Tag Archives: Calvin

Critter Talk

Its that time of year again: the annual vaccinations are due. A breakfast can of turkey just consumed, and now lounging on the bed and grooming his undercarriage, my cat Calvin suspects nothing. I will give him a few more minutes of this, as I finish my delicious cup of coffee and lightly toasted buttered bread with home-made jam, the sunshine streaming through the kitchen window.

“OK, time to go”, I tell Calvin, as I pick him up and carry him down the stairs on my arm, locking the door behind me. As I open the car door, I get a look of “this can’t be good” from my cat, but he sits silently on my lap, as we drive to the shopping center nearby, where the “mobile veterinarians” set up shop in the pet store on Saturdays.

I’m delighted to find parking in front of the pet store, and we walk in the door as I hold Calvin close to my chest and get in line with all the other pet-owners who are waiting to see the veterinarian with their four-footed friends. There is a couple in front of me with a bashful dog – a reindeer chihuahua I am told – and surprisingly completely quiet. Calvin pays him no heed, but his tail gets bushy as he sees two large dogs come up behind us. I ask the owners to please keep some distance, as I can tell Calvin is stressed. A couple of unruly dogs, so this precaution is well advised. One of the workers comes up to me with a mobile device and tells me I need a cat carrier for my cat. But I have already waited 15 minutes in line and last year I held him in my arm just like this, I protest to no avail. A bureaucrat. I ask the reindeer chihuahua owners to please hold my place in line, and walk to the cashier who I remember from yesterday, when we chatted about Calvin’s extensive “vocabulary”, when I bought a new bag of “crunchies”. She is kind enough to lend me a cardboard carrier that she takes down from a shelf. I thank her and we take our place in line once again. I sure didn’t want to come back next week and put my cat through this again. This time the bureaucrat is satisfied as she takes down Calvin’s information and the coupon for his shots. As is to be expected, the rates have gone up again. I’m also glad Calvin is spared having to look at the brutes around him (excluding the reindeer chihuahua). When our turn in line comes, the box is opened and Calvin gets three vaccinations, while sitting perfectly still as the veterinarian administers them. “You have such a good kitty”, I’m told. “Kitty” – an ignoble remark, I ponder. I’m proud of  my “tri-lingual” cat’s demeanor today. I return the cardboard box to the girl in the front and thank her, also purchasing a special pouch of “Cats in the Kitchen” and a new collar. Perhaps a cardboard box is a good idea for next year.

We arrive home, and Calvin gets the pouch of “Cats in the Kitchen” which is devoured instantly to erase the memory of this unsolicited extensive visit. I also set out a small bowl of heavy cream, and mix an egg in another bowl. You deserve this my little companion – you did just great today.

Have a blessed Sunday

 

Tunafish and a hummingbird

Tunafish salad is something quite delicious in my opinion, and since I haven’t made it in a while, the thought occurs to me to make some when glancing into the produce section of my refrigerator, and spying some celery that looks like I better use it, before it goes bad.

I don’t know if it is his sense of smell, but after cutting up the celery, and opening up the can of tuna, my cat Calvin miraculously appears in the kitchen. He was soundly sleeping on the bed just a few minutes ago! Maybe it’s the auditory aspect of opening the can that comes into play here, much like with Hobbes the tiger from the cartoon. So: now a sandwich for me, and some leftover tunafish from the can for Mr. C.

As I sit down to eat the sandwich on the steps leading up to the apartment (the sunny section that I was made aware of earlier), Calvin sits next to me, wondering if I am going to finish the sandwich. “Yes I am, so don’t get your hopes up, and besides you had your share”, I tell him. A half a glass of leftover peach sirup with a few leftover peach chunks in it, makes a good complement to the sandwich.

As I’m taking my second bite of the sandwich, a hummingbird flies by, stops, and starts to chatter in mid-air just a few feet away. Now I don’t know if this is in regards to Calvin’s presence, but I suspect it is to make me aware of the fact that the hummingbird feeder has not been re-filled or cleaned in a few months. So sorry little chatterbox — I shall tend to it right away — after lunch!

Have a blessed Easter tomorrow!

November Day

I slept long this morning, but the sun awoke me blinking through the window shades with persistence from the east. It’s funny: When I yawn and stretch, my cat Calvin does exactly the same. Not that I make it a requirement for him to do so — he must assume that we should arise at the same time. Either that or he knows that feeding time is not too far off now. He did miss this little “stereo” routine once, but that was when he was hiding from the “blue monster” (the garbage truck). Who can blame him?

In just a matter of two weeks and with the cold nights that now about, the leaves of the two maples sitting in their pots on the stairway have turned from green to golden-yellow and carmine just like that. They have decided that it is indeed fall, a concept that many California trees fail to grasp.

A two-for-one coupon encourages me to make a trip to Jamba Juice. And no: my cat does not drink Jamba Juice. As I enter the store, I see Christmas decorations. Sigh — tis the season of merchandising again. As I point this out to the manager, he shrugs his shoulders: “corporate”, “but I wont’ put on the Christmas music until after Thanksgiving”, he adds. I give him a high-five as I leave with my juice.

On my computer calendar I notice that it is only 10 days until the 1. Advent. The year seems to have gone by fast, at least part of it for me. I almost miss the beautiful sunset as I’m typing, as God tells me to pay attention and I look toward the west out of my office window to catch the last dance of color in the sky. 

The Missing Sock

Well, the washer in the apartment complex is still out-of-order, so the laundromat it is once again. As I set my basket on one of the numerous large washing machines that crowd the laundromat, something catches my eye: a small sock imprinted with the word “LOVE” in big, bold, colorful letters, sitting on top of one of the washers. Its partner however is nowhere to be seen — perhaps it is hiding in one of the dryers. Whose tiny feet belong to this sock?

