" I called to NewWifey(tm), "the cat's not -"
NewWifey(tm) went flying by, elbowing me out of the way and letting out a high pitched "Squeeeeeeeeee!"
The cat immediately leaped up, vaulted the rock wall, and disappeared into the forest. "Midnight!" NewWifey(tm) called. "Midnight, come back!"
"'Midnight'?" I said, "You named it already? That was fast."
She shrugged. "Everything has to have a name." She stared forlornly into the trees.
"How do you know it doesn't already have a name? It might just be somebody's pet out chillin' on a nice day."
"Did you see how ragged he looks? That's a feral cat. And his name is Midnight."
"Fine" I said. "Just don't encourage him to keep coming back. They carry all kinds of disease, not to mention fleas and ticks."
So of course two weeks later I came home, looked out our back screen door, and saw this:
"Honey, would you come here a second?"
"Huuuuuuunnyyyyyy. Where are you, baby?"
I searched up and down but NewWifey(tm) was nowhere to be found. Finally I gave up and went into the bedroom to get changed. I opened the closet door and reached for my SpongeBob lounge pants and a t-shirt.
A pair of blue eyes were looking back at me between a couple of dress shirts.
"Honey" I said. "Get out here."
NewWifey(tm) walked out of the closet, head down.
"Is this about Midnight?" she said.
"No, not at all" I said. Her head lifted. "OF COURSE IT'S ABOUT MIDNIGHT!" I yelled. "I thought we agreed that feral cats are walking disease agents and we wouldn't do anything to entice this one to come near us!"
She stiffened. "You're wrong" she said. "I checked online. It turns out poor abandoned kitty cats are NOT harbingers of doom."
"Yeah, well, they still carry ticks and fleas, and THEY carry disease."
"I don't care. His name is "Midnight", he's my cat, and I'm going to take care of him."
"He's YOUR cat?" I said.
A bit of background here, for anyone who isn't a long time reader. The week after returning from our honeymoon (in 2001), NewWifey(tm) surprised me with two orange tennis balls. One turned out to be a tiny little welsh corgi puppy, the other was the tiny little kitten the pet store threw in for free. Casey and Gloria were to feature large in our marriage, and my stories, for the next 15 year.
"Casey the WonderCorgi" got the most press because, well, corgis always do. The internet loves corgis, I don't know if you noticed, and for good reason. They're impossibly cute and endlessly entertaining and OH SHIT HE'S HERDING A FAMILY OF BEARS RIGHT INTO OUR YARD! I never wanted for material when Casey was around.
"Gloria the Liquid Cat" made the occasional appearance also, but being a cat she wasn't as prone to spectacular, story-worthy hijinx as the dog, and so wasn't mentioned as often. Still, I did relate the time she dove into the toilet while I was peeing, the time a hawk dive bombed her as she leaped into my arms, a few cooking adventures, and famously, the time I fucked her with a Q-Tip (it's not what you think...ok it is, but I had a good reason).
We loved those animals. But of course, they are animals, and animals don't live as long as us animals. Almost three years ago we said goodbye to Casey. Then not long after that, Gloria, who seemed to pine at his passing as much as we did, disappeared one night and we never saw her again.
I still miss that cat, as much if not more so than the dog.
As does NewWifey(tm).
We decided not to get any new animals because of circumstances, but that decision was tough on her. She really, really took Gloria's disappearance hard. That cat was her Cuddle Muffin, snuggling with her the long hours I was away at work early in our marriage. Having Gloria gone, with no prospect of another to replace her, has been an ongoing void in her heart.
And now a new cat, scraggly and hungry, has wandered into our yard. And if NewWifey(tm) has her way, into our lives as well. "Midnight" may not be Gloria, but NewWifey(tm) wants another Cuddle Muffin, even if it means risking rabies, fleas, Heps A, B, C, and D, Lyme Disease, and the Dreaded Lurgi.
So I shouldn't have been surprised when I came home from work Friday and saw this in our kitchen:
NewWifey(tm) frantically motioned me to be quiet as soon as I entered the room, not wanting to scare the beast. We both stood stock still while Midnight ate, then watched as she stood, looked around, and slowly walked out the open back door onto the porch. Through the window we saw her trot down the stairs into the yard then disappear into the woods.
