Friday, October 30, 2009


Poppy, our cat with the tumors on her leg, had been getting worse and worse. The tumors got larger, she got thinner, and she kept licking the incision site from her surgery, keeping it raw and sore looking. We had discussed radiation treatment, but aside from the cost of 3-5000 dollars, there was no guarantee it would work. Finally my husband asked the vet what I had been thinking - could we just amputate the leg? Poppy by that time was walking on three legs anyway, refusing to bear weight on the sore leg, and she seemed to be in pain.

According to Dr. Kate, animals actually adjust well to the loss of a limb, but she was concerned that Poppy might not make it through a long surgery because she had responded poorly to anesthesia during the earlier lumpectomy. Hubby and I finally concluded that at the rate Poppy was losing weight, we might have to have her put to sleep anyway, and that her dying during surgery was a risk we were willing to take, Poppy being unable to voice an opinion. So two weeks ago, we took her to the vet to be prepped for surgery and hoped for the best.

Our baby came through just fine. She had to stay at the vet's for 5 days post-surgery, but we got frequent updates, and she finally came home a week ago. To our amazement, she is able to jump up on our four-poster, which is a couple of feet off the ground, and she doesn't even seem to notice something is missing. The incision healed quickly with no growing tumor to interfere, and she hasn't been licking it raw. She's had to stay in, which she hates, but today the stitches came out and she is free to go outside.

So now it's raining out. Not just a gentle drizzle, but cloudbursts. Our poor baby is huddling inside yowling at us to do something about the weather, and quick. I feel so bad for her. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny, though, so she can finally go nap on her bench and chase lizards. Maybe the lizards will have a chance against her, but my money is on Poppy.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Cooking is Hard Work

My pretty peppers and onions
My husband and I have decided to cook the rest of the meat sitting in the freezer before buying more. For the last several years, we have been eating out more and more, but our buying habits haven't changed. So we needed to get rid of odds and ends in the freezer, including fish hubby caught on a deep sea fishing trip a while back.

Even my husband's own taste buds haven't convinced him you can't bread and fry tuna as if it were catfish, so as you can imagine nothing I say will convince him either. As a result of my cooking all the remaining chicken tenders and him making Southern Fried Tuna, we had a lot of chicken and tuna leftovers sitting in the fridge. I decided to use one of my Friday afternoons off to get a little ahead on cooking by turning the leftovers into tuna patties and a chicken rice casserole, and freezing them to have easy to make meals for the next week. I bought a pack of yellow, red, and orange bell peppers for the patties, but otherwise I was making use of what was on hand.

I do not know how the people on the Food Channel chop veggies without cutting their hands off, because it takes me a long time. Onion and pepper chopping must have taken me a half hour. Then there was making the sauce for the chicken casserole, with onion-flavored milk leftover from making onion rings and grated cheese leftover from cheeseburgers. Since I had so many peppers, I decided to use half of the pepper/onion mix instead of the carrots I had planned for the chicken casserole. That saved me a little time. It still took me two hours to turn already cooked food into a whole two meals. Who takes two hours to cook leftovers? Besides me, that is.

I made a third meal that night of pan sauteed trout (not from the fishing trip) and shrimp fried rice. The trout was a little (okay, a lot) freezer burned, but the rice was nice and filling.

We're now buying meat (and catfish! which tastes great fried!) again, and eating in more and out less. There are still two tuna patties in the freezer for a quick fix. I have learned something from this experience: I'd rather eat out than cook.