Thursday, November 15, 2007

I Wonder What Cats Eat in Italy

It has come to my attention that cats do not commit suicide like humans and lemmings. They go to The Court of Last Resort instead.

Flip decided to discipline Truffle-the-Cat, who has learned to ring her own dinner bell by rattling knobs on furniture when she's hungry. She does it increasingly loud and fast if ignored. I think she's brilliant, if annoying, and this performance always makes me laugh.

He covered the preferred knobs with a big pillow and stated that there needs to be a time in which nothing happens before we feed her.

I assured him that she would be most impressed with this little lesson in patience.

She flicked her eyes at the pillow as impersonally as a flyswatter kills a fly, then hightailed it to me without missing a beat because she knows that I control the kitchen while Flip merely has privileges.

I made pasta tonight. This should not be taken lightly, because I make some of the best pasta on the planet, despite the fact that I am not Italian. (Nobody's perfect.)

Truffle was fed canned chicken, of which she is an enthusiastic consumer, a half hour before we sat down to dinner, but immediately began her tired old usual performance, the one in which she pathetically arranges herself in my line of vision looking miserable. Even hungry, when we both know that is not the case.

For Truffle, it is not really about the food, but about being included. She is big on breaking bread with her pride, kibitzing over the bloody carcass and perhaps licking blood off each other's whiskers.

Her feelings are hurt if she is not fed at precisely the moment we eat, even if she is already stuffed to bursting.

It gets old.

She cannot be reasoned with. She is 17 years old and has the social requirements of an antebellum Southern lady. She despises rudeness, and I am guilty of extreme rudeness every time I ignore her pitiful countenance and feed myself.

So I put a little capellini in her bowl, with a small topping of my excellent sauce. From my own plate. I cut it into tiny pieces since she knows nothing about twisting pasta with a fork. That pesky thumb thing again.

I beamed at her encouragingly.

She strolled across the room as casually as possible when you have four legs and a tail, and delicately sniffed her bowl.

She turned her head toward the table, utterly appalled, and made eye contact with me, incredulous that we could eat anything that had no chicken, tuna or mackerel in it. And even more incredulous that I expected her to eat it, too.

She pointed her tail toward the ceiling and with as much dignity as she could muster with a swaying belly, sailed out of the kitchen.

I know I will pay for this fleeting pleasure later, when I am sleeping and she creeps up and lounges on my head, pulling every single hair that grows there.

Meanwhile, back at the blog, Pool at My Reflecting Pool has given me a "Be The Blog" award. I'm not sure how to be a blog, but I guess I could learn.

She says, "This badge is for bloggers who make their blog their own, stay with it, interact with their readers, and have fun!"

Well, thank you, Pool! If not for my readers, I would have stopped blogging long ago.

I started to compile a list of people to give it to and realized that to do so would imply that all the others I read don't do those things. You all do, and are far too numerous to mention. So while I am grateful to Pool for honoring me, I will raise a glass here to every one of you, including Pool, who interact with me and share your wonderful selves in post after post.

Here's to all of us in our delightful and varied community that grows bigger and more inclusive every day! I am so very happy to know you and consider you my friends.

You really must come over for pasta, hold the cat food, soon.


Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Truffle sounds like a normal cat: self-centered demanding, and showing her displeasure is her demands aren’t immediately met. Personally, I would put up with her knob-rattling for her dinner. Alex, the cat who owns me, sticks his sharp claws into any portion of my anatomy the furball can reach to notify me that he has requirements that I am required to meet.

Scarlet said...

The part about not being Italian and nobody's perfect reminded me of a guy I met in NY. His favorite quote was "There are two kinds of people in this world; those that are Italian and those who wish they could be." He was a typical Sicilian...and a real cutie, so he got away with talking crap. ;)

I love pasta, too, especially when it's cooked right (al dente).

Anonymous said...

Cats are some of the coolest characters around. I love your kitty won't eat pasta. I bet if you added tuna to the sauce he'd eat without pause (paws?).

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Congrats on the award and good luck with the cat. If you gave me pasta, you would find me most appreciative. I might even purr for you.

thailandchani said...

Truffle does sound like a normal cat! Every cat I've ever had is exactly the same way. In thinking back though, I can't recall one of them wanting pasta.

But I like it! :)

RED MOJO said...

That was such a well told and amusing story. I could picture all of it quite vividly. What a wonderful little slice of everyday life! I have three cats in California. After the split, I took the dog and left the cats, but I miss them so.

