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gracie's world 1999


This is me sleeping on the book case!  Except Mom woke me up!

Gracie's World

August 1999


Sunday, August 1
I am so bored! It's just so boring! It's raining and there's nothing to do! Mom and Dad are sitting around looking at books that don't move and don't even make noise or have tails! Ben says let's play checkers but I hate checkers! Ben says let's play Parcheesi but I don't really like cheese also it makes me gassy! Ben says let's get out Mom's guitar and sing folk songs but he only knows "Blowin' in the Wind" also his voice cracks and frankly his voice really sucks! Weakie says let's sit on the wicket and watch chipmunks but they're a tease. So then Weakie says why not take a nap but naps are just so boring! I don't know what to do and nobody has any good ideas not even Pia because she just said why don't you go take a flying fuck at the wall clock.

Monday, August 2
They're making a movie out of Nini's best selling book Better Than Paris! It's about how when she was little she wore lots of black and she always wore a beret and she wanted to live in Paris but all she had was 63 cents and a coat button. So she invested her 63 cents so she could go to Paris and now she's a billion trillion bazillionaire! She has her own jet and litterboxes with special litterbox attendants all over the world! She says she visits Paris anytime she wants because basically she owns it! This is going to be such a great movie! Jody Foster is playing Nini, and Arnold Schwartz~ Schwartz~ that really big guy is playing Dad!

Tuesday, August 3
Mom says she's sick of hearing Pia talk all the time about how she she has tattoos all over her body and her tail is tattooed like a big candy cane. She says let's dip Pia in Nair and find out. Dad says let's shave her instead it will be more fun! Ben heard Pia talking about her tattoos and he says he has tattoos all over his body too! He says all cats have tattoos all over their bodies in his Native Land! Also everyone has harmonicas!

Wednesday, August 4
This morning I heard Pia saying heeeeeeeere kitty kitty kitty and we all went to investigate and she had the window open and she was coaxing Ben out the window! Outside there was a big hawk circling and he had a napkin tied around his neck! Then he swooped down and said screeee! and he took Ben away! Ben cried help! help! I tried to help him but I kept falling down! Then there was this weird guitar music! Then I woke up! It was just Weakie and Chickenloaf watching a Western on TV!

Thursday, August 5
Ben is zipping up his little yellow raincoat! He says it's time for him to go on his Walkabout! He says every young cat in his Native Land goes on a Walkabout and they live on nothing but spiders and cactus water. Also hot dogs they buy from convenience stores! Nini says what kind of Walkabout is this going to be if Ben is not allowed to leave the house and Ben says he's going to spend 40 days and 40 nights in the Litter Box Room! He's taking no form of protection except for one of those little sword-shaped toothpicks!

Friday, August 6
Ben has left for his Walkabout! He took his little raincoat and his rainhat and his boots and his harmonica! He says he will live on snakes and fight off dingo dogs! If he survives at all when he comes back we won't recognize him! He says he will be a MAN. Nini says she hardly thinks he's going to become a different species and besides MEN aren't all they're cracked up to be. Case in point, consider Dad she says. But Ben went on his walkabout anyway and we all had to say goodbye to the Old Ben!

Saturday, August 7
Ben's back from his Walkabout! Pia says that was no 40 days it was only six hours, but Ben says it sure felt like 40 days and besides he was getting thirsty and he was missing his M*A*S*H reruns so he decided close enough. Does he appear different he asked all of us. Pia peeled his eyelids back and lifted his tail and said nope same old dingbat. But I think he's different. Handsomer somehow!

This is Ben! Isn't he handsome?

Sunday, August 8
Today is Dad's birthday! He's 450 years old! Nini says he's as old as capro~ capro~ he's as old as old dinosaur poop fossils!

We got up really really early this morning and baked him a cake and decorated it with those little sword toothpicks and Weakie made her special mayonnaise dish with dilled onions! Also Ben and Chickenloaf strung lots and lots of catfood kibbles on some wire to make a tiara for Dad! Nini was too busy to get Dad a present so she just gave him lots of cash! Pia had a rough night and she almost slept through everything!

Then we all signed Dad's card but Ben's handwriting is so terrible he scrawled all over the card and Pia smacked him really really hard!

Then Dad got up and stumbled out into the livingroom and we all sang Happy Birthday and Pia sang it really really high just to show off and Ben's voice kept cracking and Pia smacked him again really hard and he flipped right over backwards! Then Dad said that'snicewherethehell'sthecoffee.

