Saturday, April 29, 2006

Ode to an Uncle Trabis

A few months ago, our dad started dating again. Warning sirens went off in our heads. He’s done this before. Would there be a stream of gentleman callers parading through our house and taking up space on our bed? Would they want to play with our toys and gobble up our treats? Our daddy is not very bright when it comes to these things. Of course we want him to be happy, but he has a tendency to confuse happy with stupid. His track record is less than stellar and he doesn’t have a particularly solid history in the “learning from past mistakes” department.

Enter Uncle Trabis. He seemed nice enough. But we had reason to be suspicious because he always arrived smelling of other cats and dogs. A danger sign if ever there was one. It started innocently. Uncle Trabis would come over and watch moobies at our house. He has a comfortable lap. Not too soft and not too lumpy. Just right for lounging.

Things were progressing nicely and we were starting to think we might consider allowing this man to join our family. He must have sensed our growing trust. He petted us and was always sure to greet us first whenever he came to visit. He certainly is no dummy. Then on Daddy’s birthday last December, something amazing happened. Uncle Trabis arrived with about a million bags filled with stuff. At first this was rather alarming. Was he planning to move in with us? And if he did, would he be able to arrange for his own supply of toys and treats? Would he be able to arrange for ours? We decided it best to keep an eye on this one. So we followed him into the kitchen. There were bags everywhere. And inside the bags were pots and pans and all kinds of interesting smelling things. When he started pouring things and mixing stuff it started to get interesting and our curiosity was high. For those of you who are sadly misinformed, curiosity does NOT kill cats. We needed to know what kind of funny games this character was playing in our kitchen. He was very busy mixing stuff up in there. To be perfectly blunt, we had never seen anything like this before in all of our combined lives. He seemed very focused on all those bags and pots and bowls and pans. And while we sat quietly by watching his every move - part curious - part suspicious - he did something amazing. He put everything he had mixed up into a pan and tossed the whole shebang into the oven. It was like magic. Up until that night, the only things we had ever seen going into that oven came out of boxes in the freezer. This was going to be interesting. We decided to wait and see. So we waited and we saw. And we smelled. Oh, bliss! Oh, rapture! The aromas that came from that oven were astonishing. And while these heavenly scents filled our noses, he washed up the bowls and utensils (something else we never saw anybody do in our kitchen). After a while, he opened the oven door and pulled out something he called a cheesecake. I was dumbstruck. Jett’s jaw hit the floor with a big thud.

Cheesecake. A cake made out of cheese. Absolutely fascinating. And delicious. Even though it would probably be better drizzled with tuna juice.

Since then, Uncle Trabis has made his magic in our kitchen on several other occasions. He is a talented kitchen magician. No cans. No boxes. Nothing from the freezer. Just amazingly delicious treats that he makes especially for us.

He is also a very good cuddler. He must have taken a correspondence course. The first time he spent the night at our house, Jett and I were very unhappy. Jett slept on the sofa. I stood in the hallway outside the bedroom and howled. He seemed concerned for me. Another good sign. He was going to be easy. I didn’t get much sleep that night, but now whenever Uncle Trabis comes to visit, he carries me to bed and tucks me in. Jett still sleeps on the sofa. That's fine with me. I think we should keep him. Jett loves him OK too, but he won't admit it and draws the line at eating treats from his hand or sleeping in the same bed. I think Jett is just trying to get more attention. Sure, Jett sleeps on the sofa when Uncle Trabis comes to visit, but he makes a big show of it to be sure Uncle Trabis sees the sacrifice he is making. This has gone on for quite some time now and I think it is safe to say that Uncle Trabis loves us very much. We love him too. And we love his cooking. Daddy seems pretty happy too.

Note to Uncle Trabis: Don’t forget that the best way to a man’s heart is through his cat’s stomach.

Note to self and Jett: Consider re-opening the Mouse and Moo and hiring Uncle Trabis as the chef.

Note to Daddy: Don’t do anything stupid.