Pancakes with Mr. Obama

Several stacks of silver dollar pancakes
Image via Wikipedia

This story is based purely on speculation and rumors, and may not be true…read at your own risk.

One fine morning on one particular January day, two particular girls came down for breakfast and found their Dad at the stove instead of their Mom. They queried on the absence of their mother and more importantly they asked..”Where is breakfast?”

Mr. Obama smiled one of his signature smiles and said one word “Pancakes“.  The girls were very happy with that; Mom hardly ever made pancakes and the two girls loved pancakes.  Dad always said the right thing.

‘Everything seems so different with Dad doing things but that is what makes them so fun.” He said with one of those smiles again.  The girls weren’t totally convinced and argued among themselves.

One of them thought that Dad lacked the experience to make breakfast, let alone pancakes. “Maybe someone else should make them.” The eldest argued. The other sister, the younger one pleaded “Let’s give him a chance, he says he can do it, besides how bad could it be?” He’s got to be better than Uncle George who burned the breakfast and we ended getting Egg McMuffins at Mickey D’s.

So both girls agreed to pancakes ala Dad.  He smiled again, informing them that it was pancakes they needed and how good those pancakes would taste to folks like them. After he had talked about the pancakes for 20 minutes or so, one of the girls, the older one asked; “Dad, when are you going to make the breakfast you promised, you keep talking but nothing happens.”

It was then that Mr. Obama reluctantly got out the ingredients for the pancakes.  He consulted half a dozen cookbooks, scratched his head and slowly got to work, bragging the whole time, telling the girls how good the pancakes would be.

As he started to mix the ingredients, it was obvious that he didn’t know what he was doing, despite the fact the he kept telling them that he did. He was a mess, he spilled all over the place.  He burned the first few batches and the girls couldn’t help but wonder about Dad as their stomachs started to feel the first pangs of hunger.

With every haphazard move he made, it got more and more obvious to both girls.   Even his supporter the younger girl started to doubt him.  His talk was getting just as cold as the nasty, bumpy, half-baked pancakes he tried to coax the girls into eating.

All the sugary sweet syrup he poured on didn’t help at all. In fact, it only made the pancakes taste worse.  The girl’s were depressed and hungry….and they didn’t want to touch the pancakes.

Mr. Obama suddenly became angry, his trademark smile was gone, replaced by a scowl.  He told the girls that they should eat their pancakes and be happy about it, and that he knew folks like them were hungry and were hurting, and better pancakes were on the way. But for now they should eat what was given to them.

“I am your Father and I’m telling you girls to eat your breakfast!”  he barked.

Finally the girls had to eat the nasty breakfast because time was running out and they were going to be late for school. They hastily ate the pancakes, loaded with all that syrupy rhetoric and ran off to school…

“What can you say?” He’s a nice guy and all, but he doesn’t have a clue on how to make breakfast.” The girls complained at the bus stop.  A frosty wind blew out of the east, it was getting cold outside and their stomachs started to ache…..it was going to be one long winter….

Eat up America….Strawberryindigo.

Blue eyed Handsome Cat 2

Now for epic conclusion to Blue eyed Handsome Cat..

Jacky was counting on me, I couldn’t let him down.   I couldn’t just sit there and allow these crazy people to take Jacky.  I didn’t want to start a neighborhood war over this, especially from the loud crazy neighbors with the totally ironic last name.  Over the years these neighbors had created quite the reputation for themselves. (THAT is quite another story I must share with you in the future).  Lets say for now that I feared for Jacky’s well-being.

I considered keeping Jacky in the house forever but I knew that wasn’t the way.  Jacky’s a free spirit and locking him up would be impractical and frankly, I think a bit cruel. Jacky mewed at the door, I let him out.  I hoped he would return.

M.M, seeing how bothered I was, went over to the ironically named neighbors and spoke the most level-headed one.  We call her Marilyn after Marilyn Munster. (From the old T.V show)  She seems so normal but I know better.  No one could be normal and live there. Well, M.M. is a diplomat to say the least… he found out that Sally was the only one who wanted the cat.  Marilyn, her mother and the matriarch of the family, did not.  She said; “Have the cat, we don’t want it.”

