by Ian Froeb
My cat Bess is a magnificent animal. Others may not agree, but they are irrevocably prejudiced against cats. I will grant that her wit and intelligence and sweetness of disposition appear only sporadically, most often when she and I are alone, but, when she feels like turning on the charm, her furry little face and big green eyes can melt the hardest of hearts. But my Bess has a strength of character that most of us can only dream of and scorns most social graces, most notably pretending to be fond of people she hates, like the vet.
Bess may be uncompromising in social situations, but where food is concerned, she is fairly easygoing. For most of the nine years we have lived together she has dined on Purina One Cat Chow (Salmon and Tuna Flavor, when we can get it, or Turkey) with nary a complaint. We adopted the Purina when she was a kitten on the advice of her nemesis, the vet, and she has enjoyed good health ever since, plus a glossy coat and a little belly that jogs endearingly from side to side on the rare occasions when she runs.
Lately, though, Bess has seemed discontented with her kibbles.
Thanksgiving Feast (November 25, 2008):
Not that I know how to cook a fish head. I decided to start by defrosting it. I put it in a colander and ran cold water over it, which is how you defrost shrimp (at least according to the instructions from Trader Joe's). As I added the rest of the ingredients to the blender, its dead eyes stared up at me fishily. I tried to remove one, the way I removed the squid eye back in seventh grade dissection, but back then I had the right tools. This time, all I had was a steak knife. Something ominous and dark squirted into the air, but the fish eye did not move. Perhaps it was best just to let it be.Country Captain (January 26, 2009):
Now I have a vision of sharing elaborate dinners with Bess at the kitchen table, me in a chair, her on the tabletop. Together will will eat our food and have sophisticated and lively conversations about literature and the arts and the major issues of the day. (We shall forget for a moment that Bess preferred to sleep through President Obama's inauguration and has not seen any of this year's Oscar nominees. Then again, perhaps for Bess, the inauguration meant that there would no longer be a cat in the White House and was, therefore, a source of anxiety.)Want to read more about Aimme and Bess' adventures together? Visit the complete archive.
Or maybe we will enjoy a silent but companionable meal, bonding in some elemental way over the meat and rice and spices