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Friday, February 6, 2009

He jumped a string bean*

The Yellow Emperor has become a vegetarian.

Last night while I was preparing a nice dinner of marlin, some veggies, and rice, he leapt to the counter (he is the Emperor after all), I thought for a scrap of the fish. But he snatched a green bean and bounded off with it to his lair. He toyed with it all night, tossing it in the air, hiding it under things so he could find it again, laying on top of it. I think he mistook it for a lizard. The demure Fifi ignored him; she is content with her red and green and blue tiny fur faux mice that she brings to our bedroom in the middle of the night.

This morning he was still at it with the bean. It was ragged and the stem was gone. He's been a little off his feed of Fancy Feast (he is the Emperor after all) and since he seemed to be saying "Give me a string bean, I'm a hungry cat,"** I tossed a nice fresh one to him before I left for work. He pounced on it and resumed his bean-foolery.

All of the 11 cats of my life have had perverse little pleasures --one loved hose washers, another had a Santa that he would attack if you asked him to "Kill Santa," there's Fifi and her mouse preferences, the big silver tabby who had a thing for purple pom pons, the tuxedo cat who would knock over milk cartons, lick all the milk up and give himself diarrhea. And all of my male cats have liked to eat papaya and cantaloupe. (The Wizard thinks it's because these fruits smell musky, like female cats in heat. I don't know how he would know that.) But never before have I known a cat who liked to play with string beans. He may be channeling Bob Dylan. (See quote note below.)

The meal turned out great: I coated the marlin with a special hot curry mix and sauteed it, then deglazed the pan with a splash of vermouth to sauce the rice, a microwaved leftover mix of basmati and Uncle Ben's, weird and not half bad. (Someone on one of my China retreats was horrified that I might nuke leftovers--he said the microwaves "stick to the rice." He also lamented that during the retreat he was required to forgo his daily bong hit.) As for the string beans, I sauteed and briefly steamed them with some sliced pearl onions, a bit of red bell pepper, and seasoned with a melange of pepper and fines herbes. Delicieux!

Notes about the quotes: Bob Dylan refers to string beans twice on the "Freewheeling" album, in the sung (but not necessarily written) lyrics of *I Shall Be Free, and ** Talking World War III Blues. What's with Dylan and beans? Remember the great scene in "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid"? Knockin' on Heaven's Door is what everyone remembers from this movie, but I loved the scene with Dylan's character, Alias, reviewing the cans of beans while trying to ignore something really awful happening behind him. "Beans...beans...pork and beans...kidney beans...beans." This movie is worth it just for that moment.


sybil law said...

I knew a cat who loved raw broccoli, and one of our cats loved to play with my daughters' Barbie princess crowns. We named that one Princess, of course.
Our cat now, Meatball, likes to play with 20 oz. bottle caps. He carries them around and hides them in our shoes. Whenever you put on a shoe, you find a bottle cap in there. I cleaned out under my stove the other week, and there were 17 bottle caps under it!
Cats are just fun.

sybil law said...

Oh wait - and that meal sounds fabulous!