Odat said...

Hey I thought I made the best pasta...;-).
Cats are like that!

Crankster said...

I love how you impart benevolent emotions to Truffle. I am a cat person, but I also see myself as a realist: if push ever came to shove, I'm sure that my cats would kill and eat me.

That having been said, I've nominated you for yet another award!

Angela said...

This entire post was wonderful, but I especially loved this sentence: "That pesky thumb thing again." Bwahahahaha!

And you are so deserving of this award. Thank you for being here and having this little place of respite and laughter. I appreciate you!

Anonymous said...

Obviously, this Truffle takes after you. I am not sure how you two share so many simarities.

So, every post of yours seems to be acknowledging one award or another. It seems your sidebar will be full in no time. Although I don't see "Best Pasta Making Blogger" icon over there -- not yet anyway.

Molly said...

Truffle sounds like a very discerning diner! Have you been forgiven yet? Our cat is very social too, and likes to hang where the people are.....

storyteller said...

Congratulations on yet another well-deserved award and thanks for the chuckles. You spin tales out of everyday life with wit and flair. I shall pass this one along to the people in my life who love cats more than dogs. Although I have both canine and feline fur-companions at home, I confess it is the pooches who steal my heart consistently.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


A cat's gotta do what a cat's gotta do, but I quite agree -- the knob rattling is infinitely preferable to being clawed.

Thank you for your visit here!


There are two kinds of men in New York: those who are cute enough to talk trash without getting moidered, and the others.


Tuna on pasta... please excuse me while I go vomit now.

The paws that refreshes.


I had no idea squirrels could purr. You must come over, I'll cook and we'll conduct that scientific experiment.


You are always welcome, and you don't even have to purr.

Truffle runs a very tight ship.


I'm sorry you had to leave your cats, and I miss having a dog.

My life doesn't seem balanced unless I have at least one of each.


Let's have a pasta-off. That would be a real win-win.


If I did, it was completely accidental. And yes, of course they would kill and eat us if they had to. What's your point?

I'll be right there. Thank you!!


I appreciate you right back! :<)

heartinsanfrancisco said...


If I were as adorable as Truffle, I would own the world. We share few culinary preferences, though, as I really love pasta and she really loves icky stuff in cans.


She can't afford to hold grudges for long since I have the thumbs.


I think I'm a bit more of a dog person than a cat person, too, but I love both and also wolves and horses, all of which have shared my life.

Ian Lidster said...

Can I introduce Truffle to Griffin? They'd get along famously. Seems to be a week for extolling the virtues (or lack thereof) of the felines in our lives.

Oh, and I am truly glad to have you as a friend, too. Would love to meet you sometime and even have some of your world-famous pasta.

Rachel said...

Yet more proof that cats have more personality than dogs.

Love your Truffle! Smart one, she is.

Open Grove Claudia said...

I would never spoil an animal like that!!

I'm sorry can you wait just a second?

I need to lift the covers on the bed so Rose can get under!

YEA for fun blogging bloggers! YEA for you!! YEA for pasta which I don't eat because it makes me fat! YEA for cats!

Sorry, I was being too loud. I need to close the door so as not to wake Rose.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

What a funny kitty... her royal highness mmm?
You make a very good point, I think lots of cats must have southern belle heritage.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore (he is not so picky... thankfully)

meno said...

This really made me smile in recognition. One of my cats sits next to the table and looks cute while we eat. And he's so successful at looking cute that he always gets a bit of this or that. I can't resist.

Do you actually make the pasta? If so, i am impressed.

*~*Cece*~* said...

Oh an attention whore you've got there dontcha! hehehe

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I don't know how to put this delicately, but although I have every certainty that Griffin is a stellar beast, La Truffle does not much care for her own species and wishes they would all die.

A couple of old posts about her are in my archives of 6/26 and 7/12/06. There are others, but she shouldn't push her luck.


She is very smart indeed. She has worked hard to raise my intelligence level, and I would like to think that she has succeeded to some degree.


Of course you would never spoil an animal like that. We both know that you are most fortunate that Rose lets you live.

I hope you didn't wake her. It could get ugly, like "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood ugly.


V is not picky? What kind of self-respecting lion is he?

Truffle was born in TN. Need I say more? (Y'all.)


No, I do not make the pasta although I would if I owned a pasta machine. I do make awfully good sauces, as you may surmise from my shameless bragging here.

