Archive for the ‘Pets’ Category

Arkansas 7:15am

July 30, 2008

A stop to play fetch.



For the love of all that is holy,

July 19, 2008

don’t try to make my liver treat recipe out of beef livers instead of chicken.

It worked out pretty well eventually, but I had to use excess hot water to get the meat pureed, and work extra hard to get it all processed without loosing a hand. (Only one small cut!) The house still doesn’t smell quite right.

However, I did manage to make the treats drier, which was my original intent.  I added another half cup of cornmeal, and a whipped egg.  The batter turned into a workable dough which I pressed into a 13X9 inch baking dish, scored, and baked for about 2½ hours at 250ºF.  Jeffery spent those two and a half hours, plus the time it took to build the dough neurotically running into the kitchen, whinging,  licking the backs of my knee, and running around the house like a loose ping pong ball.

The original recipe can be found here:

Older Dog

June 24, 2008

Olive is about six years old now. There’s a little eyebrow of white in the brown smudge over her right eye. While I read and swing in the back yard, she usually lies prone in a patch of sunlight instead of dashing around crazy after her arch enemy the squirrel. She’s slower to jump in and out of the car, and there’s some new sort of dignity that beams out of her on the rare occasion that she makes eye contact.

Olive. Photo by Andy

Olive at 7.

Every so often though, she’ll be hit by something and turn back to her silly young self. Olive has the least decorous run of any dog you’ll ever see. I call her The Dorkhound, when she does this. She’s a little swaybacked, her head bobs up and down from the shoulders, and her ears flap while she goes. This is all capped off with an open mouth that seems to grin. Finally she’ll get so excited that she’ll spin in a galloping circle and eventually fall over herself with glee. It’s rare, but she still does it, and when she does there’s no trace of the burgeoning old lady.

I’ve noticed that with Jeffrey around, Olive takes on a few more personalties. She’s at first Stodgy Olive, annoyed by the rambunctious whipper-snapper of a puppy. Next she’s forgotten herself and started playing wildly, this is Young at Heart Olive. She spins, lunges, runs, and whirls. After a bit she tires out and tries to call time, but Jeffrey (Jeff Vader as I’ve nicknamed him) doesn’t get that. It takes Big Strong Olive to get her point across. That version never lasts long, and is a pretty difficult character for her to adopt.

Its both wonderful and sad to see her interact with a young dog. She’s much more vigorous when Jeffrey’s around, and seems like more of a dog somehow instead of a person. They roll around all over each other and vie for more attention.

He highlights her age though. Jeffrey’s getting stronger and more powerful by the day. Soon Big Strong Olive will be unrecognizable next to him. I’m guessing that as time goes by, she’ll sit beside me and watch him play, and join in less and less. I know I’m anthropomorphizing, but I somehow think she’ll feel older and more fragile.

Jeffrey (The Dude)

June 8, 2008

Andy’s new pooch.

Liver Treats

June 6, 2008

This is maybe the nastiest thing I’ve ever made, so I made it in Andy’s kitchen. He locked himself in the office at the point that the liver paste exploded onto the wall.

2 lbs chicken livers
½ cup molasses
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup corn meal
½ chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp garlic powder

Boil chicken livers in just enough water to cover, until they turn grey. Drain. Puree livers. I used a stick blender for this. My mistake (for the record: Andy told me so.) was in not using the blending cup that came with it.

Add remaining ingredients to puree. Stir until combined. This will be an extremely thick paste. Spread into a greased 13X9 inch baking dish. Bake at 250ºF for 30 minutes. Cut into bite sized squares. Bake an additional hour. Turn out of pan and allow to cool. The treats will be extremely dense, but not totally dry, so they won’t keep forever. Freeze.

Both dogs seem to like them a lot. I tried one myself, but I’m not yet ready to discuss the experience.

