Here, kitty

golden squash bread and milk
I’m about to break Rule Number 2 of food writing: “No animals and food on the same page.” Sanitation thing.

    I say this to prepare you for the photos you’re about to see. We have a strange cat, who came to us after a death in our extended families. She was one of a pair of rescued cats, and when the other cat met his maker, Gray Cat’s personality began to blossom. She’s very affectionate and well-socialized. She likes to be near people, meaning she stands directly behind or beside people, so you have to watch before you step. She wants to sit either on your person, or at the same height. So chairs at our house tend to be in pairs so the cat can sit with us. We call her “Bar.”

She understands the change of voice tone that signals a question, and will answer, because she assumes you’re asking whether she’d like a little of the gourmet canned cat food. Sweet Cheeks and I were playing 20 Questions. I was in one room and she was in another, shouting questions over the rattle of pans. Sweet Cheeks would lob a question, the cat assumed the question was directed her way, and mewed. Over and over. Hysteria ensued.

    Lately, the cat is behaving strangely. Exhibit A: Usually an indoor cat, she’s spending day and night outside. Her coat is a little shaggy-looking and unkempt, and she grooms constantly. Exhibit B: Her appetite seems off, and by “off” I mean in every way.

or better light, I went outside to photograph Butterscotch (Squash) Bread (another of my deceptive foods) But what else are you gonna do with all those yellow squash in a squash-hating household?

From here, the photos tell the story. cat ear in photo foreground That’s a gray cat ear in the foreground.

like it says on the slug does what it says on the slug cat eating bread more hijinks last of cat bread photos You can clearly see the bite marks in the second-to-last photo. I guess the butterscotch flavor really does cover up the squash taste.

Oh, and Rule 1 is, “No diseases or body parts on the page with food.” You’d be surprised how many hospital auxiliaries do cookbooks to fund a kidney center. It’s the sidebars that get them every time.

A food writer's epic struggle to the dinner table.