Tuesday, October 16, 2012

An Old-Fashioned Contest

About a month ago we found one of the usual "neighborhood" flyers in the mailbox. We don't always get around to looking at them, as they're often tucked in with shop ads and other unsolicited stuff, but this time I managed to read it.

Later this month (the day before Halloween) there's a neighborhood cooking contest...pumpkin is the theme, and costumes are encouraged. I thought it said "baking contest" and so, I've been perfecting a baked item. It's taken some work, because I'm more inclined to use pumpkin in savory dishes (consider the recipes on the blog--pumpkin soup, pumpkin chili). My husband has been very game, and swears he's not tired of pumpkin yet.

At this point I'm on version #4, and it's good. I'm still working out the bells and whistles, but I think it's a winner, in theory if not in fact.

I'm really looking forward to this event. It's going to be held at a local bakery, a really excellent place for bread, in particular. The judges--no specific names have been mentioned--are said to be local chefs. That would be impressive in most places, but here in Providence, almost intimidating. The food here is spectacular. We have The Dorrance, La Laiterie, Cook & Brown, Chez Pascal, Hemenway's...and many more.

Not so sure about the costume part of things; I'd rather concentrate on the food aspect, though my husband swears that if I show up in my usual 30s style attire, carrying an old-fashioned cake dome, I'll win both.

It's going to be crowded. Seven Stars isn't a big place, in terms of square feet, and it's very popular, with people of all ages. There will be lots of people, including many children, and I'm sure most of them will be on a sugar high already.

I'm looking forward to this. It's going to be fun. With any luck I'll be organized enough to bring the camera so you'll be able to get a look at the (organized?) chaos.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Miscellaneous October: Cats and apples

Let's see...there are still apples, but only a few. I've made applesauce, apple marmalade, an apple-pear crumble with bourbon cream sauce, and had some for breakfast, with yogurt. We've also been snacking on them. We have one Rome left, and a few Cox's Orange Pippins. I made a pie yesterday, and that used up the last of the RI Greenings...they really do make the best pies!

We still have Shadow. I think (and hope) that we'll be keeping him. He's still in seclusion in the guest room, because (a) he was hosting more worms than any robin could ever hope to eat, and  (b) his wound is still healing.

The wound is healing well, and rapidly. It's down to about 25% of the surface area it covered when I found him three weeks ago. It appears that his fur will grow back as well. The puncture wounds were completely closed over with scar tissue 10 days after I found him.

The worms and mites were something else, but not too surprising, considering he was feeding himself a diet of bugs and mice and birds. Today he had his last dose of pill form worm meds. The last liquid dose comes on the 25th. He also got Revolution a few days ago (many parasites, including the mites). In a few more weeks I'll have more lab work done to see if they've all kicked the bucket. He's not getting nose-to-nose with my babies until I know he can't infect them.

On that, I hope they can meet soon. Staying alone most of the day is starting to tell on him.

He was neutered last Wednesday, and (thank God) it had an immediate effect. So far, he has not sprayed since, and he's no longer pulling and banging at the door to try an escape.

Shadow is very bright--he learns quickly and is moderately friendly, but wary. I can't blame him, since he obviously was abandoned, and probably by people who initially treated him with affection. Students, maybe, who decided a tomcat wasn't as cute or easy to deal with as a kitten. It makes me so angry! Animals aren't toys, dammit.

It's been a bit of drain on all of us. The cats (the Siamese brothers, I mean) are settling in. They're pals again, and occasionally I let them sniff at Shadow under the door. Fa Sing usually hisses for a while, but there hasn't been much growling. Shadow chirps, which is a good sign.

We're sleeping through the night again, as Shadow is beginning to acclimate to a day/awake-night/asleep schedule. Bringing him to this means a lot of attention on the part of the people in the house, mainly me, especially during the week.

The cost in dollars has been high, and it's not over yet, but I do hope the worst is over. We are so lucky to be able to do this, though it's not been easy, it's within our budget.

Still, how can you dismiss a domestic animal who shows up at your back door, asking for food and affection and help? I can't; to me it would be wrong.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Mug Shot: Shadow

Shadow, wearing The Cone Of Shame.

This is the stray I rescued last week. The open wounds are not in the pictures, so have no fear you'll have to see them if you take a close look. However, if you know anyone in the Providence, RI area who is missing a grey tom, young (less than two years old, I'd say), please let me know.

He weighed about 7.5 pounds when I found him. As you can see, he has filled out since then. There's a small white locket under his chin, and a good irregular patch of white on the very front of his underside, just below the chest.

He's a good cat. Very intelligent, and under the circumstances, extremely well behaved, though he throws some fits on occasion (trying to get out of the room). He's friendly and likes to be petted and to be in company.

He has his next vet appointment tomorrow, and I hope his surgery can be scheduled. We will keep him if no one else wants to adopt him, supposing (fingers crossed!!) that he will survive--the wounds on his back are severe, but he is otherwise apparently in very good health.

ASAP he'll also be neutered, and will get the rest of his shots. If you live in the area and would be interested in adopting him--NOT to be let outdoors, unless on a harness--please let me know.