From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

A New Kitten

All In The Family...



Happy, the catI'll start with the sad part. Last May, our old tomcat, Happy, was run over and killed by a car. It happened the day after I wrote about him playing like a kitten. He was a member of our family for 12 years and my children's dear childhood playmate. We still miss him and will always remember him as an affectionate and very mellow cat.

Of course, Little Miss Skittles is the only cat we need (just ask her), but this fall we began thinking that we could get a kitten. Then Isaac came home from school last week talking about five little kittens who need homes. The mama cat was run over on the highway, and Isaac's friend is taking care of the kittens.

You already know the rest of the story. We drove over there Tuesday, and before I even parked the car, Isaac hopped out and disappeared into the house. A few minutes later, he came out with a fuzzy white kitten ( white except a few small patches of light tan) It purred most of the way home. Unless a better name becomes apparent very soon, we're going to call him Casper.

Casper the kittenI have tried and tried to take Casper's picture, but I need a faster camera or maybe a strobe! Here's what happens:
1.) I push the button to take the picture.
2. ) Casper does a quick aboutface and shows his fluffy little backside instead of his face. Or he bounces completely out of the viewfinder. Or, he attacks the camera!
3.) The flash goes off and another strange photo is made.

Skittles doesn't like Casper at all. We've limited their contact to times when we're there to supervise. Both times that they've had a close encounter (face to face, about four feet apart), Skittles hissed and growled in a menacing, dangerous voice, and Casper was terribly frightened.

Isaac, interpreting for Skittles, says she's outraged that another cat has moved into her house and she can't understand why the people don't do something about it! So we are trying to reassure her that she's still loved and properly revered.

Casper the kittenCasper had been surviving on Kitten Chow since he lost his mother. His little teeth are hardly strong enough to crunch it. He seemed awfully thin to me, so I made a batch of "Franny Syufy's About.com Kitten Glop Recipe," and he became a fat little butterball after just a couple days of eating it. He seems to be digesting it without any problems.

Franny Syufy's Kitten Glop
Here's the recipe as I used it:

2 tablespoons real mayonnaise
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 small bottle pureed baby food meat (chicken in chicken gravy)
2-1/2 cups fresh goat milk (in a carton from WalMart's milk coolers)
1/2 cup water
1 package plain gelatin

Blend mayonnaise, yogurt, and pureed meat in a small bowl. Gradually add 1/2 cup milk, mixing until smooth. Set aside. Boil the water and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Stir until gelatin is completely dissolved, two or three minutes. Stir in 2 cups milk. Then add the mayonnaise mixture and blend well. Pour into a refrigerator container and chill. To serve, dip out a spoonful and let it come to room temperature (or set it over a bowl of warm water for a few minutes.) Don't microwave it or it will kill the yoghurt's microorganisms. The original recipe says it can be kept up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator or frozen.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.