Tuesday, January 06, 2009

ciao, chow and meow :: a photo essay

Happy New Year! Welcome to the new blog.

Sorry it's been awhile. Between juggling my personal life, work, an impending cookbook deadline, and caring for Buttons, I haven't had time to blog. But I have made time to churn out and retest recipes for my upcoming cookbook. Yesterday, I created Porcini Ravioli using the new Italian Ravioli Mold that Santa brought me.


Here they are, all gussied up with marinara sauce. Making ravioli is seriously addictive.


Sunchoke salad with red peppers and black olives.


Creme Brulée. So rich!


Lunch Muffins

Buttons Update

Buttons has had an extremely traumatic time transitioning from the gutter to luxe loft living. For the entire 2 weeks she was sequestered in the bathroom, she cowered in the corner. She wouldn't respond to anything: toys, treats, Feliway spray, catnip, Rescue Remedy, reiki, etc. She was just plain terrified and completely shut down. Nevertheless, Bossa Nova and Pablo were anxious to meet their new pal.


I talked to several experts about next steps. Temporarily crating Buttons and moving her to the living room seemed like the best option. My friend, Karen, kindly lent me a crate. [Rufus, her dog, was thrilled to see it go!] At first, Buttons did what she did in the bathroom: hid, or tried to.


Eventually, she worked up enough nerve to turn around and face us. We determined that her "demi-ear" is not the result of frostbite, but rather spaying. When vets fix ferals, they usually make very prominent ear ticks that are easy for human caretakers to spot.


Happily, Buttons now feels comfortable enough to eat and groom herself in front of us, as you can see here – a huge breakthrough! Pablo desperately wants to be friends. He and Buttons play footsie through the grates. They've definitely bonded. Bossa Nova, on the other hand, throws hissy fits and swats Pablo when he spends too much time with Buttons [jealous!].


I've been handling Buttons in 15-minute increments, twice a day, to get her used to me. She doesn't exactly love it yet, but yesterday as I scratched her, she rubbed her head into my hand as if to say, "A little to the left, please." To be honest, Buttons had been so miserable and terrified here, that I was inches away from re-releasing her outdoors. I just felt that she was tortured here and thought she would be happier. But now that she's starting to settle in, slowly but surely, I'm so glad I didn't.

48 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

Love the food!!

I'm praying for the cats, as always.

HOORAY FOR THE NEW BLOG!!! :-D

Nicole said...

When my husband adopted our older cat, he was two years old and he had no idea if he had been alone all that time, or if he was in a home for a part of it.

Regardless, he was skin and bones when my husband adopted him. He said that for a month or more, poor Oscar did nothing but eat and sleep.

I think if you give her more time, she'll slowly come around. It can't be easy -- two new people, and two new(ish) cats!

Hannah said...

I feel like there should be a housewarming party or something for your new blog- It looks great!

And seriously? Creme brulee is one of my favorites!

starrs in her eyes said...

I've been reading your blog for some time now, and I'm never sure what I enjoy most- the food or the kittens?! Love it.

jessica said...

I'm glad you didn't re-release her too. You're being so patient. Wonderful :)

One of my cats has a nick in his ear. I thought it was from fighting but maybe he was in the same program. He's so loving and I don't know much other than he came from the local humane society. Well, if he was part of the same program Buttons was, there's hope for Buttons! :)

herbstsonne said...

You are SO SO sweet! I love the picture of Pablo wanting to be friends, like a little kid! :D

Elaine said...

Who's Zelda? I thought her name was Buttons...

Paisley said...

So sweet.

Cynthia said...

Yay, Buttons! Good news!

Eating Consciously said...

Like the new blog. Hope Buttons settles in even more moving forward :) I'm going to test out the bulgar tacos tonight!

affectioknit said...

I love the new blog and the header! I'm so happy you kept Buttons - I'm quite sure she'll turn into a sweetie...

Melody Polakow said...

Wow.. what a process... poor Buttons.. it must be so hard to see her so scared...

Love the ravioli!

Bridget said...

