Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Weekend Wrapup: First Camping Trip of the Season

This past weekend, Sean and I packed up the hoopty and off we went to Samuel P. taylor State Park for two nights of "roughin' it". And oh! how we rough it was!

After setting up the campsite, we headed into Olema for a schmancy dinner at the Olema Inn Restaurant. Super-scrumptious, many of their dishes' ingredients are entirely harvested in the Point Reyes area. We began with 8 oysters, of 4 different taste sensations. Next, we shared a pea shoot salad with sliced and roasted almonds, avocado, beets, and chevre in a light and tangy vinegarette. Sean had a tuna tartare dish as his main, which was intermixed with avocado and kumquat, and impressively molded into a disc shape, topped with wanton crunchies. I opted for the risotto- fresh green peas (I swear you would think they were dyed- they were so green!) and locally-foraged chanterelles. So good! Dessert brought Sean a berry-topped cheesecake and for me, panna cotta- the best I'd ever had- with a grapefruit/fennel/honey accoutrement that was pretty good but that Sean didn't particularly care for. 5 stars! Even more stars because the food quality and presentation were top-notch, but you don't have to dress up- this is my favorite combination. I hate dressing up for the privelage of paying $100 for dinner.
The picture above was taken on the hike we took on the Bear Valley trailhead. I think Sean was delirious from exhaustion!
We also met Heather and Michael last weekend. We got to tour Michael's familys' new house in Nicasio, and shared meals at the Station House Cafe and at Nick's Cove. . . a new restaurant for me and Sean. When I see the pictures Michael took of all of us with Boo, I'll be sure to post them to the blog.
In the meantime, Happy Trails to YOU!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday catblogging! (Sorry for the delay)

Friday was crazy-hectic with me being at an off-site meeting for most of the work day, and leaving work early to do some last-minute organizing (gasp!) for the camping trip. And so, with great anticipation. . . is Monday catblogging!

To the left is Amelia. . . with the fuzzy catnip pineapple in her mouth! Twice last night, she fetched the pineapple, carried it over to me and hopped on the couch, then dropped the pineapple before me. . . what a good girl! She even played "fetch" with Sean once- he threw it, and she retrieved it! Sadly, it was a one-time-only feat, but at least I captured a bit of it in the picture, as you can see the pineapple is in her clenches!

In the second photo, you can see that Nermal is not amused. We really need to get a few more pineapples going- both kittehs prefer the pineapple to the gay pride catnip raindow, and prefer the pineapple to any other toy, as a matter of fact.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday catblogging a'la Kevin Drum

So, every Friday my Mother Jones magazine email update shows up with a feature which I think provides a nice contrast to stories about environmental plundering, economic woes, and the US relationship with Iran. . . cats. MoJo reporter Kevin Drum has a feature called "Friday catblogging" which consists of a few pics of his cats, Inkblot and Domino, and a description of what they're doing, or what their mood is like.

I'd like to attempt to imitate (sincerest form of flattery, right?) Kevin's sucessful feature with my own, of Friday catblogging. Today's blog post features Ameilia, who we've now had for 6 whole days!

Well, you've probably never before experienced a cat who behaves this nicely at the vet's office. She was alert, responsive, quiet and patient throughout the visit, that is, once she was able to leave her cat carrier. She hates the cat carrier. After we'd waited for 20 minutes in the waiting room, I had to ask the receptionist when we were likely the to see the whites of the eyes of a vet, because she was literally doing somersaults inside the carrier. And she started to talk. When you can make an essentially mute cat talk, you're doing something wrong!
But, once inside the room and outside the cruel confines of the cat carrier, she was as polite and curious as a cat can be. I would call for her to jump on the exam table, and she'd do it. She liked it when the vet tech brushed her teeth with poultry-flavored toothpaste. She didn't mind when the vet felt all around her chest and stomach. She was a very good girl!
These pictures wer taken during the consultation time of the vet appointment, when I was discussing the pros and cons of a heartworm prevention medicine. As you can see, she helped herself onto the supply table, and then started licking her chops- damn! that chicken flavored toothpaste sure is delicious!
Happy Friday, from Ameilia and the entire Brown and Catanese animal menagerie.

Monday, April 6, 2009

There's a new kitty in my life

Introducing Ameilia!

Amelia is a 4 year old tabby/tortie mix (called a Torby at the Sacramento SPCA). We tried out 3 beautiful girls Sunday morning, and I picked Amelia as our new housemate! Right now, she's in the kitty sequestering room, but she will probably have her "coming out" to Nermal, family and friends this weekend. Amelia is friendly and a little playful, but also enjoys making biscuits on the red fleece blanket and curling up for a nap. A few days ago, our Dove parents who have been nesting in an alcove on the porch hatched their babies, and they've been of interest to Amelia, who can see them from the cat condo and windowsill.

Sean and I had discussed getting another cat for a few weeks, and had just not taken the plunge until this weekend. In my opinion, Nermal appears indifferent. . . and that, I think, is a very good sign. Nermal turns 15 years old this spring and while Sean and I sought to provide her with feline companionship for her Golden Years, we also want to make sure there's not too much adolescent energy around!