Birthday Cake for Cats

Let’s talk birthday cake for cats.

Food is the focal point of all matters for Jelly, just like his momma. I knew nothing would make this birthday boy happier than getting to eat all the human foods he usually steals off our plates.

I googled ‘birthday cake for cats’ and searched around for a friendly feline cake recipe. What I found was much more than that, I found the sweetest thing I have ever seen. Those cats are so stinkin’ lucky! I actually teared up when I read the post because I am a crazy cat lady I was so happy to finally have my own cat to spoil!

Jelly waited patiently while I baked for him.

You can refer to the original inspiration and recipe for full instructions, here is a quick how-to.

Birthday Cake for Cats

Yield: 2 small cakes | Prep time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 egg

1/2 can of tuna

2 tbs flour

2 tbs shredded or grated cheese

defrosted shrimp, to garnish

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Break up tuna in a medium bowl. Lightly beat egg in a separate bowl, then combine with tuna. Add in flour and cheese. Stir to combine. Scoop batter into cupcake tin or silicone cups.  Bake for 15 minutes.

Above: before

Below: after

These “cakes” are actually more like muffins. They were pretty dry, so I trimmed the top off a little so that Jelly could tear it up more easily.

I think the shrimp garnish is most essential. It was the first thing he went after.

The presentation on a plate was really just for the blog. I barely got photos of his reaction once I put it down on the table. He kept grabbing it and running off to the corner – as he usually does when he is snatching things from the kitchen. It was funny that the one time he could sit on the table and enjoy it, he wouldn’t.

How will I top this next year?

Update: Check out the birthday cake I made for Jelly’s next birthday – new post from April 2013!

 

Jailbreak Cat

We took Jelly to get his rabies vaccine updated last weekend. That means we have owned and operated this feline for almost a whole year!

These past 10 months (since adopting him in May) have been filled with laughter and fear. Every day is spent wondering what trouble Jelly will dream up next.

On a day to day basis, we deal with scratching, biting, waking in the middle of the night, and excessive noise (cats are really the worst roommates ever.) My least favorite of all his pranks, and there are so many to choose from, is his escape act. Jelly must have lived a former life in jail, because all he ever seems to want is out.

In the picture above, you can see the general layout of my apartment building. We have two stairwells in parallel, I think it’s for fire protection. We live up on the top floor. Once you are about halfway up the stairs, you can hear the scratches and the bellowing howls coming from our apartment.

Jelly wants out. This is what I imagine is happening on the other side of the door:

Most days, I crack the door and see a little paw stick out towards freedom.

I usually shoo Jelly back into the apartment with my purse or my foot, and have to watch for him sneaking out behind me. Every once in awhile, he slips out. Fun for him – run for me.

That cat in the hat is fast! He runs as speedily as he can down the stairs, criss-crossing between the stairwells. Meanwhile, I chase him around like a lunatic. You’d never expect such speed from a formerly fat kitty with remnant belly rolls.

The first few times he got out were easy because he ran to the nearest apartment door and sniffed around, so I could grab him. But last time, he made it all the way down three flights of stairs to the front door before I caught up with him. Of course, as soon as he was within my reach, he bolted back up the stairs and ran right into our apartment like nothing ever happened.

To remedy the situation, we keep a small spray bottle of water outside the door. As we turn the key to open the door, we mist his little face and he stomps away. But after a couple weeks, he hasn’t shown any disinterest in waiting by the door, and he almost got out once.

Help.

 

Survey Says…

I often saw surveys like this forwarded via e-mail or shared on Livejournal during the much cooler days of high school. Seeing that my blog is basically a glorified Livejournal, it isn’t a stretch for me to post the 11 Things survey going around. I’m carrying the torch forward in the name of Elizabeth at On Tap For Today (check out her hilarious responses here!)

Here are mine.

RULES

1. Post these rules.
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
3. Answer the questions the person who tagged you set for you in their post.
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
5. Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them.
6. No stuff in the tagging section about you are tagged if you are reading this. You legitimately have to tag 11 people.