I was ecstatic at the news, it was so much easier than I thought….or so I thought.

Jacky didn’t return.  Five days passed.  I asked around the neighborhood, Marilyn had not seen Jacky, no one had.  I feared that Jacky’s friendly and trusting nature had gotten him into trouble. I looked and looked for him, to no avail.  I  wished that I hadn’t let myself get so attached so fast.  I kept up appearances though.  I told my family that Jacky was fine and that he was having an adventure somewhere and he would be back any day.

I had a bad feeling, I was convinced that I’d never see that white cat again.  I looked out the window, as I had been doing a lot of lately, this time I didn’t expect to see him, I was giving up hope and then there he was.. he was in the street, he looked confused and out of it.  He was sniffing the ground like animals do when lost.  I could tell from a lifetime of experience with cats that he had been in a car and had just been deposited there in the street.

He saw me and ran to the front door, I let him in.  A flurry of meows escaped his little cat mouth.  He was a bit skinnier and he looked dirty but there he was in all his cat glory.  He also was sporting a cheap plastic collar with gaudy glitter all over it, attached was a metal tag:  Hastily scratched into the metal was the word Lucky, underneath was an address..The address was  familiar.. very familiar.

I knew right away what had happened.  I thought back and remembered that I had not seen Sally or her old green van for a while, about the same length of time I hadn’t seen Jacky…

Sally.. of course it was her, she had taken poor Jacky somewhere in her stupid van, And stupid me had believed them.  I am so naive sometimes. The problem remained, We both wanted Jacky.  I believed that I should have him since  he would be so much happier at my house… I also thought that Jacky agreed…he did somewhat.

Jacky also had built quite the reputation in the neighborhood: He was a friendly sort. The cute little girls next door called him snowball, the blonde teenager across the street called him princess.  The people around the block knew him as buttercup and I suppose Sally had named him Lucky.  Everyone thought he was a girl cat, I guess because he is so pretty, they just assumed.  I know enough to look…and what to look for…..enough said on that.

I took off the collar and the metal tag and put them on the mantle, that wasn’t the best idea, looking back on it… Sometimes I get so bull-headed thinking I ‘m right when sometimes….

Jacky had eaten his fill and slept for a couple of days and he was ready to go out.  I let him out the back door and into the garden.  He like all the other cats in the area, instantly fell in love with the place. It’s a cat’s paradise back there… he explored and then found a nice cool spot in the back..behind a tall fern.  He settled in for a nap.   Jacky stuck around for a couple more days, hanging out in the garden, sleeping and hunting moths under the back porch light.

Jacky's off on another adventure.

And then, he was gone. He went out the side gate. I was sure he would come back, He’s so happy here, I thought, he even grins at me when I pet him.  I walked through the side myself, past the multitudes of potted plants in a long long driveway,  I could see a shock of white, running..”Here we go again.”  I said out loud to myself… this time though, it was different.  Instead of Jacky, my Jacky, running toward me.. he was running over to HER?!

This cannot be. What is going on?  Why is he going over to her? I was to say the very least, flabbergasted, I was beside myself.  Then when I saw the boy, the little boy, the crazy neighbor’s kid and I guess, Sally’s son, he was calling the cat and running around.  Sally was beside him and she was actually smiling… Jacky went up to them and started rolling around on the ground, in that adorable way he does.  She, Sally, the one I had watched for years, go into red-faced rages and screaming fits in the street at night, this Sally who let her kids run wild and swore like a sailor.  She stroked his white fur with a gentleness I had never seen in her before.

The boy ran around and then in an instant, Jacky was up on his feet and running.. with the boy, back and forth across the tall weeds that make up their front yard.  The boy was laughing and so was Sally.  Jacky, I think he was smiling too.

I learned much that day.  About Sally, about boys and cats.  I learned the most about me….

 Some time has passed and Sally and I and of course Jacky have made some compromises.  The gaudy collar stays on but the tag stays off.  Jacky goes wherever Jacky wants to go.  Which has turned out to be nights with her, days with me.

