Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Responsibilities - Dinner for the Daddy

Life was getting back to normal, well as normal as life could be without the Mommy. The Daddy was home, and everyone was happy. The Daddy even seemed happier, but that was probably because he’d seen the Mommy. Peep was jealous. Why hadn’t he taken her to see the Mommy? She missed the Mommy even more than the Daddy did. It wasn’t quite fair, she thought.

Looking at the Daddy while he was getting his coffee, Peep noticed that he seemed to be even skinnier than he always was. She and the Daddy were similar, that way. Both were on the slender side. Sleek, even, but now the Daddy looked really skinny. Thinking back, Peep remembered the Daddy being that skinny a long time ago. She thought it was before the Mommy was around every day.

Peep wondered what was different that the Daddy would lose weight. She watched the Daddy drinking his coffee and wished he’d make some bacon and eggs. She loved bacon, although she didn’t think much of the eggs. Then it hit her – the Daddy didn’t cook the way the Mommy did, and he probably wasn’t eating well! That wasn’t good. She didn’t want him to get sick from not eating.

Was there anything she could do? Obviously she couldn’t cook for the Daddy, she didn’t know how to. Cats eat their food the way they find it. Mice – raw. People food – cooked, usually. Cat food – whatever. That led her to wonder if cat food was cooked or raw. It obviously wasn’t just chopped up mice, because it didn’t smell right. She’d like it if there were mouse cat food, but she doubted she’d ever see it.

Cat food did come in various types. Sometimes it was ground up stuff, other times it was chunks or slices of things. It was nice to have variety in your food. Sometimes it was tuna – those days were heavenly. She did so love tuna. If she could operate a can opener, she would eat every can of tuna that ever came into the house.

Well, all this musing wasn’t helping with the Daddy’s problem. Was there anything she could do to help feed the Daddy? It was something quite grown-up to do and it would probably impress the Mommy quite a bit when she found out about it. Now what would the Daddy like to eat?

Peep’s first thought was mice or baby bunnies, but she didn’t think he’d eat those. She and the other cats had provided lots of those in the past, and the Mommy and Daddy had never eaten any of them. They just tossed them into the woods – what a waste of good food! Thinking about it, she didn’t recall them ever bringing food into the house that was still wearing its fur. That was probably the problem. The food needed to be de-furred before leaving it, and then they’d eat it. The problem with mice, though, was that by the time you got the fur off, there was almost nothing left. Peep decided that she wouldn’t be providing any meat for the Daddy.
Peep waited for the Daddy to leave to go work, and looked around the kitchen to see if there was anything already there she could make for the Daddy. She couldn’t cook, but maybe if she could put food out that the Daddy would eat. There was a box of cereal, but it was bigger than she was. Maybe she could drag it, though? She went over to the shelves and batted at the box. It teetered and fell down on top of her. She jumped out of the way, and watched the box hit the floor – so far, so good. Peep shoved the cereal box towards the table and positioned it so that it was next to a chair pulled out from the table.

Peep jumped up on the chair and considered how to get the box from the floor to the table. She lay down and stretched out and found she could reach the box. Could she pull it up onto the chair? Maneuvering it, she somehow managed to get it standing on a side. That was better; at least she could reach it more easily. She dug her claws into cardboard of the box and pulled it up towards her. Unfortunately, she found herself sliding off the chair and onto the box. Now it was a somewhat squished box, and it was lying flat again. She tried to stand the box on its side again, and found that it wouldn’t in its current squished state. She decided against cereal and shoved the box under the small table. It wasn’t so obvious there.

Peep decided to sleep on the matter and arranged herself on a favorite chair. She dreamed of mice and bacon and the Mommy, and woke up feeling very much cared for. She settled down for some serious thought. What kind of foods did the Daddy eat that she could get? Salad! The Mommy and Daddy ate salad lots of times. Salad was just green stuff and there was lots of that in the yard.

Peep looked out windows to make sure that Fuzzy was not in sight. LT and Miss Rudy had been doing a wonderful job of keeping her out of the yard, except on Cat Club days. The coast was clear and Peep zipped out of the cat door and into the yard. She looked around, considering her choices.

There was always grass, but she didn’t think she’d ever seen the Mommy and Daddy eat grass. Besides, grass made Peep throw up, and she didn’t feel the need to throw up right now. Peep began to make her selections. She bit found a piece of cactus that didn’t have any spines at the top and sunk her teeth into it. Not a bad taste, but no competition for mice. She worried the leaf off the plant, and carried it up onto the porch. Her plan had been to pile it all on the porch and then bring it in, but she didn’t want to pick up the cactus twice. She jumped onto the kitchen table and carefully put it down where the Daddy always sat for meals.

Going back outside, Peep considered what to get next. There were some lovely large plants with wide leaves at the side of the driveway. She picked one and brought it to the porch and went back for another. Making her way around the yard, Peep managed to assemble quite a variety of greenery.

LT wandered into the yard as Peep sat surveying the collection. “What’s up, Peep? Do you have a stomach ache of monumental proportions?”

“No, LT, this is for the Daddy. He’s getting too skinny, and I think he needs to eat more. It’s salad!” Peep was quite proud of herself.

“That’s good thinking, Peep. Let me help you take it inside.” Between the two of them, they brought it all in and arranged it on the table. Peep tried to make it into an attractive display, and thought she succeeded marvelously.

When the Daddy came home he saw the collection of weeds on the table, topped with a leaf from one of the cactus plants in the yard. Peep was sitting at the end of the table, and said to him, “Daddy, you need to eat more! I got you food for your dinner.”

Jay didn’t quite know what to make of the collection on the table. His first thought was that a friend had come over and put this on his table as a joke, but then he noticed a pattern of cat teeth marks on the cactus leaf. Maybe the cats had brought it in for him? Although he knew the cats had a sense of humor, he didn’t think this was their idea of a joke. Maybe they were trying to tell him something? Maybe he should cut the lawn more often? No, there was no grass in the pile.

Looking at it again, he thought that other than the cactus, it looked kind of like a mesclun salad. Maybe the cats thought he was getting too skinny? Mary Rose had mentioned to him that that he looked like he had lost weight, so maybe the cats noticed it too. Peep was looking at him expectantly. “Peep, thank you for bringing me this fine salad. I don’t feel like a salad right now, but I will make myself a nice pork chop.”

Peep was a bit confused. He didn’t look like a salad, and she surely hoped he wasn’t going to turn into a pork chop. Maybe, he was talking about what he was wanted to eat, though? Well, even if he didn’t eat the salad, he was going to eat something. Mission accomplished.

Photo courtesty of Damon Green -

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