NewWifey(tm) exhaled a long breath. "That's the first time she's come inside!" she said. "I've been placing the dish closer to the door every day, and today I finally set it on the kitchen side and she came in!"
"Great" I said. NewWifey(tm) was too elated to notice my obvious insincerity.
"Soon I should be able to pet her, and then I can take her to the vet for a checkup, and then we can -" she looked at me and stopped. "Pleeeeeeeeeeeease??"
What could I do? For one thing, I still miss having a cat too. But really, the over riding factor is that no matter what I say or do, NewWifey(tm) is gonna do whatever the fuck she wants anyway.
I gave in.
"Ok, yeah, sure" I said. "Just make DAMN sure you bring it to the vet if it gets that far. I don't want my liver falling out or anything if it scratches me."
She gave me a hug and let out another squee.
Yesterday, then, NewWifey(tm) once again set a little banchan bowl filled with cream on our kitchen floor and opened the back porch door. She then placed one of our cushioned dining room chairs on the opposite side of the kitchen and waited.
NewWifey(tm) sat in that chair from 8 in the morning until 1 in the afternoon. I brought her cups of coffee and cookies - I wasn't allowed to cook, in case Midnight showed up and the rattling of pans scared her - and when she needed a bathroom break I took watch for her.
At 4 o'clock I decided to do an intervention.
"Honey" I said gently, "get the fuck out of that chair. Midnight isn't coming. She's probably frolicking with her buddies or dead or something. So get up, let's have a proper meal, and I don't know if you remembered but we had a date today."
She looked at me horrified. "How can you even think about sex?" she said. "OUR CHILD IS MISSING!"
Hoooooooo boy. I backed out of the room.
At 6 o'clock I brought her a sandwich and a beer.
At 8 o'clock I handed her another beer and kissed her goodnight. By 8:15 I was fast asleep.
Then, just as my dream of circus midgets, two trained German Shepherds, and a giant vat of cottage cheese (small curd) was about to reach its climax, I was jolted awake by NewWifey(tm). She jumped on the bed, straddling me as I lay face down drooling into my pillow, and shook me by the shoulders. "WAKE UP!!"
"Hnnnghhgnn...gnnn...snorklflax....whuh? Huh? What's up? What - what time is it? Is something wrong??"
"Midnight finally showed up!" she yelled. "I waited until 11:30, but she finally came! And...I PETTED HER!! She let me stroke her back while she ate! I'm so happy!!!!!"
NewWifey(tm) could hardly contain herself.
And that's how I got Midnight Pussy.
In Low Carb news:
A shrimp sale led me to make Vietnamese summer rolls (Goi Cuon) a few days ago, which NewWifey(tm) and I ate on the porch while playing Chutes-And-Ladders and getting hammered on a very accommodating Rose d'Anjou. To go with the rolls I whipped up my version of peanut dipping sauce: smooth peanut butter mixed with Hoisin sauce, 5-spice powder, sesame oil, a little soy sauce, sometimes a bit of brown sugar, and water to thin it out. It's not traditional, but NewWifey(tm) creams her jeans over it every time. I made plenty, knowing she practically inhales the stuff.
I actually made so much that there was still a fair amount left when we were done - a real rarity. So despite having put myself on a low carb thingy a couple of weeks ago, already dropping some flabbage as a result, I decided to revive my "Will It Make Bread?" experiment just for today. (If you haven't read my previous entries regarding this, I have a theory that any liquid which doesn't kill yeast can be made into bread by adding flour, yeast, and maybe a prayer. So far I haven't been proven wrong.)
Trumpet flourish please.
Behold! Peanut Butter Bread:
I added some extra peanut butter to the dough to intensify the flavor. And while it may indeed have boosted the peanuttyness, it also made the dough very heavy so it didn't rise as much - or as quickly - as other loaves. I think the first rise took 4 solid hours, the second rise about 2. But MAN. The flavor was awesome.
Yes, that's a little ramekin of grape jelly on the plate. Welch's finest. Matched perfectly. But you knew it would, right? It was actually pretty funny eating a PBJ without the PB. We ate half the loaf this morning, the other half I'm saving to make a bread pudding or something later.
Fuck Atkins. This was worth the gain.