Everyone seems a little happier since Jacky’s arrival, now that the dust has settled and I am just beginning to learn about Jacky.  He is a special one.  He has been going on walks with me as of late, he follows me like a dog.  Trotting along, never minding the noises of humans, their machines or their dogs. He is quite the brave traveler.   We’ve been gaining some notice around the neighborhood for our walks, maybe I’m creating a bit of a reputation myself.

Strawberryindigo.

Off we go!

Blue eyed handsome cat

Have you ever met someone who just appeared in your life, as if out of thin air and acted like they knew you forever.  It’s like they we’re just sort of deposited on your front porch and poof…They’d always been there?  Well, with Jacky it’s like that.  I guess I should let you know that Jacky is a cat.  A remarkable cat, that’s for sure.

We first met him on the third of July.  He impressed me by his friendliness, he seemed to really like us.  He made M.M. his first acquaintance, which is not surprising. what was so surprising was his intensity.  At that time, we of course did not have a name for him, or even knew he was an him.  Let’s call him “that cat” for now.

I will give him this; he is an attractive animal, that cat.  He is white with  honey cream-colored markings on this head and tail.  His bright azure eyes truly are striking.  He makes quite the picture.

We had just returned from a much-needed vacation.  We were away for five days. He must have appeared on the scene during that time.  It was late afternoon and my nerves were on edge.  Sudden booms, it’s like World War Three around there on the third of July. I needed a distraction…and there he was, a shock of white, running across the street away from the crazy neighbors screeching kid.  He looked scared out of his wits.  I knew I must help him.

I enlisted the help of M.M..  We braved the artillery together (How sweet)  M.M. sang out “Here, Kitty, Kitty…”  The cat looked at him and ran to him for dear life, not even slowing a bit to look behind him.  M.M. scooped him up like it was nothing and the cat instantly relaxed.  We took him inside.

Luckily, It being the day it was.  Our two cats who off hiding in the bushes nowhere to be found.  And except for the old pug, there was no other animal around to make the cat feel unwelcome.

It's nap time

The humans adored him instantly.  My daughter, who is thirteen and a devout cat lover, squealed in delight.  My son, who’s a bit older, was a little cooler about the cats appearance, but  I could tell he was intrigued. I being who I am, knew that the cat was new in the neighborhood.  We asked around and one of our saner neighbors told us the cat had been hanging around for days,  everyone had a name for her, (He thought the cat was a her)  but no one wanted her.  His own kids wanted the cat but he was allergic, he suggested I keep her.  Knowing what a sucker I am for cats.

We fed him friskies and he was ours.

He slept for days, waking only to eat and drink water out of the bathroom tap.  I guess he’s one of those, I’d seen cats like that before.  I had one once that was fascinated by water, couldn’t get enough of it…it was the first of his many quirks that time would reveal.  The days passed without a lot going on.  My crazy neighbors were out-of-town and a calm descended over the ‘hood.

The four of us deliberated during that time and my son came up with Jack Daniels, yes he did…  To me, he looked like a Jacky.  We settled on Jacky, Daniels being his official last name, told to those on a need to know basis.(aka his friends at school.)

Our two cats were suspicious to say the least.  Mario didn’t know what was going on.  I know he felt bad.  He just sulked for days, sleeping under the desk in the office.  Poor Mario.  Sunny, or as she is known; Santino, kept her cool and out-of-the-way.

Everything started to return to normal. Mario perked up and Santino stayed herself. The crazy neighbors had returned, I could hear them screaming, as I said, everything was returning to normal.  Except for one thing.  I could hear a voice… it was….”Here Kitty Kitty, Here Lucky”  Who’s Lucky?  I thought and dismissed it from my mind.

Jacky stayed out all night, we didn’t see him all morning and then…the screetching, the kids.. it’s all happening again… And there’s Jacky, a shock of white running away from the crazy neighbor’s kid and right toward me.  I scooped him up and stroked his fur.  He was freaked out, poor thing and he was hungry, he ate, drank the water from the leaky tap and settled in to sleep.

This might become a problem, I thought… I was right.