Eleven Random Things About Me:

1. I am an excellent spell checker.

2. If I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life, it would be grapes.

3. I once broke my foot getting out of bed.

4. I never shut the door in the bathroom at night before turning on the light, for fear of summoning Bloody Mary.

5. I used to watch the movie When Harry met Sally every day when I got home from school.

6. Every morning, I eat enough oatmeal to feed a family of four.

7. I started out in college as an Architecture major, then ditched it when I realized I would never get a (paying) job.

8. My first flight on a plane was when I was 23 years old.

9. It is hard for me to sleep without my hair in a ponytail.

10. Every time I take a bath, I think of Chandler Bing.

11. I love gazing at the stars, but have never seen the Milky Way.

Elizabeth’s Questions:

1. If you could pick your theme song, what would it be?

Mushaboom by Feist

2. What is your favorite local restaurant?

Andalu’s cafe has yet to let us down, they have amazing pita bread.

3. What day of the week were you born?

Friday

4. Tea or coffee?

Never coffee, always green tea.

5. Pants or skirts?

Totally depends on the weather (re: New Englander.)

6. Where would you go on your ideal vacation?

Singapore looks dope.

7. What’s your favorite day of the week?

Saturday and I don’t mind Tuesday

8. Are you an early bird or a night owl?

Middle of the day crow.

9. What is your favorite sport to watch?

Basketball, because I’m still learning football.

10. Do you have a secret talent?

Besides spell checking, I can pop my gum very loudly. Neither of these are “secret” or “talents” though. So, no.

11. What is your go-to workout song?

I Gotta Feeling (I know, so 2009.)

My Questions:

  1. Do you speak any foreign languages?
  2. Savory or sweet?
  3. Have you ever sent a plate back to kitchen at a restaurant?
  4. Do you drive a car everyday?
  5. What’s the best thing you’ve ever won?
  6. Cats or dogs?
  7. What is your favorite month of the year?
  8. Do you recycle?
  9. What’s the fanciest dish you can make at home?
  10. What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
  11. When did you start your blog?

Blogger Tags:

Lindsay of The Lean Green Bean Blog

Lindsay of Itz Linz

Lisa of Lisa’s Foods

Alli of Alli Learns Life

Cynthia of It All Changes

Heather of Then Heather Said

Maureen of Organically Mo

Erin of Creative Soul in Motion

Kristen of Mind your Bees and Trees

Karen of The Tamale Girl

Emily of Relishments

P.S. Because of this survey, I asked my mom for pictures from high school that were saved on the computer at home. She has since mailed hundreds of photos, and I am both embarassed and relieved. When the time is right, you’ll see the photos.

 

Courtesy Counts

I ride the rails every morning to get to work.

Over the years, I have seen the unbelievable, heard the unimaginable, and smelled the unforgettable. Public transit exposes us to a cross-section of city life that could otherwise go unnoticed.

Choice memories from my time on the MBTA:

  • Karate Chop Woman – I don’t know what had crawled into this particular woman’s butt, but she snapped at everyone who came within three feet of her on the train. She got in a verbal argument with a teenager that had to be broken up by the driver. Then, she threatened to karate chop a middle-aged woman after she stepped on her foot. “I told you to back up!” For fear of getting too close, I moved to the back of the train and watched her karate chop everyone else in proximity.
  • Rowdy Drunk with Mustard Stains – It’s pretty easy to tell when a group of college kids is hammered on the train, especially when it’s only noon. I saw a group of males stumble onto the train and head to the front to pay their fares. I noticed one individual looked particularly tragic, as he had yellow mustard stains all over his khaki shorts. He tried and failed to hit on the female passengers he passed. To my delight, when he turned back around, I realized it was an ex-boyfriend from high school. This was not my proudest moment.
  • Poop-tucked-into-pants Man – I tend to get nauseous while riding the bus, but this instance was unlike any other. I smelled of whiff of poop and figured it was the man sitting in front of me. When he stood up, I confirmed that guess. He had poop smeared all over the bottom of his t-shirt, which was tucked into the back of his pants. I stopped breathing for the rest of the ride home. :X

With these experiences, I have learned a few things about being courteous to fellow passengers. Depending on your city, the transportation authority may set some courtesy guidelines, but no one is left to enforce them. If it was my job, I would enforce the following with an iron first.