Hazel the Basil

May 2, 2008

Hazel is my 7 year old bob-tailed tabby. I picked her up at an animal shelter in College Station, Tx. I had no intention of adopting another cat that day, but here she is anyway:

That day at the shelter all the other kittens were snuggled up in large litters in their cages. Hazel was in a cage all alone. She stood with both front arms thrust out through the bars of her jail screeching to be let out. As soon as I opened her cage she jumped lightly onto my chest, snuggled herself under my chin, and started to purr. She came home with me that day.

As soon as she got out of the carrying case, she hopped into the litter box and had a pee. Then she took a few crunches of Nero’s kitten chow, looked me fully in the eye, and walked off to do her own thing. From that point forward, she had almost no use for me. Perhaps once a day she’ll sit close to me and talk in loud meows, and allow me to pet her for about 30 minutes. She has only settled on my lap twice in her entire life. She does do that thing where she looks me in the eye and then blinks slowly, opens her eyes and looks back at me. I interpret that as a form of kitty love. If allowed in the bedroom, she’ll sleep a few feet from my head. I often find small lizards and bugs in my shoes that she has placed there.

All of my pets have nicknames. Her’s include Hazel Basil, Hazel Marie, and Hazel Von Pissyface. Please don’t tell here about the last one. God knows what she’d put in my shoes.

Lounge Singer Kitty

May 2, 2008

Nero is my 7 year old Siamese mix cat. From a malnourished one pound kitten with mange, coccidia, tape worms, fleas, heart murmur, and a mystery skin condition he turned into this 19 pound accordion cat with slight neurosis. Yes, he is bulimic. Yes, he will dig his claws into your scalp so he can nurse on your hair. Yes, for years he liked to bring me little presents of trash (and once, a live cockroach) in bed. He’s really sweet though.

This is his Lounge Singer look:

Vindictive Cats.

April 12, 2008

When I leave for a weekend I take the dog with me and leave the cats with extra water and a self feeder. They usually get back at me for this by leaving the odd hairball in my shoe. Mostly I wear rubber shoes, so this is fine.

Today they out did themselves though. I came home to a dead and partially rotted bright green lizard in the living room floor. They had a good time batting the little beast around the floor and managed to impart a lovely green sheen to the hard wood. Then one of them, I’m guessing Nero… the 20 lb mildly neurotic Siamese mix, got hungry and ate part of our newly departed reptile friend. Then he hurled bright green bits-o-lizard all over the rug.

Why did I turn the air-con off before I left? Why does Lysol spray not do too much to mask the smell of tortured lizard? Oh crap, is that a tail under the piano?


April 7, 2008

When did I stop thinking at tired grumpy moments “I want my mama.” and start thinking “I want my dog.”?

The difference between cats and dogs.

March 20, 2008

My girl Olive came to me in 2004 while I was living in Athens, GA. She’s a sweet natured dog, who is as content to sit with her chin on my knee staring soulfully at my face as she is to spin herself in circles of happiness until she falls over. She’s deaf, so we have a few hand signals that mean “come here” or “sit” or “no.” Other than that I’m a non-fussy dog owner who just enjoys companionship on road trips and someone else to blame farts on.

Busted. Asleep in my chair after spreading a sack of flour around the kitchen.

The idea to have a dog came to me after watching an episode of CSI. That week, a rather stereotypical crazy cat lady was murdered and left inside her house full of felines. It is apparently a well known fact that almost as soon as their owners die, cats view the newly minted corpse as a food source. The chewing commences at once. I was living alone at that time. Just two sweet-seeming cats, Nero and Hazel shared my post-graduate duplex. From that day forward I began to notice that they watched me closely every time food went down the wrong pipe, or I tripped on my untied shoelaces. My pets wanted to eat me. I was certain.

Dogs, on the other hand, must be locked in a home for days with a dead owner, and nearly starve to death, before they will break the taboo. It comforted me to know that when the inevitable finally happened, and I died falling off a counter I was climbing on, that one of my pets would look on disdainfully while the other two began to snack upon me.