It's been a really great birthday for Dad!

Monday, August 9
Even after all these years Frog is still in love with me! He just sits and sits and sits on our steps! I know he's in love with me 'cause Mom says so! Sometimes he sings Gene Kelly songs!

Tuesday, August 10
This is Nini when she's grubbing:

Grub alert!

Whenever Nini is grubbing Mom and Dad go "Grub Alert! Grub Alert!" Then they yell "Half Grub!" "Three-Quarter Grub with Tail Curl!" Or, "Full Grub! All Four Toes Curled!" Then they yell "There Goes the Comet!" Then Nini leaves her body!

Wednesday, August 11
We all gathered around the basement door last night and Charlie told us a scary story! He told us about how he and Chickenloaf used to be Mom and Dad's only cats and they all lived in a house the size of a rat's nostril! Then there were these huge dogs out in the yard! The dogs had horrible teeth and horrible toenails and horrible armpits! Charlie called these dogs ROTTENWEILERS. He said one time he was on the kitchen windowsill and these dogs came up and put their lips on the window!

Charlie is so scared of the Rottenweilers!

Thursday, August 12
Soon we get to buy school clothes! Weakie says we're all going to school this year! This is great because Charlie wants to be a medical student!

Friday, August 13
Today is Friday the 13th and it's a scary scary day so Charlie told us another scary story! He told us how he bit a ROTTENWEILER right on the nose and made the ROTTENWEILER run around in circles! Then he went to jail! Charlie stayed in jail for 20 years and in the cell right next to him was an IGUANA. And in the cell on the other side of him was a GUINEA PIG. At night they played harmonicas and sang "Nobody Knows the Troubles I've Seen." Then this strange guy with bib overalls and a straw hat came and got him out of jail and it was Dad!

Saturday, August 14
Weakie says she's going to be our school teacher! We get to buy school clothes today! Also book bags and lunch boxes! Pia says she's going to get one gold earring. Also she's going to get her tail pierced! I can't wait to buy school clothes! Yippee!

Sunday, August 15
Today I found Ben sitting on the edge of the bed weeping! I asked him what he was weeping about maybe he heard a sad song or maybe he just heard Pia rehearsing her music and he said no he really likes Pia's singing! So I asked him what was wrong and he said he didn't want to talk about it! It was just too traumatic! Then he started weeping loudly!

Monday, August 16
Ben is still sitting on the edge of the bed! Off and on he weeps! When he's not weeping, he gazes dejectedly out the window at the squirrels and sniffles and dabs his eyes with his little embroidered silk handkerchief!

Tuesday, August 17
This is the third day in a row that Ben has been sitting on the edge of the bed weeping off and on and gazing sadly at the squirrels! Pia said why don't you pull yourself together and try on your new school clothes but Ben said no, no, he just didn't have the heart. Then why don't you play your bagpipes, Pia said. But Ben said no, it just wasn't the same anymore. Then Pia said well why don't you go sit somewhere else 'cause you're making the bedspread soggy. That made Ben sob even harder! Then Pia kicked him and called him Litter Brain!

Wednesday, August 18
Okay so we all gathered around Ben with his soggy silk handkerchief and said come on Ben tell us what's bothering you.

"I can't talk about it," he choked.

"Name the problem and you're halfway to healing," Chickenloaf said.

"Face your fears, and they'll disappear," Weakie said.

"There's nothing to fear but fear itself!" Nini said.

"Stop wasting our time and fess up," Pia said.

I was busy taking notes. But Ben was all stuffed up from weeping and all he would stutter out was "I ca~ ca~ caaaaaad tagh aboud id!" Then he started weeping again!

Thursday, August 19
Today we all got to go to Chickenloaf's favorite store, Wow Wow Office Dork except for Ben who said he couldn't bear to go! We all got to buy paper and pencils and lunchboxes for school! I got a little plaid lunchbox and Chickenloaf got a Partridge Family lunchbox, and Charlie got a Munsters lunchbox! Pia says lunchboxes are for sissies! Pia said what about getting my ear pierced? When are we going to Earring Palace at the Mall?

School is only two weeks away! This is so cool!

Friday, August 20
Today Charlie showed us his baby picture! Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

This is Charlie's baby picture! His head is the size of a drawer pull!