  • Elderly and disabled passengers get prime seating. This is the cardinal rule of riding on a subway. The seats closest to the doors are reserved for handicapped persons and anyone who was out of the womb before WWII.
  • Pregnant ladies and families with children get special treatment. Do you want to see a toddler boy fall on his face when the train starts moving? I didn’t think so. Give seats up for young children, or woman bearing unborn children. It is more safe and helps control the some of the madness.
  • Let the passengers off! Do not step foot on the train until all the exiting passengers have made their way off.
  • Don’t block the door. If you aren’t getting off the train at the next stop, you probably shouldn’t be standing in the doorway.
  • Don’t drone on the phone. Save the chit-chat for your walk home. Don’t talk on your cellphone unless for something quick, like arranging a ride from the train. The people on the train are listening in and they are judging you.
  • Save your meals for the table. Did you bring enough of that for the whole class train? Some cities don’t allow food and drink on trains ever, but I don’t think I would go that far. Beverages and small snacks are okay, as long as the trash isn’t left behind! Anything served warmed with a strong scent should be saved for the table.
  • Turn your headphones down. This advice is as much for the passengers as it is for the person listening to music. No one on the outside of your headphones should be able to hear what’s going on inside. Turn it down, or buy a hearing aide. You’ll need it sooner rather than later.
  • Your bags don’t need a seat. Don’t use an open seat to hold your bags. The exception to this rule is if the train is mostly empty, then it’s okay.
  • Leave the aisle seat open. If the seats on the train are in such a way that there are “window” and “aisle seats,” use the seats closest to the window and leave the aisle open for others.

The whole operation would run a lot smoother if everyone riding the train adhered to these guidelines. In the meantime, I bite my tongue when someone stands dead as a doornail in front of the doorway with headphones blasting as people shove past them.

I wonder what you all think about courtesy on the train. In particular, these questions are still on my mind:

  • Do you think it’s necessary for men to offer women seats as they open up?
  • Would you have a conversation on the phone or in person if a person was sleeping on the train next to you?
  • What is the most insane thing you’ve seen on public transit?
 

Sleep, Interrupted

I wonder what it is like to sleep through the night. On an average night, I get up at least 2-3 times. Usually, I stir when Justin comes to bed or to use the bathroom. But, in our apartment, there are other distractions that stray from the norm.

Exhibit A: Sleep-talking

I guess it’s hard to know if you are a sleep-talker unless someone tells you about it. There have been several occasions when I wake up to my mouth saying uncertain things. According to Justin, the following words left my mouth as I stirred in the bed last night:

“Yeah, I do have some weird shopping tendencies.”

“Well, those are two different things.”

I sort of remember waking up to that, just in time for him to tell me what else I’ve been doing while I sleep.

Exhibit B: Bruxism

Since when am I a teeth-grinder?! Justin says I ‘do it all the time’ and that the noise is loud enough to hear from a few feet away. When I asked my dentist about it, she asked if I was under a lot of stress. I’m not really, but I often have stressful dreams.

I really don’t want to have to wear a nightguard. I was hoping to save that for when I’m 80 years old.

Exhibit C: Jelly

Ever since we adopted this cat, our sleep has been interrupted.

Cat owners won’t be surprised to hear that he wakes us at the crack of dawn for food. The only solution we’ve found is to stash Jelly in the bathroom once he has woken us (usually around 5 AM) until our alarms go off.

But, he is learning.

Instead of trotting straight to the kitchen, he now hides under the coffee table. This means, in complete darkness and half-asleep, we get to crawl on the ground and tear the cat from the rug.

Because that isn’t fun to do anytime of the day, we devised a new scheme: lure Jelly back to the kitchen with a tap of his dish and a shake of his food jar. He comes running back, and gets captured without breaking a sweat.

To be truthful, I don’t know how to resolve any of these disruptions. I guess that’s what the weekend is for. Wishing you all a good night’s sleep!

 

Costumes For Pets

It is never too soon to start planning your next Halloween costume. Acquiring the necessary gear to pull off a look takes time, especially when you are a cat.

But it’s easy when you are a cat with a photo gallery and an owner who knows Photoshop.

It has been a lot of fun to create virtual costumes for Jelly. I am only limited by Jelly’s range of poses in photographs: awake or asleep. Rarely moving, usually curled into a ball, or flopped on the floor like a rug.

Or a pumpkin. Or a vampire.

Send me a photo of your pet to be photoshopped with a costume, or suggest one for Jelly!

P.S. Does this make me crazy?

 

What The Fungus? Pt. 2

They’re baaacck!


Yellow mushrooms grew again in my peace lilies! I checked my plants last night when we returned from the airport and gave myself a fright. Seeing this fungus grow rapidly in my potted plant really creeps me out.

