22

Thunder K Katt: Kitchen Wiz

 

Greetings! We want to welcome back our cousin and collaborator, Thunder K. Katt. She’s here with tips for helping your human cook.

Hello everyone! It’s Thunder, and I’m here to show even how the most undomesticated kitty can help their human in the kitchen! Make sure your human is in a good mood before you help, though, or you may not get the compensation for your time that you deserve. All of these tricks have been tried by me and my sister, Onyx; hopefully they work well for you! 

Help set up by clearing off a space on the counter or table.

I’m not sure if all humans are as bad as mine are, but any time they clean off our counter and table, within two days it’s cluttered with new stuff! Cans of food (usually yucky foods, like canned veggies or sauces), bills, spices (again, nothing good like catnip- mine humans favor salt and white pepper), or bottles of soda- anything that fits will sit. Then, when she goes to mix the cake batter, or assemble the hamburgers, my mom gets super frustrated with the lack of space. Thankfully, cats can help with that! Use your paws or tails to swipe off the smaller items, such as pens, coins, and those pesky bills. If there are larger, bulkier items in the way, plop down next to them, forcing the full brunt of your weight against the item. They’ll move, and your human will have room to cook! Be careful not to disrupt anything glass, as the shards can hurt your paws, and try not to knock over any open containers of liquid- not only will you get wet, your humans will get grumpy. 

Help gather the ingredients.

Have you ever seen your human pace back and forth to the refrigerator and cupboard five or six times to gather what they need, only to realize they forgot one last ingredient, yet again disturb your afternoon lounge to gather it? Put an end to it by grabbing the ingredients for them! Although most containers won’t fit into our mouths (sticks of butter and some smaller produce varieties are the exception), you can jump on the shelf and knock the ingredients off for them. I’ve found this works best with sticks of butter, packages of cream cheese, meats and cheeses, and spices kept in sealed, plastic containers. I would avoid doing this with anything liquid, and with flour, sugar, or loose spices. If they’re looking for a produce item, roll it to them with your paw- try to avoid putting it in your mouth, as many things humans cook with are either too bulky to carry or can harm you if ingested. 

Test out the viability of the cookware.

What would be more tragic than your human working hard to prepare something, only to realize the dish they wanted to use wasn’t suitable to cook with? Save them the time and frustration by testing it out yourself! As soon as your human selects and lays down the dish they intend to use, jump into it. You can stalk around in it, roll in it, or just sit in it. Make sure you’re given enough time to truly test the quality of the dish- if you have to, repeat the procedure until you are satisfied. It is imperative that you perform this maneuver as soon as the dish is set out, to prevent anything from being put in the dish prematurely.

Quality inspection!

This is definitely one of the best parts of helping out in the kitchen! As yummy ingredients are opened and mixed together, make sure the quality is up to par! Simply go up to what you want to test and start licking. You can also stick your nose or paw in whatever you want, if there are multiple options. By doing this, you’re alerting your human that you’ve claimed that piece of food, and that they need to leave it for you. Don’t hesitate to perform quality checks multiple times throughout the cooking process- after all, a block of cream cheese is going to taste much different than cream cheese combined with milk, butter, and powdered sugar. You want to ensure that only the best is created in your kitchen!

Add fiber!

A big bonus to helping is the added fiber that cat fur brings to the meal! While performing your quality checks, take the opportunity to shed in some loose furs. You’re making yourself more comfortable, and adding the gift of beauty and fiber to your human’s creation! This sounds like a win-win to me. 

Make sure the oven is heated properly. 

It is important to note that this can only be done with ovens, not stoves, and this must be done with caution and good judgement! Most baked goods and oven roasted meals require the oven be preheated to a certain temperature before baking can ensue. Although most ovens beep to let you know when the desired temperature has been achieved, don’t leave anything to error. As soon as the door warms up, snuggle right up against it to make sure it is properly heated. Walk away as soon as your human opens it up, though- no kitty wants a nose burn! 

Help with cleanup.

Cleanup is typically seen as boring, and should mostly be left to the humans. However, there are a few ways you can have fun and help clean up. First, make sure you lead your human to the sink or trash can each time. This ensures your space is clean, and that they don’t get lost or distracted along the way. You can even sit in the sink if there’s room, since there’s no way any human can miss the adorableness of a cat. Secondly, much like how you help clear the space to cook, you can do the same for cleanup. Swat egg shells and wrappers onto the floor, or use your tail to sweep away powders. Paper towels make a wonderful crinkly toy that you can claim upon discard. Just avoid messing your beautiful furs up!  

Be a natural timer.

