The Revenge Of The Vegetarian Thanksgiving, or, Pussy Whipped

If you know me at  all, you know my standard rant reviling the Thanksgiving holiday: an occasion sacred to the gorging of stodge, sanctimonious admonitions to be thankful (while someone holds a loaded gun to your head, more or less), family gatherings in stuffy houses where no one likes anyone else, and a venal orgy of postprandial shopping performed to the soundtrack of cheesily arranged Christmas carols. For this, people spend hours in cars, airports and trains, occasionally observing human sacrifices like this one:

I am waiting for a year when everyone rises up against this ritual insanity and stays the fuck home. One of my favorite Thanksgiving meals ever was a scrambled egg. I was so grateful not to be enmeshed in that carnival of forced sentimentality that my soul expanded into a realm of peace and serenity which usually only accompanies IV Valium in the operating theater.

My Engineer likes to cook, though, and a few years ago we dug up a classic eggplant recipe which is so time-consuming to make that it will titrate any dedicated cook’s need to do something special on a holiday. Our version uses unoaked Italian red wine in the sauce, and as Julia Child said, it’s good to cook with wine, you can even put it in the food, so all around it works out.

Except for the obligate carnivores in my household, now four in number. My first feline adoption as an adult involved feeding the neighbors’ neglected cat a can of Fancy Feast and taking him indoors when they went away overnight on Thanksgiving and left him out in the snow. I should have remembered. The troops, probably telepathically connected to whole populations of cats comatose on turkey scraps, took matters into their own paws the very next morning.

Yes, that small grey blob at the lower left corner of the picture (no comments about the dereliction of dusting in my cellar room, please) is a vole or possibly a short-tailed shrew. I was originally more persuaded of volishness, but I read that the shrew is proficient in echolocation, emitting high-pitched squeaks in order to orient, and this unfortunate little motherfluffer was squeaking for dear life, while Agatha pursued him through the downstairs daybed, a fleece cat hut, the space behind a bookcase and finally the dusty redoubt under the worktable.

Torvald, the Viking lout, ambled downstairs offering to join the fun. Aggie ignored his approach until he got too close, then lifted a paw and waved it in the universal cat gesture that says “Come any nearer and I will clean your clock.” This was her prey. Torvald explained he was just lookin’ and wandered off to bury his face in the kibble dish.

“Pussy whipped,” said the Cute Engineer.

We left her to it. After we got back from the gym we found her roosting on the drafting table in the corner, the immobile carcass of M. Vole or Senor Shrew tits-up on the carpet. I looked only so closely, so I still can’t give you a certain fix on species. No clue how he got in; the same way the field mice do, I expect.

At least she didn’t do anything messy with him, but I think it was a warning. I suppose I can lay in some chicken livers at Christmas.

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2 thoughts on “The Revenge Of The Vegetarian Thanksgiving, or, Pussy Whipped

  1. Hah! Loved this. Also eggplant… noms. (When the girls were little the ex and I would often eschew the relatives and bolt for the zoo on T-Day. We weren’t the only ones. It got crowded!)

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