After I load the laundry and feed the machine with its various demands for detergent and quarters, I head across the street to get a free smoothie, for which I have a coupon. Smoothies to me, are like light to a moth.

After the washing machine finishes its duty I dump the laundry back in the basket, to take it to the apartment where it will hang outside on the clothesline for the sun to dry it.

It is one day after Earth Day: my son Christian picked a fine day to celebrate his birthday. I called him yesterday and we had a nice long talk. (Yes indeed — the astute reader has noticed — this post was supposed to appear in April — we are indeed a bit late). I received an interesting link from him via e-mail after our chat: a link to the music of the composer Holst, who I was not familiar with. Holst wrote music about some of the planets, but poor Pluto has been ignominiously ignored once again. My friend Gary was familiar with those compositions. Naturally — he is a musician. I much prefer Bach or Mozart though.

Making a rather abrupt transition from planets to food, I recently remembered that my mom used to prepare  butter lettuce with lemon juice, when I saw some lettuce at the market. Since a few lemon are sitting on my kitchen table doing nothing, the plan for tonight is to replicate this recipe. My juicer however resides in a storage locker, so I decide to go and free it from its imprisonment and put it to good use.

Also on the dinner menu for tonight is baked whole chicken. Calvin my cat, as he likes to do, has snuck in the kitchen once again, and is observing my doings at the counter, I feel his presence, and turn around to see him looking at me. Good timing buddy. He is rewarded with the chicken livers. Bon appetit! You are lucky, I will have to wait another hour or so for my share of the chicken.

Have a quiet blessed Sunday.

 

 

Another Year

6Well, here I am, another year older. Six I am told. I wonder how many that is in human years. My caretaker was gone all day (“work” he said, and “go play outside” I was told in the morning, before I was rudely shoved out the door). About time he finally showed up this evening. Things started to look up from there though: first, I received a, in my opinion, rather well proportioned piece of sliced turkey. It was very palatable I must admit. However, (and here I must protest in no uncertain terms) I was forced to wear this ridiculous “birthday hat” once more for the amusement of my caretaker. I tried my best to take it off, but that proved to be to no avail. I did notice the candle and more importantly, the can of tuna fish below it though, much to my delight. I vaguely recall a similar looking can last year. Once again I had to listen to singing though, before said can was finally opened. Oh the things one puts up with.

Sincerely,

Calvin

Picky, picky, picky

Occasionally I have lunch at a nearby Japanese restaurant, that has a very reasonably priced and delicious bento box. As I walk towards the entrance, I see one of the chefs and a waitress sitting outside talking to each other. I make my way inside the restaurant and sit down at the counter. I always like to come shortly before lunch closing time, as the restaurant is a bit more quiet then. As I sit down, two women are already sitting at the counter eating their meal, and are talking non-stop. Sigh. But, I’m here, and I’m hungry.

The waitress takes my order, and brings me a glass of ice water with a slice of lemon (my favorite), some chopsticks, and a napkin. The waitress that was outside now comes in, sees me, and says: “Oh, you snuck by me!” She then grabs my chopsticks, stuffs them in the water-glass, and asks if I would like a menu. I’m at a loss for words first, look at her a bit perplexed and reply: “Well, I hate to disappoint you, but I already ordered my bento box, and that water was just fine until now”. “Oh my gosh” she blurts out, “I’m so sorry”, “I’ll get you some new water”. I smile, and tell her it’s OK.

My bento box comes, and I start to eat, determined to enjoy it, despite the continuing non stop chatter next to me. A sip of tea, another sip. I notice that the woman next to me has left about four pieces of very appetizing looking sushi on her plate. I contemplate: it looks like they have finished eating, will they leave soon? I weigh having to listen to more chatter, against the prospect of an early departure on my part. Yes! The waitress brings their check, and they finally pay and leave. The waitress turns her attention towards the plate of the departed customer that has the sushi on it, to take it back into the kitchen. I ask her: “May I please have that sushi for my cat”? She tells me: “Sure, sure, let me get you a box”. Patience is rewarded. I then finish my lunch.

Now get this: I come back to my apartment, and serve the fish to Mr. Calvin. And what do I get? An upturned nose, as he sniffs at it, and walks away. “Do you know, what I went through, to get you this?”, I raise my voice. My displeasure is sensed immediately, and a very rapid retreat is made from the kitchen.

Evening update: Apparently someone’s appetite has returned, and the fish was finally eaten. Lucky for you buddy, I was considering withholding canned food, until you do. Other cats would fight over this. Sincerely: the other resident of the apartment.

Have a blessed Sunday and week, and may more than one piece of fish come your way — quietly…

Tug and Sniff

As I came back down a narrow pathway, grocery bags in hand, looking at a squirrel above me dashing across a telephone wire in what seemed to be quite a hurry, a girl approached me with her pint sized dog, who was tugging on the leash with abandon. I smiled at her and said: “I see your dog is taking you for a walk”, at which she got the giggles. I bent down and petted the dog, who now stopped pulling, as his nose caught a scent of my cat Calvin. Brief interest, then back to tugging on the leash — there are things to be explored and sniffed. “Bye”, “Bye”.

My hand was then sniffed of course when I entered my apartment with my groceries, with disdain and casual interest on Calvin’s part, as best I could tell. Occasionally when I have petted dogs, Calvin’s tail gets super bushy — something that always amuses me. Interestingly enough, it has nothing to do with the size of the dog — a mystery.

Have a blessed peaceful week.