Fixing Breakfast with Scooter

August 21, 2008

This is a “flashback” to a column I wrote four years ago, re-presented for my friend Tristan, 12, who is now friends with the cat in question:

Sept. 23, 2004: Camping in a primitive cottage on the Maine coast can have its challenges. Take, for example, the art and science of preparing breakfast in the presence of Scooter.

I found her late one rainy night this summer, sitting in the center of the road, drenched and shivering. I stopped the car and got out. She looked up at me with these big kitten eyes and let out the most plaintive wail, and that was pretty much it for me.

She is deaf. Because she can’t hear, she does not speak the typical cat language, and seems to make things up as she goes along.

She is otherwise a fairly ordinary, yellow cat, with eyes the color of butterscotch. She is of mixed parentage, being made of equal part cat, skunk, (she has obtained a confounding mastery of the art of breaking wind) and lightning. She is at once sweet and a total hellion, spending most of her time either sleeping or tearing around the rooms chasing anything that’s loose.

That having been said, this is roughly the 16 steps involved in making breakfast this morning:

1.    Open refrigerator door. Remove ingredients for breakfast. Place on counter. Close refrigerator door.

2.    Open refrigerator door. Remove Scooter. Yes, I know its dark in there.

3.    Return to counter to prepare breakfast. Remove Scooter.

3.    Place sausages in small skillet, place on back burner on Low. Remove Scooter from butter dish.

4.    Break eggs and add pre-shredded cheese into metal pan. Remove Scooter from pan of sausages.

5.    Turn back to eggs. Remove Scooter. Scramble egg and cheese mix. Add slab of butter to large frying pan and turn burner to low for butter to melt. Get Scooter away from the butter dish and replace lid. Get Scooter out of the eggs and pour into pan with melted butter. The eggs, not Scooter.

6.    Stir eggs, turn sausages, get the damned cat out of the sink.

7.    Trip over cat on the way for my first cup of coffee. Curse. Cat complains of ill treatment, threatens to file grievance.

8.    Apologize when suddenly opened refrigerator door whacks cat on head as she is tearing around in the kitchen. Snicker wickedly. Remove cat from refrigerator.

9.    Stop cat from stealing sausage.

10.    Drink half a mug of coffee in one gulp, wondering if caffeine is really a good idea at this point in time.

11.    See lobster boat chugging past kitchen window. Wonder if cats make good bait in lobster traps.

12.    Portion out breakfast. After a short inner debate about what to do with the sausage bearing tiny teeth marks, relent and give to cat.

13.    Eat breakfast with only minor incursions from the cat. She gets the scraps, and then tips over my cup of coffee. I can’t hear anything other than the grinding of my teeth.

14.    I sit in the living room to recover. Scooter curls up in the sun, goes immediately to sleep, and manages somehow to look completely angelic.

15.    “Isn’t she cute,” I say.

Postscript: Four years later, lithe, active Scooter looks rather like a furbearing watermelon, and we typically call her “Tubby.”

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2 Responses to “Fixing Breakfast with Scooter”

  1. valwebb said

    Wonderful column! I have one friend whose Siamese reclines languidly on the dashboard of her car, completely at ease while being driven all over town. Another friend has a cat so reserved and well-behaved that he walks downtown on a leash, like a dog. Somehow MY family cats always seemed to share the mindset of your Scooter. Compliance of any kind was never, ever an option. Thanks for this day-brightener. (Although I must admit a grudging envy of anyone who has an actual lobster boat chugging past their window! Sigh.)

  2. Normaal reageer ik niet op blogs, maar deze keer wil ik toch even aangeven dat het een mooie blog is!

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