Long time reader. Thank you for all your wonderful entries and for being so loving to our four-legged friends. In six months you won't believe Button's is the same cat. Patience and persistence will pay off. One of our greyhounds (may she rest in peace) was extremely shy. Her background was not a pretty one. When she arrived to our home she was 8. Her name was Doris. Wouldn't come near us and I had to go to the other room in order for her to eat. If we even thought about looking at her she would hide in her crate. This went on for weeks. One morning I was sitting in the other room waiting for Doris to finish eating when all of a sudden she appeared in front of me. Looking at me like she wanted something. I don't know how I knew, but I lifted up her lip and noticed a piece of her food was stuck in her teeth. I removed it and after that moment she never left my side. Right then and there she decided it was time to trust us. It was the most precious gift I have ever received. That is all it takes. One moment. It will come. And the feeling will be something you will never ever forget. Hang in there.

Bea said...

I've adopted Fantine 5 years ago, she was a ferral cat born from the wild. During 3 years she refused to be cuddled, went away each time I was giving her food in my flat. 2 years ago, a miracle came and Fantine is now of the sweetest who's living with me.
Patience & love....

Theresa said...

Aw, what a beautiful picture of Buttons on your lap. I'm glad she's settling in a bit better, and I hope Bossa Nova gets used to her presence!

Lauren said...

Your new blog looks really nice. I like the header, very chaotic but still warm.

By the way, my name is Lauren and I've been reading your blog for awhile! My sister and I, two vegan Philadelphians, just started our own blog at http://veganroyale.blogspot.com/ and maybe you could take a look! We've linked to your blog under blogs we like, hope that's ok!

icancarryallthebagsandthebabiestoo said...

Hey, this is my first time visiting your blog.

I am fascinated by it because

a.)everything looks totally delicious
b.)I've recently begun eating a vegetarian diet and am looking for all of the tips I can get
and c.) we moved to Philadelphia recently and I would love to pick your brain about great places to eat in this city.

I hope to hear from you.

You can contact me through email at annapholler@gmail.com

or

visit my blogs

http://ahappystitch.blogspot.com

or

http://mamaeatsherpeas.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Hi. Just a tip with buttons, scratch the very base of her tail (like the top of the tail) that may help relax her.

I'm sure Buttons will come around.

Looking forward to the cookbook. Let us know a link to buy it.

dee said...

I understand about your considering releasing Buttons. The feral I picked up at the Home Depot parking lot in Brooklyn, NY, was also initially miserable in my apartment. I decided to keep her and she finally decided to keep me. I'm sure the same will occur for Buttons and you. Blessings.

mamapasta said...

there is a stray tomcat that comes sometime in my kitchen , just in order to eat in my own cats plates, He is affraid if I chut the door, I wonder if a stay cat can be happy in a shut room .
( I should take my ravioli tray out of the cupboard )

Vivacious Vegan said...

I am sorry that things with Button aren't working out as you had hoped. Hang in there. Hopefully it will get better. If it doesn't, instead of releasing her back outside, maybe you could try to find her a home where there would be no other cats. I think some cats aren't capable of living with other cats. Perhaps Button is one of them.

Many years ago we tried to get a new cat which sent Bailey into a severe downward spiral. We tried every method possible to help her, eventually resorting to some sort of kitty prosac. When even that failed to work we knew that we couldn't keep the new cat any longer (it had been about 6 months).

We found her a new home and within days Bailey was back to her old self. I wish we were able to rescue another cat but I just couldn't put Bailey through that again.

Vegetation said...

Yum! I want ravioli! And lunch muffins! Followed by creme brulee!

Awww Buttons is just so adorable! And how cute are Pablo and Bossa Nova wanting to say hello and to play?!?!?!

I'll keep them in my thoughts and hope things start going a bit more smoothly from now on.

Lauren said...

Happy New Year!

Love the Ravioli's! Mmm! And that sunchoke salad looks delish! Creme Brulee? Vegan? Never had it!! It's one of my favorite desserts though.

I hope everything works out with the cats!

Janet said...

Yay, the new blog is here! It looks great. Congrats on the progress with Buttons, she is very lucky to have a loving home and a cute boy kitty to play footsies with :)

Vegan_Noodle said...

