Life's vagaries explained through football, food, travel and canines.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

I Never Thought I Would Use the Words "Cat Laxative" In A Sentence

The kittens are continuing to thrive, but let me stress here that this is really in no way due to me.

My friend and nabe J is the one who deserves all the credit. She is a one woman kitten care machine--they live in an adorable blue plastic basket with fluffy towels and a really cool soft frog doll. They have a red kitchen scale they get weighed on. They get the pricey French mother cat milk replacement. We fill up their syringes of formula out of very chic teacups from Central. So hats off to her--they are gaining weight and becoming stronger.

No 1 is downright rambunctious and eager to spread her kitten-y fervor, while No 2 has poop issues (feel free to make your own joke here about No 2's lack of No 2s.) Hence the title of this post--I feel like this weekend will be my cat laxative Day of Reckoning.

People have been objecting to the names of my cats--No 1 and No 2 are quick easy references to three week old beings and are no way meant to be cold or scientific. "Sorng" in Thai gets a pass, but "Neung" has met with criticism. Nina was pretty easy--I had a short list and Nina just fit--I looked into her eyes and that was that.

I welcome your comments on feline nomenclature.

Promise to post a new pic soon.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Cat-astrophe, Though Really Not That Bad...

I can't have a dog. For starters, I already have the world's best dog, Nina, who lives in PA for the moment, a fact that causes me no end of distress. I have a demanding job; I live alone; Bangkok is short on green space and dog runs--the list goes on.

So recently N answered affirmatively when I asked if I could have a cat, I was sort of excited. There had been a cat in the apartment before and we got along. I'm not a cat person, by any stretch, but I can hang.

Enter Number One and Number Two (Neung and Sorng in Thai)-- a combined total weight of 500 grams, rescued by a kind hearted, animal loving friend who heard them meowing in distress in an Asia Books box on Sukhumvit Road.

I admit it had been a long week and the sight of two malnourished screaming kittens drove me towards the wine bottle immediately, but things have mellowed considerably since then-- we have fed them milk using a medicine dropper, swaddled and played. Litterbox training a breeze compared to dogs' toilet issues. I remind myself that a routine is essential. This morning twas not fun trying to get myself ready and feeding and cuddling two squirmy cats at once, carrying them around with me in a towel like a cat burrito.

How would this be with actual tiny human beings? Gaaaaaaaahhhhhh!

ETA: Neung seems to have figured out how to drink milk from a small dish. Hurrah! one less cat to hand feed.

Monday, January 08, 2007

November Was Vietnam and Vietnam Was Pho

I was reminded recently about my delinquent blogging and another dear friend said that N is much better at chronicling the world that [I] am, which is, without a doubt, true.
I can only give the same old excuses, but I will refrain, and more importantly, post.
In November, I went to Hanoi to cover the APEC summit. It's basically a bunch of countries who say they agree on a bunch of stuff and then leave and never do anything about it. This time it was more exciting than usual (???) since the 5 countries from the six party talks were meeting for the first time after the North Korean nuclear test. So, umm, yeah, glad that problem's solved...

Anyhow, that isn't to say I didn't do some excellent stuff there. I explored the art scene (booming), visited a pottery village and drank snake's blood and ate 8 courses of snake cooked in various ways with my friend, producer and Hanoi native, LA. But most of the time, I was face down in a bowl of pho, the ubiquitous, ethereal beef noodle soup. I have been a fan for a long time, both at home, thanks to a brilliant Cook's Illustrated article, as well as my previous proximity to Baxter Street in Manhattan and its row of VN restaurants. I wasn't that close, but I would make the balled fist, shivering march from East Broadway station anytime.

Pho, anytime, anywhere. It's what's for breakfast, though the hotel pho was bad. No matter-- the other specimens I had were sublime-- broth to make you weep, noodles soft yet firm, lovely frilly slices of pink beef, shreds of fresh herbs and onions giving up their essence to the steam rising from bowl to nose. It truly was transcendent.

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