The next morning while I was watering my roses, the crazy neighbor’s much older kid, let’s call her Sally, comes up to me and asks me if I’ve been feeding that white cat.  I reply without beating an eyelash, “You mean the cat we adopted?”  She looked as stern as you can be and I must admit, I was a bit scared.  She’s a bigger girl than I am.  Plus I’m a big chicken.  This did not show though, I’m good at that.  I didn’t know what happened to her. (her again)  She breaks out in a fragment of a sentence.  I return a fragment myself..

It was one word.  Turmoil.  “What”?  She asks, confused.  I yell, “Turmoil!!  And walk away.. this could get ugly.  I start to regret taking the cat in and then I think…He is counting on me to save him from them.   I must help him.  The cute little guy with his charming debonair smile.  I can’t let him down….

Stay tuned for the conclusion….

next time

next cat channel.

Strawberryindigo.

Carnivore Quest

The best burger is a work of art.  Each ingredient plays a part like finely tuned instruments in an epicurean symphony of delight.  I mention this because I am on the hunt for the best burger in my city.   I live in a place with the reputation of being a foodie town.  I don’t know if I agree, you can’t truly be foodie without the best burger.

I have been on this search for years now, if I told you how many years, you’d be shocked, so I won’t.  I will say that during my search I have found only two burgers that could stand up to my ridiculously strict standards.  That was quite some time ago…you know the timing must be perfect, so many factors come in to play and the timing is just as important as anything else.  Time is a river.   We can’t go back.   If I could travel in time, I would visit restaurants I enjoyed in the past and just pig out to my stomach’s delight.  Time seems to be slip, slip, slipping into the future, and I am getting hungry.

Before we make our way to the next contestant, I need to explain my system; I rate burgers on a scale from one to ten.  One being very low, ten being perfect. everything comes into play, and everything must be just right. To me, the best burger consists of the following:

A sesame seed bun  Toasted, the crispy circle of toasty goodness encircling the outer edges.

Mayo  White and nice and essential, also some sort of secret sauce is a major added plus.

Relish  The Dill or Hamburger variety, I can swing both ways on that.

Pickles  I know that seems redundant considering the relish factor, however, those green happy little buddies are needed.

Lettuce  Must be iceberg, crisp, fresh and shredded.

Cheese   Very sharp, it will almost cut you.

….and of course, you are expecting the burger patty itself.  Before I get to the burger patty, I need to mention the importance of the grill.  A good seasoned grill is a must.  I cannot stress this enough.

The Beef  what would a burger be without the meat?  I don’t want to offend veggies and vegans, but this isn’t called Carnivore Quest for nothing.  The beef should be high quality with lots of fat, 20%.  Juicy and tasty, and cooked to perfection.

space cat eating burger funny
Mario my famous cat loves Cheeseburgers!

All the ingredients should fit together nicely and all the flavors should combine just so.  Upon taking a bite tiny droplets of sweet grease should dribble daintily back on the plate.  Pair this with some hot salty fries and I’m starving….

It wouldn’t be a quest if I just simply walked to my neighborhood burger joint, I’ve tried those, so I tried a new part of town.  An interesting part of town, you might say.  The restaurant is a 24 hour diner type place.  We are seated next to a picture window facing a busy city street.  “This is a great place to people watch,” mentions the  waitress as she takes our order.

I can see why as I spy a man with a cat.  A long slinky black cat on a leash.  The man, a deadlocked fellow with obviously lots of time on his hands, was pacing at the bus stop .  The cat, his constant companion, paced with him.  It was a tender scene, the cat adored him and he returned the cat’s affections.

My attention was turned to the Asian woman in blue plastic flip flops and a strained look on her face.  She is pushing a shopping cart full of bottle and cans and almost loses her top bundle as she passes a gesturing buffoon in orange.  He dances a jaunty wee dance as he gestures wildly to a man who resembles M.M.’s brother.  Orange man is full of story and enthusiasm and then just as abruptly as he came…poof.. he leaves, running across the street and into traffic waving his arms like he’s flying.

The sign flyer regards the scene cooly and I just laugh.  The man in orange seemed to be having a good time.  He is gone now and I am left with my cheeseburger, which received a 6.5 by the way.  Orange man, I gave him a 10.

And so it goes on National Cheeseburger Day…