Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Monday, March 28, 2011

Lovely Melly

She looks so peaceful.


And, a bit of business: starting today, I am temporarily scaling back to three posts a week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) as I have an incredibly busy few weeks ahead and haven't managed to archive enough posts to make it through on the usual schedule. Fear not, your regularly scheduled feline ridiculousness will resume on April 18th.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Derrieres

Geoff took these pictures while I was at work. He liked the symmetry.

To the left...


...and to the right.



Friday, March 25, 2011

Flashback Friday: Scarlett's Prey

My old apartment had a sliding glass door that opened onto a concrete patio, and when I was home, I would leave it open to let in fresh air and so that Scarlett could come and go as she pleased. One sunny summer day, I had the door wide open and was going about my business in the apartment when, while walking through the living room, I nearly stepped on a small green bird that was laying in the middle of the floor.

While I shrieked and ran around trying to figure out what on earth to do with the bird, Scarlett perched on the arm of the sofa looking, well, like the cat who caught the canary. Eventually I used a plastic grocery bag to pick up the bird, at which point I discovered that it was alive! It seemed scared but unhurt, so I relocated it to the yard, where it cowered for a few hours before departing.


This is the only animal (that I know of) that Scarlett has caught. Even as an outdoor cat, she showed minimal interest in hunting, and this little green bird was the only "present" she ever brought me. These days, Scarlett leaves the only available prey - spiders - to Melly, who enthusiastically dismembers and eats them.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bacon? Chocolate? Oh Yes.

Ladies and gentlemen, have I got a recipe for you.


I made these for Geoff's birthday. As a friend observed, Geoff is a baconphile (what? it's a word). And hey, bacon's not just for breakfast anymore.

Dark Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes

Ingredients
12 slices bacon
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 large eggs
1 cup cold, strong, brewed coffee
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Note: Instead of using buttermilk, you can put a tablespoon of white vinegar into a one-cup measure, then fill it the rest of the way with milk (I usually bake with 2%) and let it sit for at least 5 minutes.

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Line the cups of a muffin pan with cupcake papers. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain. When cooled slightly, chop in a food processor until crumbled into small pieces.
2. In a large bowl, use a whisk to stir together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the eggs, coffee, buttermilk and oil. Stir just until blended. Mix in 3/4 of the bacon pieces, reserving the rest for garnish. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly.
3. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan set over a wire rack. When cool, frost with your favorite chocolate frosting and sprinkle reserved bacon crumbles on top. You can sprinkle a little extra sea salt on top for decoration.


Dark Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients
6 Tbsp butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup milk

Directions
1. Cream butter and vanilla.
2. In a separate bowl, combine powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture.
3. Slowly add milk until frosting reaches desired consistency, then beat another 5 minutes until creamy.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Enjoying the Sun

My apartment is doesn't get a lot of natural light and has hardwood floors, so when we go over to Geoff's house, Scarlett's favorite thing to do is lay on the carpet and bask in the sunbeams.



Unfortunately, a certain pesky tuxie sometimes spoils Scarlett's sunbathing.




Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Nap

I like how they started out in mirror image positions and then evolved into a full-on snuggle fest.






Monday, March 21, 2011

Melly Snoozes

Melly was sleeping with her belly floof on display and I was going to take some photos but decided to try a video instead.


She is such a ham.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Happy Saturday!

Avid reader Mary sent me an email the other day asking me to help publicize a couple of kittens in need of adoption. Peter and Tinsel are featured on the blog Tails from the Foster Kittens (you can read their story here), and are living in a PetSmart in southern Maine. They're adorable little dudes, so if you know anyone in New England looking for kittens, check them out!

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!





Friday, March 18, 2011

Flashback Friday: Scarlett's First Bath

Ladies and gentlemen, Scarlett and Melly have been hatted! Check it out over at S.A.S: Sammy, Andy, Shelly. Thank you, Judi! My kitties look beautious in their hats.

And on to today's flashback...

Despite how much time Scarlett spends sitting in the tub letting water drip on her head, she really hates baths. I've given her a few over the years; these photos are from the first. Scarlett was still an outdoor cat at the time, which you can tell by how tiny she is: I have pretty small hands, and they look huge on Scarlett in these photos!





Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day, Part II

I realized earlier that I didn't have a recipe for this week, so in honor of St. Patrick's Day and the rather difficult day I had, I bring you...


Recipe

Ingredients
Irish Whiskey
Water

Instructions
Add a bit of water to a glass. Pour some whiskey in the glass. Drink.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Thanks for your well wishes for Scarlett yesterday - she seems to be doing just fine. Scarlett puking is a pretty mundane occurrence around here, unfortunately, but Melly has only vomited a couple of times in the whole time I've had her. Probably because of that, she always seems very concerned when Scarlett pukes: she tries to bury the stuff and when that fails, she gives me The Look until I clean it up. It's pretty cute.

