Jump. Don’t Climb

Scout loves to jump. Climbing is good but jumping is better. And like most cats, he always wants to be at the highest point in any room.

He recently found his way to the bookcases in my bedroom.

The route? Jump from the night stand to the top suitcase. Hold on tight, balancing carefully as the suitcase shakes and threatens to fall. Then nonchalantly step over to the top shelf where he can balance atop books and radios galore.

Super, right? I can’t wait till he starts knocking things down from here. . .

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!

Camping In The Kitchen

Scout has a darn good life but he’s been experiencing some anxiety whenever I leave home. An act as simple as running out to the compost bin is worrisome to him. Leaving for work is a traumatic event every single day.

This is a relatively new development, along with a handful of other behaviors that I hope are just part of a phase – like the terrible twos.

I’m trying to help him through this phase as much as possible. Part of that simply means keeping him entertained with active playtime, lots of toys and plenty of windows to sit in and watch birds.

My home currently looks like a bunch of cats had a frat party – there are toys everywhere.

A pal from work gave him a new favorite toy for Christmas – a tent that’s just his size. Technically, it was from Ben’s cat Casper but someone had to deliver the package!

Scout loves his tent and always keeps it stocked with mousies and jingley bells. It’s great for play, for naps and for hanging out while I cook.

And while he drags his shark tunnel all over the house, the tent isn’t allowed to leave the kitchen. Don’t ask. That’s just where it lives and it’s non negotiable.

While it’s a little annoying walking around all his stuff, who could say no to this little face?

Then and Now

When Scout found me alone in the street, with no kitty cat to brighten my home, this is what he looked like.

He was under two pounds with a cruddy eye and some fleas. He was also a persistent, irresistible little soul who was determined to have a good home.

Here he is now!

Isn’t he a beautiful boy? He’s all grown up, sleek and shiny. He’s my little panther boy and ready to help with laundry!

In fact, laundry day is the best because that means we put clean sheets on the bed. And when I say “we,” I mean I put clean sheets on the bed and he wallows around until it looks like this.

I hope you are as happy today as a spoiled rescued cat with a pile of clean sheets! And if you’ve never rescued an animal, it’s the best feeling in the world. Go find a little lost soul who needs a home. You may just save a life!

It Survived

In case you’ve been wondering, the tree survived the holidays. Scout made no effort to climb or get inside the tree at all. He did try to eat the darn thing, a quirky little habit that I still can’t explain.

Perhaps next year the tree can return to the living room rather than be banished to my home gym where a closed door could protect it while he’s home alone.

Note the absence of bows on all the packages. He’s a good boy but not good enough to resist a shiny bow!

Merry Christmas!

Scout and I wish you a Merry (or Meowy, depending on how you say it) Christmas! We hope that you are safe, happy, fed and loved wherever you may be.

The above image is the Christmas card I made to mark our first Christmas together. I know it looks silly but it made me happy!

Have a beautiful day, friends!