Meet My Coworker

This is my new coworker. His name is Scout and he has some really annoying work habits.

First off, he steals my chair every time I get up.

And he isn’t at all apologetic when I demand my seat back.

He also enjoys sitting on papers I need and lying right next to the computer.

Plus, he spends a lot of time just gazing out the window and talking to the birds. Not very productive, if you ask me.

I’ve worked in a few offices but never had a coworker quite like this one. When I’m on the phone, he likes to steal the pen right out of my hand.

I really don’t know what to do about him so it’s a good thing he’s cute! Do you have a coworker? I’d love to hear about them!

Happy Birthday Scout!

Since I picked up Scout in the street when he was just a little guy, I have no idea when he was actually born. The vet gave an estimate. While I think that it’s a few weeks off the mark, we ran with it this weekend and had a little first birthday party for Scout.

He had tuna. The humans had cake. He received more gifts than a lot of children. And like most kids, he was more interested in the packaging than the actual toys!

And like most kids, he turns a bit wild when his grandparents come to visit. He was practically swinging from the chandeliers by the time they left.

I made him a little party hat but he was pretty determined to not wear it. Poor little cat didn’t want to put on a silly party hat for pictures! In fact, he’s probably still traumatized from the Christmas hat.

It may sound silly celebrating a cat’s birthday but I believe that one key to happiness is appreciating the small things.

It may be a small thing but Scout is kind of a big deal in my life. It’s the least I can do to wish this sweet little cat a Happy Birthday!

An Early Birthday Present

Scout received an early birthday present yesterday. I relocated a bird feeder outside his favorite window.

He barely moved all day.

This little feeder attracted several species throughout the day and, by dusk, Scout was so worn out from watching their comings and goings that he collapsed on the couch.

This clearly is going to be the best babysitter ever.

It Would Be Fun

Scout’s favorite activity right now is pushing things off of flat surfaces onto the floor. The higher, the better.

I look at this picture and can’t help but think how much he would enjoy pushing this bust over and watching it shatter into a million pieces on the wood floor.

And honestly, I can’t blame him. That would be fun. It’s funny how quickly you start to think like your pet.

Incidentally, this photo is from a tour of Blennerhassett Island last October. I was there just before they closed for the season so I haven’t written about that visit yet. This is close to where I live and a fun day trip so I’ll tell that story before they open for the season.

Around here

It’s a three day weekend for me so today marks the halfway point rather than the end of the weekend.

I’ve accomplished some things this weekend and failed miserably at others.

Yesterday featured some cleaning projects. This was a requirement because the house was littered with cat toys and things that little Scout had knocked on the floor. Johnny Cash sang about killing a man in Reno just to watch him die. Scout knocks things over just to watch them fall.

But my work ethic didn’t last long. It was raining and cold so I ended up in a comfy chair, determined to finish this book so I could move on to some less traumatic material.

This book is graphic, emotional and compelling. The author expertly weaves the story of Emmett Till into the context of the Jim Crow south to create a narrative that’s impossible to put down and hard to stomach all at the same time.

How anyone could be so hateful, so intolerant or so so certain of their superiority over another group of humans is beyond me. And yet, it relates closely to a lot of the sentiments we hear today in this country about immigrants and still about African Americans.

Around here, I’m also doing some cooking this weekend. Today I’ll make a bean and veggie soup, pancakes for the freezer and some granola for the pantry. Yesterday I adapted an internet veggie burger recipe to meet my needs and to use up some odds and ends of leftovers in the fridge.

It was far better than store bought veggie burgers and I know exactly what went into the mix. Interested? Here’s the recipe:

Brandi’s Quick Break From Reading To Make Dinner Veggie Burger

1 can pinto or black beans (drained and well rinsed)

3 Tablespoons tomato paste or ketchup

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

2 Tablespoons flour (I used whole wheat but use what you have)

1/2 cup cooked vegetables – I didn’t cook mine but ran them through the food processor so they were finely chopped. Mine were onions, carrots, corn, spinach and mushrooms

Run the beans through the food processor and mix well with the other ingredients. Shape into patties and place on parchment paper. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for nine minutes on each side or until a bit crisp.

This is an extremely forgiving recipe because it’s designed to use up what you have. Don’t have tomato paste? Use ketchup or maybe some salsa! Whatever veggies you have will do. Want to add a favorite seasoning? Go for it. Can’t eat them all right now? Freeze them.

It really is easy. My apologies for having no photo to share.

Instead, I will leave you with this image. I dared to move Scout’s tent from the kitchen to make mopping the floor a little easier. Here’s the aftermath. It seems there was some kind of riot.

Here’s hoping today is a good day for us all and that I make it back to the list of things I failed miserably at today!

Scout and the Art of Compromise

Scout and I are working on our relationship.

He likes to chew on artificial pine, climb to the highest point in any room and knock off of every surface anything not nailed down. I like going home to find things where I left them and love the idea of not having a cat that swings from light fixtures like a little monkey.

So we’re going to compromise. We’ll do things his way.

For real guys, there is no compromise with a cat, especially an eight month old kitten with the playfulness of a baby and the strength of a small tiger.

He’s my little panther.

I lost him the other night. Searched the entire house until making it to the laundry room where I heard a faint jingle. And then up popped his little head!

Like a jack–in-the-box!

He’s cute, right? Of course, I didn’t think he was so cute the previous night when he was knocking vintage items off the top of my kitchen cabinets like a little maniac.

But he is a cat and cats weren’t designed to be down low. They are tiny little killing machines meant to climb high, hide stealthily, sharpen their claws and do as they please.

So instead of trying to stop what I call bad behavior, the new goal is to provide alternate opportunities.

Can you tell I work in marketing? I’m pretty good with a positive spin if you give me a minute to think it through.

So he wants to be up high? I’ve made the top of the linen closet comfortable for him. It’s the highest structure in the bathroom so he can survey his kingdom any time he likes.

If I’m foolish enough to leave a remote control or book on the coffee table, there’s no reason to believe it will be there when I come home. That’s just silly on my part as it is a cat’s duty to knock these things on the floor.

Those top shelf red containers in the laundry room will never have anything inside them because they provide a comfortable, warm and high place for a catnap and this seems to prevent him from trying to wiggle into an old wardrobe in that room or from climbing onto the clean towels in the linen closet. If he wants to roll around in my dirty clothes basket, who am I to argue? He’s not hurting anything.

However, we do have real and serious issues. For example, he chews on and tries to eat every bit of artificial pine in the house and most of the silk vines and flowers. All along, I’ve been scheming to design a Christmas tree situation that he can’t destroy but there’s little I can do about him trying to eat something he cannot digest.

Goodbye Christmas tree! Maybe we can revisit this next year…..

Anyway, the compromising seems to be going well. As long as Scout continues to get everything he wants, we should be fine!

Have a cat story to share? I would love to hear! Have you ever tried giving them a pot of fresh grass to distract them from eating artificial pine? This is my last resort.