Anyway, here are a few pictures of Melly keeping an eye on the wildlife. There isn't really much to see out there, but she finds it awfully fascinating!





I hope you're all having a lovely St Paddy's Day! I shall be celebrating on Saturday with the traditional corned beef and cabbage - a few days late but still festive.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Scarlett


I'm not sure why she looks so alarmed in this picture - Melly wasn't anywhere in sight at the time. Oh well.

As I was putting together this post, Scarlett puked in the hallway*, then slunk away attempting to look innocent. Melly came over and sniffed at the puddle, then attempted to bury it by pawing at the floor all around it. She then sat down a few inches away and stared at me until I'd cleaned it up. She gave the area a thorough sniffing before walking away.

*I think she just gobbled down her food too fast, but I'll be giving her some petramalt just in case.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Adopt the Internet

Petfinder Adopt-the-Internet Day

In case you haven't heard, today is Adopt the Internet Day! My cats have come through a Human Society foster home (hi Sue!), a Craigslist post, and a classified ad in a town newspaper, so I don't have personal experience with Petfinder.com. However, I do encourage those considering adding a pet to their lives to think about adopting shelter animals, or animals who might otherwise end up in a shelter.

For example, the handsome fellow pictured below is available at the Tacoma Humane Society. As a black cat, he is statistically less likely to be adopted. Poor little dude doesn't even have a name yet.




Monday, March 14, 2011

Paws

Her cuteness just overflows.





Saturday, March 12, 2011

Friday, March 11, 2011

Flashback Friday: Outdoor Kitty

Today's pictures are of Scarlett as an indoor/outdoor cat. Below, she is on the patio of my old apartment. I used to have a hammock out there, and Scarlett liked to hop up on it and lay next to me. It took us a few tries to figure out the balance - the first time she jumped too hard on the edge and nearly tipped me off.


The wire fence in the picture below separated my yard from the next-door neighbor's, in which lived a fluffy mutt named Pepper. Pepper lived outside most of the time, barked quite a lot, and was not a fan of cats. Scarlett liked to get a rise out of Pepper and would saunter along, right up against the fence, flicking the tip of her tail casually.


And here we have an early shot of Scarlett's patented grumpy look.


And regarding the RSS Feed, it sounds like it's just a random bug, so I'm not going to worry about it :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Raspberry Smash

This week's recipe is also from the July issue of Bon Appétit magazine and is a drink called the Raspberry Smash. It's a very light and refreshing drink, and was a welcome taste of summer in the middle of winter. I made the drink twice, the first time following the recipe pretty closely, and the second time making several modifications. I liked my version much better, but have printed both below.

Raspberry Smash
Bon Appétit magazine, June 2010

Ingredients
2 lime wedges
Granulated sugar (for sugaring the rim of the glasses)
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
6 tablespoons vodka (that's 3 ounces, or 2 shots)
4 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 cups ice cubes (I think I used 6 large cubes)
1/4 cup chilled Champagne (I used an inexpensive bottle of cava)

Directions
Run 1 lime wedge around the rims of two old-fashioned glasses. Dip rims in sugar. Place both lime wedges, raspberries, vodka, and 4 teaspoons of sugar in a cocktail shaker. Using a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon, smash the fruit mixture. Add ice and shake for 10 seconds. Divide mixture between the two glasses (don't strain), top with Champagne, and serve.


Raspberry Smash, modified version
Inspired by the recipe in Bon Appétit magazine, June 2010

Ingredients
2 lime wedges
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
3 ounces vodka
1/2 cup sparkling wine
ice

Directions
Place the lime wedges, raspberries, and vodka in a cocktail shaker. Using a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon, smash the fruit mixture. Add several ice cubes and shake for 10 seconds. Add a couple of ice cubes to two old-fashioned glasses. Divide the mixture in the shaker between the two glasses, pouring through a strainer to filter out the raspberry seeds. Top each glass with sparkling wine and serve.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

RSS Feed

A comment was left on my last post saying that this blog isn't showing up in RSS and that the last post that appears is from four months ago. I double checked all the blog settings and don't see anything awry, but I have very limited experience with RSS and don't entirely know what I'm looking for.

Is anyone else having this issue? Does anyone know how to fix it?

1, 2, 3, Smile!

For some reason, this picture of Melly reminds me of one of those really awkward portraits for which so many of us posed when we were kids.



Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Window Sill

For the most part, Scarlett and Melly's interactions happen when:
- Melly is attacking Scarlett
- They are sleeping/resting
- They are eating

Otherwise, they mostly maintain a safe distance of a few feet apart, keeping an eye on each other while pretending to be aloof. When Scarlett and Melly interact in ways that don't fall into the categories above, they do so very tentatively and sweetly. Scarlett moves slowly and doesn't growl, Melly tiptoes and bows instead of pouncing. I was lucky to be in the room with a camera for one such encounter: