Thursday, June 30, 2011

Escape Attempts

My windows don't have screens, so I can only open them a couple of inches: any farther and Houdini Scarlett would be gone. Not that only being able to fit a paw through the crack keeps her from trying.

And here's a close-up of Melly, who was being adorable.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


About a month ago, I walked into the produce section at my little neighborhood grocery store and came upon the first rhubarb of the season. I was so excited that I had to get some despite its dubious quality. I made coffee cake with some of it, but it did not turn out nearly as well as the last time I made it. I was a little discouraged and decided to try something that seemed relatively foolproof with the remaining rhubarb. So, I decided to go for another Smitten Kitchen recipe.

It was such a success that I neglected to take a photo of it until I was eating my second piece.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pecan Loaf
From Smitten Kitchen

Makes one loaf

3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon rum
1 cup flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup diced rhubarb
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Topping (Optional)
1 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 to 3 1/2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Beat together the brown sugar, vegetable oil, egg, vanilla and rum. Combine the flours, salt and baking soda; stir. Add dry ingredients to first mixture with the sour cream. Stir in strawberries, rhubarb and pecans.

Spread into a greased 9×5-inch loaf pan — the batter will be very thick. Combine topping ingredients except the pecans, they should be thick and clumpy; add the pecans last and sprinkle over the loaf.

Bake at 350° for about 55 to 65 minutes, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.

Notes: I used dark brown sugar, and a bunch of extra rhubarb and strawberries. I also increased the amount of cinnamon and pecans.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The New Carrier

I used to have two carriers for the cats: a large hard plastic one, and a smaller soft-sided one. The smaller carrier is fine for short trips, but I think it's a little too cramped for longer drives, like when we go up to Geoff's house. So, I got another larger carrier. The only one at the pet store that met my specifications was in the dog section, but Melly didn't seem to mind, and was in the carrier before I'd even finished assembling it.

Scarlett has a deep and abiding hatred for her carrier, but even she had to check out the new one.

She let Melly do the close-up work, though.

I think Melly approves of her new carrier.

Later in the evening, a couple of hours after the previous photos were taken, I discovered this:

Apparently not all carriers are evil!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Saturday, June 25, 2011

On the Dresser, Yet Again

Pictures of these two on the dresser are a dime a dozen by now, but Melly was laying in such a funny position that I had to take more.

Happy weekend!

Friday, June 24, 2011

On the Balcony, Part III

Once Melly had finished sniffing every square inch of the patio, she sat back and enjoyed the view.

Unfortunately, Melly made an escape attempt, which ended the balcony time.

Scarlett was Not. Pleased.

Possibly we'll try again soon.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

On the Balcony, Part II

Scarlett, the experienced outdoor kitty, was less interested in exploring the balcony itself and more interested in looking at what was beyond it.

Although, our pizza was also of interest.

Bird! I see a bird!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

On the Balcony, Part I

Geoff's condo has a balcony off the living room, and when Scarlett was an only kitty, she was allowed free reign of it. We let Melly onto the balcony once when she was a kitten, but after an escape attempt, she was relegated to the indoors.

A couple weeks ago, we took the cats up to Geoff's for the weekend. The weather was gorgeous, so we (Geoff, me, sister, and sister's bf) were eating dinner out on the balcony, and the cats desperately wanted to be outside with us. Figuring that four sets of eyes was enough to keep an eye on Melly, I decided to risk letting them out.

Melly wasn't sure what to think of the open door, and said so.

A thorough exploration of the balcony was required.

I took tons of pictures of the cats on the balcony, which I will share over the next couple days.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Oh, Scarlett

My sister made whole wheat and oat chocolate chip cookies the other day, and we were enjoying them with glasses of milk when Scarlett hopped up onto my sister's lap. Scarlett still hasn't really accepted my sister, so it's a big deal when Scarlett shows affection. Sis froze when Scarlett jumped up, not wanting to startle the kitty, but it soon became apparent that Scarlett was not after affection: she was after the cookie.

Scarlett started tentatively biting at the cookie, just touching it with her teeth but not eating any.

Scarlett spent so much time just checking out the cookie that we didn't think she'd actually do anything with it, but suddenly, she took a huge bite and ran off with it!

(Don't worry, we'd established early on that there wasn't any chocolate in that bit of cookie.)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Guest Photographer

As I mentioned last week, my sister's boyfriend is something of a photographer. He has one of those fancy cameras with all the different lenses, and he takes great pictures. He befriended the Mellybean almost immediately, and she has been a most obliging model for him:

For this one, he used a fish eye lense and stuck the camera inside the little house on the cat tree:

And here is the gentleman himself:

Well, part of him, anyway.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Peculiar Feline

I found these pictures on my camera and am guessing that my sister took them. I'm not entirely sure what's going on in the second two, but I thought they were somewhat amusing.

Happy weekend!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Flashback Friday: A Maniacal Yawn

My sister's boyfriend is a really good photographer and has taken some great photos of Melly during his visits here.

This one is my favorite:

It cracks me up every time. Also, I think it could use a caption. Any suggestions?

The first time I saw the photo, I was immediately reminded of some pictures Sue took when Melly was a teeny tiny kitten named Sally Dickens:

Pitter Pats of Baby Cats
Photo used with permission from Sue at Pitter Pats of Baby Cats

Pitter Pats of Baby Cats
Photo used with permission from Sue at Pitter Pats of Baby Cats

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Melly's New Favorite

Melly is a very affectionate little kitty and will take snuggles from anyone willing to offer them. However, she seems to have developed a particular liking for my sister. Lately she's even been sleeping on my sister's bed at night.

As I type this, Melly is sitting on my sister and purring her fuzzy little butt off.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sweet Scarlett

I was sitting on the couch with my sister (those are her legs in the background of these pictures), when Scarlett hopped up and started snuggling with my leg.

She is so darn cute. And boy, does she love the head scritches: