Monday, April 18, 2016

Morning Routines

When sentient beings have lived together a long time, they develop routines. 

My two cats and I have lived together for more than 13 years. When we were younger, our routines were different. They evolved as we aged. 

To begin, I am often awakened by Guinness jumping up on my bed, near the pillow. Herbie is usually already snuggled in so if I do not immediately arise, Guinness will hunker down, accepting human strokes. Herbie, alerted, will amble up toward my face and plop down. I think it’s an equal time thing. 

So we stay, the three of us, just enjoying the gentle coziness. 

But it cannot last. I get up and shower. Herbie will sometimes follow me into the bathroom, begging fresh water and sometimes walking into the shower stall after I’m through, then leave, leaving little paw prints on the tile. Usually, he then goes back to bed. 

Guinness waits until I have dressed and completed my morning ritual then he follows me into the bathroom to help me put on my glasses and hearing aids. Actually he’s not much help. He jumps up on the vanity then puts his paws on my shoulder and jumps so I pretty much have to hold him. 

Sight and hearing restored, we descend after I call out to Herbie that I’m going to make breakfast. 

Common sense dictates that I fix the cats’ breakfast first, then mine. Guinness sits on the floor to the right of my feet as I eat and read the paper. After waiting what he considers long enough, he gently pats my ankle with one of his paws. If I don’t respond, he jumps up on the table, on the newspaper. He gets my attention. He winds up in my arms, purring. 

After breakfast, as I am washing up, Herbie will wander into the kitchen, looking needy. Like Guinness, he needs his morning cuddle. He gets it. 

Then, finally, we are ready for the day ahead.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

An 'I Love Lucy' Day

I knew when I saw the bacon-wrapped artichoke hearts in the ‘here’s-something-easy-but-good’ case at the grocery store, that I should not buy them. You were supposed to heat them on a cookie sheet. Bacon spatters. The goop inside the artichoke hearts would probably melt. 

But they sounded so good. 

At least I could have used a rimmed cookie sheet. 

But I did not. So I put them in the oven and, only a few moments later, watched smoke billow from my stove. And heard the smoke alarm. I took them out, turned on the stove fan, and opened the back window. 

And then I put them back in the oven! 

And smoke billowed and the alarm sounded and this time I opened another window, the one in the back storm door, breaking a finger nail. 

Eventually the delicacies were done and I pulled them out of the oven and the smoke and the alarm subsided. 

Then I looked at the oven – a greased catastrophe. 

So, what the heck, I turned on the oven cleaning unit (the process takes three hours). And smoke billowed and the alarm sounded . . . eventually subsiding. 

Fortunately, the weather was mild. Open windows were not totally unreasonable. 

Then I looked at the oven racks. Arrgh. 

Seeking counsel at the local hardware store, I purchased a number of cleaning products and, following their advice, put the racks in the bathtub and applied and scrubbed. They will do. 

And the bacon-wrapped artichokes were good. 

Now all I have to do is clean the bathtub.