I already tried repotting the plants in clean soil after the first fungus outbreak, to no avail. This time, I decided to let a professional do it and I was willing to pay to spare myself the heebies.

I trotted down the street with my plant to the Olympia Flower Store in Cleveland Circle. This is my favorite flower store ever because…

Kitty! His name is Samson, and he is a strapping fellow.

He’s totally chill, friendly, and furry. He likes to wander around the block, which is a little worrying in with all the traffic in the area.

I had fun snapping pictures of him while the owner Larry repotted my plants in a wider pot.

He said to give it a good watering, and hopefully it will start to shape up. The fungus isn’t going to harm the plant, it really is more of a nuisance than anything.

Time will tell, and I’m sure you can’t wait for another update on my freakish house plants.

P.S. If you look closely at the photo above, you will see the cardboard box in the corner of the living room for Jelly. One side says Kitty and the other says Butthead. We can flip it around based on his mood, but it’s usually butt-side-up.

 

What The Fungus?

My peace lilies have been with me for over 2 years (unprecedented!) and they just love this spot in the hallway windowsill.

But a surprise was waiting inside the pot this morning when I went to water them. Yellow fungus started to grow around the base of the plant, some spores as big as my pinky finger.

I think the recent rain kept moisture in the air, and these babies grew in just a couple days! I was worried that my peace lilies’ health was threatened, so I googled. This is fairly common for the plant, and all I have to do pull them out and replace some clean, dry soil.

Gross though, it looks like a small village of yellow peeps.

Oh, and look what else I saw while I was watering the plants.

Check out that cute kitty in the window! Jelly was in the other window, scoping out the morning sunshine.

He digs it.

UPDATE! Less than 15 hours later, I remembered to show Justin what I had discovered this morning. I gave myself a fright when I pushed back the leaves!

That baby bloomed! The size comparison from this morning is mind-boggling. Justin reached and plucked it out, before this place turns into the Little Shop of Horrors.

Yikes! I will repot tomorrow.

 

Unimportant List

This is going to be a hodge-podge post because I only have random things to share right now.

1. If you always wanted to go to Harvard, but never made the cut, check this out! There is a science and food class at Harvard streaming online for free! Last night, I watched part of the browning and oxidation class and I learned a lot.

2. My cat’s eyelids are oozing blood, so we are taking him to the vet tonight. It was hard enough to keep my hypochondriac self off WebMD for my own health problems, but now I have a cat to worry about too.

3. I saw this video today and decided not to cancel my organics delivery service anytime soon.

I learned that washing your fruit conventional fruit won’t save you from cancer.

4. I have eaten food this week, not just cookies, but none of the meals have been interesting. Burgers, salmon crap cakes, and tonight we will have BLTs. Boring!

I absolutely love corn on the cob! It’s the easiest side dish in the world, and so fun to eat.

5. Don’t forget to enter my giveaway to win a copy of the My Calorie Counter book!

6. Another video that you have to watch all the way to the end. It is the best. Ever.

 

Analyze and Conquer

In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.

You find the fun, and…

SNAP, the job’s a game!

Guess who’s learning how to design with explosives? Oh yea, that is me.

Somehow, I signed up for this class with no understanding of what it was going to cover. After we learned about blasting and machine-induced vibrations on the very first day of class, I knew what I was in for.


Rock Blasting – NCDOT on YouTube

I don’t plan on ever actually supervising a rock excavation or blasting operations in the future. It doesn’t seem like a good idea for someone who can’t even keep powdered sugar from exploding out of the mixer.

I have other important uses for my analytical skills.

I noticed from the photos we took over the weekend that my hair looks very orange. Curious, I decided to take a closer look at it.

All I did was open this photo in photoshop, and crop out my hair.

Then I selected a few samples and pulled out tones using the eyedropper tool. Once I had a palette of my very own hair color spectrum, I could look at it more critically.

I can tell now just how much coppery orange there is in my hair, and it really makes me think twice about the camel-colored sweater I have in my closet. But, I learned that blues and greens go really well with my hair and skin tones. Fortunately, that just so happens to be the predominant color of my wardrobe. Phew.

If you are interested, comment with a link or email me a picture of your lovely locks. The picture should have lots of natural light. I will send you a personalized hair analysis and suggest a color theme to compliment it!

I hope no one judges me for being such an incredibly huge nerd… back to my homework…

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