Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rabbit, Rabbit? Rabbit?

Somewhere along the line years and years, well yes, and years ago, son Patrick came home from school on the last day of some month seriously informing us we must say “Rabbit” the next morning before we said anything else.
            We questioned “why?” I’m not sure he knew. Was it to bring luck? Avoid bad luck? Why?
            Didn’t matter. We had to do it. Period. (Maybe he’ll read this and comment on what he remembers.)
            In all those years it has been a challenge. If I remember (and I’ll do it in just a minute) I e-mail Patrick and siblings a few days ahead a terse one word message, “Rabbit.” Sometimes, I remember midday on the first. Sometimes, the next week. Sometimes, not at all.
            I’ve met a few people who also do it.  A few insist it must be “Rabbit, Rabbit.” And recently I learned that proper form is “Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit.” Okay. It is according to one account properly done on the first day of the lunar month making it even easier to remember. It is a salute to Nature’s sacred critter, not a rabbit but looks like one, whose name may not be spoken.
            It might be that the last word on the last day of the month is “Hare.” I think that is pushing it.
            Here are a link that explain it more,

     The source is the UK because, apparently, England is where the tradition began, and in some sort of poetic justice, or quirk of luck, Patrick now makes his home in jolly old England.

     Since this is the year of the Rabbit, seems more appropriate than ever to follow the practice.

     So tomorrow morning--Rabbit! Rabbit! Rabbit.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Celebrating with new Egyptian Friends

I love days that just happen—like yesterday. We’d had a busy-ish week so we made on-purpose no plans for Saturday. Just hang out and see what happens.
            Of course, even on a planless Saturday, there are errands. That’s why Bob was in the Office Deport parking lot when he saw two young women in head wraps in a car sporting a bumper sticker celebrating the new freedom in Egypt. Ever the friendly (and nosy) Texan he went over and knocked on the window. He said they were so young he didn’t know if they understood his “roll down” hand motion.
            The must have, because the window came down. He asked—knowing the answer from the sticker—how they felt about the recent events. “Elated!” (No political commentary about the future is appropriate here.) They shared their enthusiasm for a few minutes, and then told him they were headed down to Discovery Green to join a celebration for Houston’s Egyptian community.
            “Why don’t you come?” One of them handed Bob an invitation.
            Planless Saturday, planless no longer.

            Around 7:00 we hopped in the Jeep and headed downtown to Houston’s wonderful downtown gathering spot, Discovery Green where we joined many, many celebrating Egyptian families and friends. Quite a crowd. The men mostly wore Western clothes, the women ranged from full burqas, through light robes, scarves, right on to barely anything. The dancing girls on the stage were in full, and lovely, sequined costumes and interesting moves. 

            Of course, I bought a tee shirt. Then we enjoyed the sunset over the city.

            Where to have dinner after such an adventure? Why Aladdin ( )is on our way home at the corner of Montrose and Westheimer. We saluted Egypt and our new Egyptian friends with lamb shanks, tabouli, mushroom salad, fresh hot bread and the best cauliflower in the world.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What have I unleashed?

What have I unleashed? Or is unleashed even a word to use when discussing cats? (Note the plural.)
            I opened the breakfast bar for Douglas this morning, not quite as early as he thought appropriate. He’d requested early service when Bob went out for the paper around six.
            Douglas munched his fill. Dinner from M. must have been glorious, for for all the meowing pleases, he didn’t eat much. For the leftovers, he invited not one but two (!) friends.

So what to name them? Since they are Douglas’s friends, I’ve dubbed the Mac and Arthur. But which is which?
While Mac and Arthur chowed down, Douglas sat by the backdoor regally maintaining that he is too an inside cat.

My problem now? What to name the next one. . .Suggestions?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Douglas? Here, Douglas! Here, Douglas!

Bob, Ginger and I discussed it at length. I still thought it would show hospitality to invite our new friend in from time to time. The fellows voted together, and voted emphatically, “NO!” Bob cited fleas, cat hair and vet bills. Ginger just said, “NO!” We compromised on the breakfast bar.
            I the next morning around six when I opened the back door, Douglas was on the top step. Talk about kitty intuition. This worked fine for several days. Douglas and I  got friendlier and friendlier. He even let me brush him and cut out some really knarly hair wads.
            One afternoon I was giving him an illicit snack, when my neighbor from the garage apartment behind our house strolled by. M. and I discussed our mutual friend. Turns out M. doesn’t have the compunctions of Bob and Ginger, he’s been inviting Douglas in. What’s more, M. is a waiter at a good restaurant and allowed that most nights he checks with the chef about leftovers. Douglas may be having dry cat food for breakfast, but he dines well at night. M. and I left it that Douglas is a community cat. We even talked about getting him a lion cut to take care of the remaining hair wads.
            Then last Saturday, Douglas disappeared. “Douglas? Here, Douglas!” “Here, Douglas!” Nothing. Several times I strolled around the block to see if he’d wandered back to his old digs. “Here, Douglas!” Nothing. Oh, dear. I hoped for the best and feared the worst.
            I still looked out every morning. This morning, there he was, nose pressed against the backdoor, looking aggravated that I was a little late with breakfast. I brought an extra helping. That was good, because Douglas invited a friend. (More about the local covey of feral cats another time.) M. is at work now and has promised an extra special dinner.

Ginger still maintains the breakfast bar is fine, but he is and always will be the one and only cat of the house. Sorry! King of the house.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Gentle Ginger and Determined Douglas

In the very early days in Georgia

‘Way back early in this blog, I shared how Ginger came to our house in South Georgia and declared it his homestead—or perhaps, he declared us his people. (Check out the ‘Gentling Ginger’ entries.) For the house is still in Georgia, but Ginger, Bob and I are growing happier and happier being more and more Texas.  

Here Ginger! Here Ginger!

Ginger’s changed lots since he was sliding under the house and reluctant to be touched. He’s now a lap cat (this is new) and it appears is becoming something of a computer expert!
About those attachments!

            Meanwhile. . . outside our leased house another drama unfolds. We met Douglas last summer when he’d drop by all well-groomed and wearing a collar with his name. One day when I was walking around the block, I met his owners.
            But things have changed. Douglas isn’t combed and groomed. In fact, he’s matted and miserable looking, missing his collar. And he’s hungry. One of our neighbors speculates the owners moved and Douglas didn’t.
And here's Douglas
            So, no, Douglas is not going to come in. (He’s surely a charmer, though!) But we will open a breakfast bar by the back door.
            We’ll see how this unfolds.