Saturday, August 21
So anyway we all gathered around Ben and said come on Ben tell us what's bothering you and he blurted out

I muh~ muh~ miss my LAWNMOWER!

Then he started sobbing again!

Ben's Linzer Tortes

Take one slice toast stolen from plate, remove cat hairs
Spread with one layer of jam of choice (raspberry with seeds is best)
Add one layer of liverwurst
Top with sliced Vidalia onion
Place on festive tray and garnish with feta cheese

Serves six

Ben's Holiday Spam Pie

Claw five or six paws-ful of Spam from can
Drain if necessary
Arrange Spam bits in bottom of small pre-baked meat pie crust
Sprinkle generously with cinnamon and cardamon
Top with sliced fruit and walnuts
Bake for 1/2 hour or until fruit and Spam turn golden brown
Remove cat hairs and serve

Serves four

Ben's Tasty Snack Cubes

Claw open 1 large bag buttered croutons
Pour croutons in large bowl and drizzle with melted lard
Add 1 quart pork cracklins' and 1 quart pickled eggs (drained and patted dry)
Remove cat hairs
Mix and serve

Serves about six

Ben's Mouse Liver Pâté

Wash and drain 12 mouse livers
Gently simmer livers until gray
Drain and mash livers with paw until smooth paste
Remove cat hairs as necessary
Mix in 1 tablespoon mayonnaise and 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
Add pine nuts to taste

Serve on crackers pilfered from snack drawer (serves about six)

Nini's Trout Mousse

Skin and remove head and tail from one small, freshly caught trout
Wrap skin, head, and tail in wax paper and chill
Poach trout over low heat until tender
Remove trout meat from skeleton and set skeleton aside
Mash trout meat with paw until paste
Mix fish paste thoroughly with equal parts whipped cream and feta cheese
Open trout skin and scrape off all scales
Arrange trout skin on oval plate and gently spoon mousse onto skin
Shape mousse into fish shape
Place trout head at one end of mousse, tail at other
Carefully arrange trout skeleton on top of mousse trout shape
Using capers, arrange on tray around trout shape the words "This one didn't get away ~ Ha Ha!"
Remove cat hairs and serve

Serves 12

Nini's Spicy Fruit Rollups

Take 12 large leaves pilfered from house plant*
Bring small pot of water to boil and blanch leaves for about 30 seconds
Pat leaves dry and place on paper towel
Claw one peach from fruit bowl on dining room table and roll off table to floor
Remove peach skin and mash peach into paste (remove cat hairs as necessary)
Claw one banana from fruit bowl on dining room table and drag to table edge
Push banana off table onto cat below (preferably younger cat in household)
Remove banana skin with teeth and mash with paw
Mix banana and peach paste together, spread on house plant leaves
Sprinkle generously with habanero flakes and feta cheese
Roll house plant leaves into cylinders
Tie each cylinder with festively colored yarn pilfered from knitting basket

Makes 12 fruit rollups

*Make sure plant is not poisonous!!! Test on younger cat in household if necessary


Chickenloaf's Strawberry Flambé

Claw five or six strawberries from fruit bowl on dining room table
Gently carry strawberries in teeth to cooking area*
Arrange strawberries in bowl and coat with confectionery sugar
Sprinkle strawberries with smokeless** gun powder removed from 12-guage shotgun cartridge pilfered from gun cabinet***
Ignite with tossed lit match at serving table in front of guests ~ makes for a festive dessert experience!

Serves six

*Note: Do not roll strawberries off table! This bruises the fragile fruit.
**Note: Black powder is an option if you wish to reenact Revolutionary War experience.
***Note: Using lighter fluid is not advisable as it masks strawberries' delicate flavor


Ben's Native Land Stuffed Jerboa Skins

Remove the skins of six medium-sized jerboas* leaving heads, paws, and tails attached to skins
Poach skinned jerboas for 1/2 hour or until tender and juicy
Butter the insides of jerboa skins, sprinkle with cardamon, and bake 1/2 hour
With buttered paw, mash poached jerboas into paste
Add pine nuts and feta cheese to taste
Stuff each skin with jerboa paste until it approximately resembles a jerboa again
Place small, red crabapple in each jerboa's mouth
Using large platter, arrange stuffed jerboas in natural crouching positions in diorama setting, using sand, stones, and small baobab limbs

Serves six

*Note: Can be gotten in most upscale ethnic food stores, or can be substituted by gerbils, which can be gotten in all pet stores

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