Love your new blog header!

I bet you are super busy with the cookbook. I can't wait till it's done.

Glad Buttons is starting to warm up to you...

veganpower said...

Your new blog look great !
Happy new year to you :)

Susan G said...

Your patience and dedication to Buttons is inspiring!

I can't wait to get the recipe for that ravioli!

DJ said...

So inspiring the way you're persevering with Buttons - it's always worth it in the end!
The new blog looks fantastic, btw!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Pretty little ravioli! yum.
I hope things with Buttons improve!

Stephen said...

Its so hard having animals in town isn't it. Hope she settles in properly soon. And would love to try making ravioli, and all pasta, though have to research to find where to buy the necessary gadgets in London. Cheers!

Lauren said...

nice new blog! :)
the food looks soo great, ravioli is a favorite of mine, and yours look quite delish.

i'm really glad to hear that things are progressing with Buttons! time really is the answer to most things :)

Robin said...

The new header is NICE!

I'm so excited about the cookbook and can't wait to buy it.

As for the cats....hang in there. She will come around but it is going to take alot of time. The pics of the kitties with their paws under the door..PRICELESS! Cats are such peculiar animals but have so much personality. Great idea on the crate. Ferrel cats are the best and are SO REWARDING!

Bless you for taking her in:-)

jennconspiracy said...

Very cute kitties - I love the picture of the paws under the door!

My kitties really get along pretty well - George was adopted (stolen) by Dobson, and Carmine puts up with the both of them.

You may find once the three kitties are used to each other that you'll start seeing a much more complex sociology of cats... 3 cats is so much more work (and interesting) than 1 or 2 cats, though I may as well have 2 right now because George is boycotting the bed the last several weeks.

Gnewvegan said...

Your love, kindness, patience, and true human spirit will be felt by buttons with each passing day. You are a wonderful person.
And you are right about the ravioli. I also make vegan ravioli and it is wonderful because you can be so creative and fill it with whatever you desire.

Annie in Minneapolis said...

As I was reading your blog I too was wondering if maybe it wouldn't be better to let her go back to her previous life. I don't think there is a correct answer to the question.

Your intention are pure and kind so following your heart is the only way to proceed.

Sending good vibes from Minneapolis.

Thanks for blogging!!

Cafe Cyan said...

You are fantastic with Buttons and I admire the dedication.

Also...ravioli - YUM!

Erica said...

Aw Buttons!

Robin said...

you know, i DO like your new site!

River said...

Aww, Pablo looks adorable staring at Buttons! Thank you for the update. Hopefully Pablo and Bossa Nova will help her feel more comfortable.

Your ravioli look amazing!

Soja said...

Just catching up, after following your blog for a while am thrilled to hear about Buttons, so glad you've been able to help her. I hope she settles into her new life soon, for you and her, it sounds like you are doing everything you can, our adopted adult cats have often taken a little longer than kittens. The crate is a great idea. Sending you much luck and positive thoughts!

Tanya Kristine said...

oh no no no...she's just not used to such a lovely environment but she will be....can't wait to see it too.

TavoLini said...

aww, I'm glad she's coming around! I'll keep her in my thoughts :)

The food looks awesome--I'm very intrigued by the lunch muffins. The ravioli looks divine! I can't wait for your book to come out--the lack of recipes is driving me batty!

vegetalion said...

Aw, good luck with buttons - it sounds like she's adapting well.

Tiffany said...

Hi there,
Thanks for giving Buttons some love and warmth. It really is great you did not release her. I'm celebrating 11 years with my rescue cat (she and buttons look remarkably alike.) It just takes time, rescues trust in degrees. You wouldn't know she was the same kitty we got so long ago.

Jackie said...

Glad to see Buttons settling in a bit. Can take quite a while with some strays.

The Porcini Ravioli looks very, very nice. I should get a mould as mine always look so shapeless LOL

electroclash said...

i plan on buying the cookbook anyway, but i bet it's worth it for that creme brulee alone... here's hoping it's in there :)

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