When I first adopted Lolita from the Atlanta Humane Society in 2001, her name was Princess. She was in a room full of mangy cats, but she seemed very ladylike and elegant; she held herself differently, a Christine Baranski type, who wanted out of this dump. I took her home and gave her the name Lolita, a name she quickly grew into as my friends and roommates would often describe her as a diva. “Lolita really is a Lolita,” a friend once quipped. With her high-pitched voice and frequent demands, it was never hard to imagine her as royalty. Lolita–or Princess Peepers or Lady Lola, as I’d sometimes call her–would clearly be played by Helen Mirren in the movie version of her life.
For years, I’ve been wanting to try the delicacy known as Kopi Luwak–or Civet Coffee–which comes from the islands of Sumatra, Java, and Bali. The coffee is made by feeding beans to wild civets and then, after digestion, collecting the beans (along with the feces) which take on wonderful flavors because of fermentation in the digestive tract. Sadly, tracking down civet coffee in Los Angeles is highly difficult; and wild civets are hard to come by. Which is why I had the bright idea of feeding coffee beans to my cat, Lolita Roberts-Johnson, to see if I could make Kopi Luwak here at home.
In the middle of the night, a few weeks ago, I heard a noise that sounded like the sound you make when you’re licking your chops after eating a big piece of cake. Only the chop-licking wasn’t chop-licking, it was water-lapping and it was happening on my nightstand at 3:30 in the morning. Lolita, everyone’s favorite cat, has gotten into the habit of drinking out of our water glasses, so much so that now it’s almost an addiction. I have to sleep with my arm extended outwards to block her path. Sometimes she ignores the arm and still makes a lunge for the water; when I lift her away, she gives an angry “meow.” What’s got into my cat?
You may think you like chicken, but you should see my cat. When that roast chicken comes out of the oven, Lolita goes nuts. She starts mewling in the kitchen, where I throw her a few scraps, but then–when we’re eating at the table–she sidles up next to me and looks up at me with those adorable, sweet kitty eyes you see in the above photo. This leads to the question proposed in the title of this post: “Do you feed your pets at the table?” I have to confess: I do.
Maybe because of all the stress of moving (and don’t kid yourself: moving is stressful), last week–having survived the ordeal of flying with a cat (I gave her a test sedative the week before which worked almost instantly; the morning of the flight, I gave her the pill at 7, went to a diner, and when I came back at 7:30 she was totally unaffected leading me to believe she’d done like Rosemary in Rosemary’s baby and secreted the pill somewhere. So I gave her a 2nd sedative, which she promptly threw up. Freaking out and already late for my flight, I gave her half a pill, put her in her carrier, and sure enough her eyes glazed over in the cab and she was fine on the flight. Phew!) and the endless ordeal of leasing a car (a Toyota Camry) and getting car insurance (Geico) and the thankless task of dealing with movers (“we’re coming Tuesday” “now we’re coming Wednesday” “now it’s Friday”)–I got sick. This happens to me; when I’m stressed out, I get sick. So I had a nasty cold and I felt crappy and depressed and unsettled. And having been as enthusiastic about Yuko’s guest post as you all were, I decided that I wanted ramen.
Before we begin this week’s posts, Lolita would like to express her enthusiasm for her new bed.
Lolita wishes all of you a happy work week.