This trick works best with meats. How many times have you been able to smell the delicious meat being cooked, knowing full well that your meal is done, only to have your human sit around for minutes more, making you wait? As a natural timer, you can fix that problem! Cats have a superior sense of smell, and by extension, knowledge of when food is cooked. As soon as your nose and tummy agree that the meat is cooked, let your human know! This can be done by sitting in front of the oven and yowling, rubbing against your human while purring and then running towards the oven, or by jumping on and off of your human repeatedly. This way, even if they forget to set a timer, or if they set the incorrect amount of time, you’ve got them covered. 

Test the finished product! 

The final- and best- step of helping in the kitchen is being able to test the finished product. As soon as temperature allows, go up to the food in question and give it a few nibbles. You can start slowly by licking it, or you can go for a large chomp. If neither of these options appeal to you, you can step on it and leave a paw print, or you can leave nose smudges on it. If you enjoy the food, do everyone else a favor and drag it over to share! That’s the greatest compliment you can give to a chef! 

Hopefully these tips and tricks make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable! Everybody needs help; now you can be the purrfect assistant to your humans cooking needs!

Purrs and furs,

Thunder K. Katt

 

15

What’s Better Than a Lentil?

Lolcats - tastes bad - LOL at Funny Cat Memes - Funny cat pictures with  words on them - lol | cat memes | funny cats | funny cat pictures with words

First, we’d like to thank everyone for all the love and support you gave Mom after our post last week (and the compassion for our situation). She is doing better.

We would also like to thank everyone for the unwavering support of our dislike of the lentil (That came pretty much from the feline population. There were a few humans who seem to enjoy eating them.)

Cooking with Cats. | Beautiful cats, Cats, Cat reading

We found a couple of recipes for Mom to make for us when she’s back up to speed.

Homemade Cat Treats

  • 1 (4 oz.) can of tuna in spring water, drained and flaked
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon dried catnip
  • 1 large egg
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until you get a smooth, thick dough.
  3. Form dough into 1/4-teaspoon balls (about 80 of them).
  4. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and flatten slightly
  5. Bake about 15 minutes (until crispy golden)
  6. Cool completely before serving.
  7. May be stored in an airtight container for up to a week or frozen

Cat wearing apron, stirring pot on miniature stove." As seen on the classic  cooking show Kitten Kitchen. Photo by Harry W. Frees… | Vintage cat, Cute  cats, Cat art

Cat Gravy

  • 1/4 cup chicken liver
  • 1/2 cup mixed chicken gizzard and heart
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  1. Boil the chicken parts until tender.
  2. Set the liquid aside and chop up the meat.
  3. Mix the liquid with the flour, meat, and salt.
  4. Cook over low heat until the gravy thickens.
  5. The gravy can either be pureed or left chunky.

Pumpkin for Cats: 10 Surprising Feline Benefits - PetFoodio.com

We’re including this last one because the site says that cats love them. Mom hates pumpkin, so we’ve never tried it.

Pumpkin and Salmon Kitty Bits

  • 1 1/4 cups of oat flour, divided
  • 5 ounces of drained salmon
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Break up the salmon with a fork or chopper.
  3. Combine 1 cup of flour, salmon, egg, and pumpkin in a bowl using a spoon or electric mixer
  4. Place the dough on the baking sheet, sprinkle with the remaining flour, and press down to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Prick all over with a fork.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and cut into small pieces with a pizza or pastry cutter.
  7. Spread the bits out and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes (until firm).
  8. Let cool completely.
  9. Store in an air-tight container for a week or freeze to store longer.

Another possibility.

What Do You Know About Eco-Friendly Cat Options? Take Our Earth Day Quiz! -  Catster

Or we could ask for a pet.

Cats and Fish 🐱🐠 Cute Cats Plays with Fish (Part 1) [Epic Life] - YouTube

 

 

19

Are You a Bored Kitty? Try These

Bored Cat? What Cat Owners Need To Know (including 10 Actionable Tips) –  TheCatSite Articles

It’s that time of year. No more ribbons and paper to play with. Less sun to lie in (at least here in Michigan). Fewer human treats to snack on. Fewer channels on Cat TV. Even the mice sleep more. What’s a bored kitty supposed to do?

Paw Tapping ? | TheCatSite

Play the arm/face tapping game. Gently tap your human on the face/arm/leg until you get a response. (Pads only, no claws) Count the number of taps. Compare the numbers between when they are sleeping/napping, watching TV, eating, and playing with their computer (the screen with a keyboard that they sometimes talk at).

PsBattle: Cat Jumping at Flinching Dog | Cat vs dog, Animals, Dog cat

Sit on a perch and jump on the dog. Pick a perch only slightly higher than your target. You want to startle the dog, not scare/hurt it. Do not try this if the dog is smaller than you. If you try this trick on a fellow feline, the odds are much higher that you will cause a chase game.