Truffle is a plebeian who would not know good taste if it bit her in the ass.


Yes and no. It has to be on her terms, always.

seventh sister said...

You are definately owned by that cat.

Liz said...

What a funny story. I love cats and their bossy, snooty ways. I definitely miss having one. Our current landlord says no to pets. :(

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Gee, you think? You've met her. Can you blame me?


I was leaving you a comment while you were here. Synchronicity.

Our landlord says no to pets, too. Truffle is an illicit, contraband, bootlegged secret cat.

WNG said...

I can completely understand why you love your cat so much but I am a dog person for this reason: If I am going to feed you, house you, care for you and play with you I expect slavish devotion, a running partner and a slightly crazed greeting each time I walk through the door. I'm way too high maintenance for a cat:)

Jocelyn said...

I'd LOVE a post about your past and how you make it, specifically!

As much as I don't want cats in my home, I so much appreciate their character and senses of self and entitlement.

You are even more my type of woman, since you put that bowl (however insulting its contents) on the floor.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Absolutely. I am a sucker for slavish devotion, too, as opposed to being thrilled because my cat looked at me for a second.

But it's impossible to hide a dog from the world, while cats do not get walked or bark.


I'd be happy to give you my recipe, but I don't know how much of anything I use as I cook freehand.

I don't think Truffy understood the point I was trying to make, but just thought I was even stupider than she realized.

the individual voice said...

Cats are so wonderfully in-your-face to their owners, but their language is completely invisible to non-cat owners. They are semi-subtle. I agree that the blog awards are very sweet and that those of us oppressed by relentless guilt assume that if we hand them out, what we are really handing out is thumbs-down non-awards to all the people we didn't choose. So you handled that with panache, semi-subtly, like a cat. And finally, our rude eating in front of our semi-subtle cats who suddenly either swarm around the dinner table like sharks or politely seat themselves on an extra chair, waiting for their plate, triggers guilt at every meal.

Josie said...

Aren't cats wonderful? No animal on the planet can show their disdain like a cat. I once had a gorgeous Siamese cat who was very jealous if I paid attention to anyone else. Whenever I chatted on the phone, she would stomp back and forth hollering, "Oh, yah! Oh, Yah! Oh Yah!" in her loudest Siamese voice. The person on the other end of the line would say, "Who the h*ll is that?" As soon as I got off the phone, she would stop. It was hilarious.

Irrelephant said...

I used to think my six feline monsters were the worst until I let a Borzoi dog into my life. Cascabel is tall enough to comfortably rest her long, elegant head in the crook of my arm while I eat and stare with those gentle brown eyes through the entire meal. She won't snap, won't reach for the plate, but when you've got a face a full foot long it's not too hard to be near a plate AND be halfway across the kitchen, too.

She knows full well, unfortunately, that her serving will come soon enough.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Guilt is my middle name. Truffle is wily enough to tap into that vast reservoir and to turn it to her advantage.

But in my defense, I will say that it's not my fault she doesn't like tomatoes.


I once had a Siamese cat. He not only screamed at me loudly in his most unlovely voice, but ate wool, too. In one "neglected" afternoon, he ate his way through an entire drawer of my sweaters and had worked his way up the living room drapes, which were made of a gossamer, loosely woven combination of wool and silk.


Borzoi are gorgeous dogs who should be forgiven anything for the elegance they bestow on anyone lucky enough to be attached to their leashes.

riseoutofme said...

What a character! I don't have a cat. But I do have a dog that THINKS she is a cat .... Fussy eater, loves tuna and chicken ... And lately she's taken to purring ...

Funny post!

The CEO said...

I only miss my cat more. I loved every second of the story. I read it twice.

I also nominated you for an award.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Funny. Most of the cats I've had thought they were dogs. Usually Labradors.

I have never known a dog to purr. Your dog could score big in commercials.


How nice. Thank you! I'll be right there.

Rebecca said...

yum, yum, your pasta sounds divine. So do you actually MAKE the pasta? I've never done that ....but intend day....sooon. :)

heartinsanfrancisco said...


No, I don't have a pasta machine but wish I did. I just make really good sauce. I know, it's terribly immodest, but it's one of the things I do best.

Big Momma Pimpalishisness said...

I have nothing cute to say. I really liked this post. I may print it and hang it on my wall.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Big Momma,

Thank you! I'm so glad you came by again.