MY FRIEND COLIN AND DEATH AND SHAKE AND BAKE

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I’ll never forget Colin being there for me on one of the worst days of my life, and the day after that, and the day after that. My beloved cat I found in the jaws of 2 coyotes and she couldn’t be saved. I was inconsolable and blamed myself.

Colin offered to have a funeral at his house and bury her in his back yard. I accepted but decided I needed a new kitten immediately.  We went to at least 10 different shelters because of a clause in my Santa Monica rent control apartment, I wasn’t allowed to have ANY additional cats. My landlord spelled it out, if one died let there be NO REPLACEMENTS, it was in my lease. Three cats and no more.

Since I had been golden about monthly cash under the table unlike my predecessor who stopped the payola two months after moving in, I figured I could fudge a little. I would have to find an all black kitten to replace my dead black cat – KITTER GIRL.

Who else but Colin would have co-signed this lunacy? For two days we drove from shelter to shelter interviewing kittens but there were no blacks. We hit the Sepulveda shelter pronounced by Colin with his UK accent, supple vita. If I had asked Colin to drive me downtown to The Union Rescue or The Los Angeles Mission? If I had decided to adopt a man or a full grown woman he would have carried them to the car for me.

The funeral had everything, flowers, mix tapes by Colin, funerary organ music and a crowd of dear friends. He catered vegetarian as well, with dubious surprise balls. I kept asking what’s in these balls? Colin was a new convert to vegetarianism and rabid in his implementation. So when I detected what I thought was a Progresso bread crumb; I pressed for the recipe. I wasn’t sure how processed food was vegetarian. So when he wasn’t looking I went through his trash and found an empty box of SHAKE AND BAKE. Which suddenly seemed very funny and I began howling until I couldn’t breathe.

My new kitten CHEESER was there. She ended up living with me for the next 23 years and she wasn’t black after all the driving I made Colin do. Cheeser was the craziest dressed moo cow Calico you ever saw. When she poked her mitten at me thru a cage, I couldn’t deny that I was choosen. Colin was always in the background cleaning; he fussed after digging KITTER GIRL’S grave under a tree in his back yard. Another friend who had a crush on Colin made KITTER GIRL a velvet lined coffin and she was off like that with all my tears.

Colin last week was given a funeral in Thailand. A pyre.

 

 

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GIZZARDS

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I cooked gizzards for the cats and they came out so rubbery un-edible that I googled recipes. At least on my first attempt they tried to chew them before spitting them out, arranging them all over the lanai, with regiments of ants surrounding each morsel in a trail. Rather than use my vegan pressure cooker I decided on the 5 hour boiling recipe. I dumped the rest of the gizzards from the refrigerator that I didn’t want to go to waste into cold water, sullying my French and pristine clean kosher skillet.

(WHAT IS MY PROBLEM WITH WASTE AND WHY DO I WASTE MYSELF?)

A cauldron of nasty odors incensed this vegetarian all Saturday. It took HOURS of stabbing until I felt them tender. Then I replaced the boiling water and I fried the last of the cheap pork, let it all rest, then cut it with a dull steak knife so it took even longer, into the tiniest kitty bite pieces. Service wasn’t until close to 8.

They barely sniffed immediately turned tail. All three left the feeding area in protest. I waited 5 minutes, bagged and refrigerated the rest. They didn’t even taste them this time. When I woke up I retrieved the gizzards from the fridge and warmed them on the counter for an hour. My morning epiphany was to pour one small can of cat food over the top which they licked off.  The wild chickens, that I try not to feed, gobbled up the two plates in minutes saving my project ultimately from the ants.

I dream of cats

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Verdant marble
pink nosed
dead cats
with their tongues out
Sphinx all American 
and Siamese.
Someday there will only be cats.
Every projection white whiskers.
Grey hair
in the light room now
with the sofas and a pagoda.
Asleep curled around the cat
turning into me and I into her
napped, in the hammock
near a turned stupa
in the great golden outdoor studio.

J. Pompei