Pin on Cats

Cry loudly and stare at the wall (or into space). Eventually your human will try to figure out what is going on. See whether the reaction is “there must be something in the wall,” “she must sense something,” or “all cats are crazy.”

The Best Cat Toothbrush (Review) in 2021 | Brushes for Cat Dental Health

Hide something you know the human will need shortly. Good candidates are keys, a shoe, an important paper, or some item of personal hygiene. Sit back and watch them go crazy. If they get too distressed, casually “find” the object for them. Do not try this option if your human is one of those who are always late. It could cause them too much stress. You want to have fun, not be mean.

Pin by I an on Lovely animals | Cats, Funny cute cats, Cat care

Cook with them. You can supervise, but it’s a lot more fun to actually help. After they get a spoon dirty, lick it clean so they can use it again. Push the ingredients they are finished with off the counter so they don’t put them in twice and ruin the meal.

Cat-Yoga - Crescent City Cat Club

Exercise with them. You can sit on them while they exercise, but that’s common. It’s a lot better to sit in front of them to offer inspiration. Cats excel at yoga and stretching exercises. Be sure to offer tips on flexibility. Try to imitate the funny faces they make. Yowling with laughter is also fun.

Don't worry about crypto woes! Here's a happy cat for you all to take your  mind off the crypto market :) : vergecurrency

These are our best tips. If you have other ideas, please be sure to offer them below. Before we know it, the birds will be back and we can return to our regular level of human interaction (alternating between extreme affection and totally ignoring them).

Lolcats - birds - LOL at Funny Cat Memes - Funny cat pictures with words on  them - lol | cat memes | funny cats | funny cat pictures with words on

All pictures courtesy of Google Images.

 

20

Advice for Today’s Cat

Image result for cat watching tv meme

Welcome to House of Cats, the home of all things cat. Put your humans in another room and enjoy some time with us. Today we are welcoming Muffy Fluffington, the author of Own Your Human, Don’t Let Your Human Own You. Today Muffy is going to answer some of the most common questions she gets.

Image result for cat helping cook

My human says I never do anything, but when I try to help her, she puts me on the floor.

This is a common problem. Humans just don’t understand that they need help with their typing, cooking, and needlework. If they won’t let you do anything else, at least share some fur. Everything is better with fur.

Image result for dieting cat meme

My food tastes terrible since my human changed it. I think she’s trying to put me on a diet.

Humans do have a funny idea about what we should look like. I think it’s part of the whole body image issue they have with their own kind. They can’t control their own weight, so they want to control ours. In your case, I would force your human to taste some of the food they want you to eat. I can guarantee they won’t like it.

Image result for cat lying on furniture

My human rearranged the furniture. My favorite tree and pillow aren’t near the windows anymore.

This one is easily solved. Pull your blanket over to whatever they have put by the window and sleep there. When they move you, go back as soon as they leave. Before long, you’ll have your sunny window back.

Image result for cat hunting mice meme

I have been trying to teach my human to catch mice for three years. Should I give up?

As much as humans complain about mice in the house, most of them never learn how to catch the little guys. I would say that you should give them one more shot. Don’t go after the mice yourself. Once there are a few running around, your human may be more motivated to follow your example.

Image result for cat with baby

My humans just got one of those miniature humans. It never shuts up. How do I get some sleep?

Those baby humans are a problem. Before you know it, the kid will be running after you and trying to give you hugs with sticky hands. For right now, I recommend that you convince your humans to get you one of those snuggle sacks that you can crawl into. That should keep out a lot of the noise. Another option is to use whatever spot you have for when they turn on the cat-sucking cleaning machine.

Image result for cat bath meme

My human wants to bathe me. Just because she read that cats should be bathed once in a while.

What an awful idea! You have no option but to make bath time so miserable for her that she gives up. I recommend you start with hissing and growling. If that doesn’t work, move on to squirming. As a last resort, kick your way to freedom. And hide where she can’t reach you.

That’s all the time we have for this week’s House of Cats. Thank you all for tuning in. You can release your humans now.

Image result for cat watching tv meme

Pictures courtesy of Google Images

10

My New Love is Warm but Not Very Fuzzy

Actually, it’s not fuzzy at all. And that’s probably a good thing, since it’s a slow cooker (crock-pot). The fuzzy things live in the back of the refrigerator.

Until recently, I was very spoiled. My husband was working part-time (through no fault of his own – the economy still stinks here) and did the cooking and grocery shopping. Now he has a full-time job with regular hours, the same as I do.

While he is still interested in the shopping, there had been a significant decrease in the joy of cooking for quite some time. We seemed to be eating a lot of macaroni & cheese and tacos (not at the same time). Fairly regularly, we would get fish he caught (very yummy), burgers (not so much, I really don’t like beef), or pork chops. He also made soup (it always tasted really good, but sometimes I couldn’t quite identify all the ingredients).

