Thursday, December 25, 2008

Dexter's first Christmas and a trip to Florida

Dexter came to Florida with me for his first Christmas. Christmas is a big deal for inside cats as for many of them it is the only time they will ever see a tree! Being in Florida my parents don't use a real tree. We had one only a few times when I grew up. It used to be something I wanted terribly and getting a real tree was like getting a treat. As an adult my view of the real tree has changed dramatically. What really did it was continuing to find needles in my house well through July - and then finding a whole mess of needles under the carpet when it was pulled up for the reflooring. In Florida most of our trees were cut over the summer. They are so close to dead by the time they get here you have little hope of their needles hanging on long. I remember a neighbor who had two trees one year that both lost their needles. For the third tree she oped for a tree with that white fake snow flocking sprayed all over it to hold the needles on.

Regardless, Dexter was happy to bite the fake tree and it's ornaments. He liked to inspect the packages beneath it and he also all the bits of ribbon and string lying about. He was actually pretty good in the car, mostly sleeping and only a few tragic 'meow's. Tsu has done this a few times before so she's pretty laid back about most things. I took a few pictures of her from her level. She's wearing her collar for the trip (safety first) and has her 'Jingle Cat' tag on. I have to say that when I can get a picture of her, she looks quite sleek and pretty. One of my favorites actually has her sitting in a chair at my kitchen table looking at a book on the table. In the pictures her coat looks sleek and black and she stands out well against most backgrounds.

Being a kitten, Dexter is rather oblivious to the cat hierarchy around him. My mothers cats come up to investigate, perhaps even hiss in his general direction, and he just bumbles through.

Certainly there have been some pretty good pictures of both of them. Dexter as he bites the Christmas tree and both as they stretch out on the sofa for a nap.

This is a picture my father took with his very excellent camera. The one's I have just show a washed out cat on a washed out sheet - He managed to get the shadows by not using a flash - something that would have been too dark with my little Canon Elph - but I really do love that camera. I'm not much of a photographer so quality isn't that important - but the resolution is high and it's the size of a deck of cards. That makes it easy to carry with me so I have it when I want it. It really comes down to volume. I take bad pictures in general, so I take as many as I can in hopes that at least a few of them will be decent.

In fact he just walked in here and gave me a squeaky meow as he hopped into my lap!

Last night mom started to work on the goose, remove the fat and get it braised for today. Dad dug up some of his childhood 'farm' skills and de-boned and cut up the goose (thank goodness because boy was that gross) and mom tried to render the fat in a frying pan but burned up the first lot - a truly liquid black mess. ewww.
Here you can see mom and dad trying to get a picture with their cats to send to a family friend. Mom has a string and Tsu is interested in being part of the picture. Dexter watched from the edge there for a while, but did end up going after the string himself - much to the dismay of Cricket who you can see in my father's lap. There were several of these pictures under the tree as their cats were not so very interested in being part of this event. The idea is to add these pictures to an email template that shows the pictures so when she gets the emails everything is very easy. There is some sort of odd email printer that actually prints these emails as they come. Mrs. Kelly (the family friend) used to live next door and now lives in Texas. She isn't really familiar with email and Internet and I believe this is an attempt by her children to get her to use email. Hopefully it works.

Last night I made Mahi Mahi on a steamed bulb of baby bok choy with a roasted tomato vinaigrette. Very tasty and certainly will use that vinaigrette for some other dishes! The recipe actually calls for Salmon but I'm a little off Salmon having had so much of it over the years. The firm white Mahi Mahi was really quite nice.

I tried for a few new pictures with Dexter for my 'profile pic'. The one I have up is cute and all but he's not looking at the camera and he has a few eye boogies. I cleaned out his eyes and took several over the course of the afternoon in hopes that we might both look OK in one of them.

My mother has pointed out that Dexter has rather short legs, something I hadn't noticed but I have to admit that she's right. Kind of like one of those Munchkin cats, but actually more in the middle - like his leg length falls right between Munchkin and regular. She keeps calling him the weasel or the ferret as when he first got here he was a little slinky and even lower to the ground. Personally I think he looks more like a lion with his little broad nose!

Tonight I am making a seared scallop over braised radicchio with a grapefruit beurre blanc sauce. That will be the first course and then we will have the goose with some roasted root vegetables. I've never had goose, so I hope it's good. There certainly isn't much of it in terms of actual meat but there was a lot of fat. Kind of makes me wonder how a goose gets around with so little muscle. I am also supposed to make a creme brulee but I got a backup from Trader Joe's on the way out of town just in case. Dessert isn't really my forte.


Alley Cats and Angels of North Carolina said...

Looks like Dexter (or as I know him, Snarfle) had a great holiday. YAY!!