I felt a sense of impending doom with the arrival of the new job. We might be the first family to starve because the man had gotten a job. Our 17-year-old son was not amused.

So I decided it was my turn. I am a very good baker. I just finished making a cheesecake for tomorrow. (My husband makes the pumpkin pie. I detest pumpkin pie. Besides, who eats vegetables/gourds for dessert?) We generally have home-made cookies or brownies for dessert and cakes for special occasions.

However, I am not allowed to touch beef (and I am not particularly interested in cooking hunks of other types of meat). I like beef well-done. Apparently that is like desecrating a work of art, so I don’t touch it. I think my husband got the idea on one of our earliest dates when I tried to make hamburgers. I guess you need to flatten them so they’re not raw in the middle and crispy on the outside.

Oddly enough, the one time I am allowed to cook beef is the standing rib roast on Christmas. It’s been a family tradition for generations, along with Yorkshire Pudding (guess where my family comes from). I don’t think it’s any comment on my ability to cook beef though. I set the temperature, season the roast, and let it cook until it no longer moos. The male members of the family are happy, and I don’t eat it.

I really couldn’t see myself coming home every night and making dinner. Generally, I would rather take a nap. So I looked around and discovered the slow cooker that has been sitting in the corner of our kitchen since my brother-in-law gave it to us about ten years ago.

It seems that slow cooker is the high-end name for a crock-pot. I would guess that’s because of people like me who put crock-pots in the same category as fondue pots. They have their place, but not in my kitchen. Most of what I have seen come out of them are kielbasa & sauerkraut, variations on baked beans, and chili/soups. All fine foods, but not the perfect long-term menu. The other option, as my son said, was to put in a hunk of meat and some liquid.

However, once again I went to the Internet (the decent cookbooks were in the $25 range, and I wasn’t sure my family would even like me cooking with it). Lo and behold, there are thousands of recipes out there. There are an alarming number of recipes for pork loins; pigs may want to band together for protection.

Today I made tortellini. There was a recipe for lasagna, but I make that from scratch and wasn’t sure I was ready to risk my reputation. However, the tortellini was very good. Crock-pots are excellent for slow-cooking pasta sauce. I have also made chicken and dumplings. Soups and chili were successes. My attempt at a hunk of meat was a ham cooked in Vernor’s (the only real ginger ale), with potatoes and onions. I made a beef stew-sort of thing (well-done beef is acceptable in stew).

So, I think we may be a match made in heaven. There’s very little work involved (although I do seem to be chopping a lot of onions); and with spices, the dreaded blands have been been avoided to this point. Of course, the test in any relationship is the holidays. So we’ll see what it gives me for Christmas. Or if it sulks when I yell at it.

I wonder if it cooks hamburgers.

7

Write What?

I have noticed that several bloggers have written that the only way to get good at writing is to write everyday, regardless of other commitments. In fact, Ned over at Ned’s Blog went so far as to say that those of us who do not should be spanked (http://nedhickson.com/2013/11/01/regular-writing-can-shape-your-literary-thighs/). While I think this advice has more to do with Ned’s personal preferences than serious advice, the underlying advice is sound. Fortunately, a few others were a little more specific. For example, the Dysfunctional Literate talks about writing on a variety of topics (http://dysfunctionalliteracy.com/2013/10/13/5-rules-for-writing-every-day/).

What no one tells me, though, is what to write about if I really don’t have anything interesting going on in my life. Looking around, I see that some people do short stories/novellas. Since most of my (limited) spare time is spent with literature (yes,that stuff you hated reading in high school) and magazines such as National Geographic and Smithsonian, I am going to guess that my tastes in reading/writing are probably not the key to gaining more readers.

There seem to be a lot of advice columns out there. I could probably do that if I really knew anything about anything. My brain is more like Trivial Pursuit –  lots of cool facts without a lot to tie them together. I guess that hasn’t really hurt some of the people I have seen in the newspapers.

There are a lot of cooking blogs. Unfortunately, most of my cooking comes from looking around the kitchen and seeing what we have. I don’t know what it will taste like until I’m done. When I’m done, I have no way to recreate it because I didn’t measure anything and don’t really remember what I put in. I worry that there might be some kind of legal issue if I accidentally poison a stranger (no, it hasn’t happened at home).

I could write about my family. Only problem is that the humans would quit speaking to me and the cats can’t be counted on to be amusing. I could write poetry, but it really stinks. I could make fun of current events, but most of them succeed just fine doing it themselves. Same for politics. I could write about travel, except I don’t go anywhere. I don’t do photography. I draw a little, but how many plant drawings would people want to look at?

I TOLD you I was boring. Now that I think about it – maybe that has some potential.