If you would ever visit the home of David and Nancy Simpson, you would find that we are owned by 2 cats, named Scooter and Dennis (the Menace). Not one hour is spent on any given day when those 2 names do not come up in our conversations. “Where’s Scooter?” or “Dennis, get out of that cabinet!”
Our life with cats started early in our marriage, when we bought a house in Fresno that was owned by a few other cats. Those cats had been fed and loved by the prior tenants. When we moved there, I had never been owned by a cat before. (My family had a cat for a while when I was a teenager, but in that house, we owned the cat and not the other way around.) I told David emphatically that I was NOT going to feed those cats because we were not going to have any cats. I was more of a dog person.
In the 5 years we lived in that house, I took 9 cats to the vet to be spayed or neutered. They were all outdoor cats, but we loved them all. When we moved to Madera, we brought 5 cats with us. That was 27 years ago.
Our first tuxedo cat belonged to our next-door neighbors, but we shared him. The neighbors called him “Squad Car” because he was black and white, just like a police car. David and I called him “Skitz” because he was afraid of his own shadow. Skitz became our cat when the wife died and the husband had to move to assisted living. Skitz was an indoor/outdoor cat. He became quite comfortable with us and became our master. However, when we were on vacation one year, Skitz ran away from home.
David searched all of Madera, looking for Skitz. He posted signs around the neighborhoods, and he went to the Madera County Animal Shelter every day. Skitz was never found, but another tuxedo at the shelter decided he wanted to own us. Rascal, from the animal shelter, moved in with us.
Rascal immediately became addicted to us. He wanted to do everything we did. He’d get into the shower, in the bed, and he even wanted to have his teeth brushed. David brushed Rascal’s teeth regularly. Rascal was a human being in a cat’s body. However, I knew we had to draw the line. I told David, “Rascal needs a friend. We need to get another cat for him.”
So, I looked for another tuxedo like Rascal. I found one on Craig’s List. His name was DTK (Dressed to Kill). We renamed him Scooter. Scooter is a great cat. He is loving and friendly, and he and Rascal became inseparable. Many people could not tell them apart. Both were beautiful cats and were made to be together. However, one day just before Christmas, Rascal suddenly died. It was one of the saddest days of our lives. Scooter was also saddened by that loss. We knew we must get another tuxedo.
David found another one on Craig’s List, but this tuxedo lived on the coast. David contacted the person owned by this cat and together they struck a deal. David drove to the coast to get a cat named “Shooter.”
Hm-m-m! A “Shooter” and a “Scooter”! We knew that wouldn’t work. After a few days, we renamed Shooter. The appropriate name for this new cat was “Dennis the Menace.”
In my next article, I will tell you some things about our newest addition, “Dennis the Menace.” Stay tuned.
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A recipe for the holidays
Here is a great recipe for potlucks or holiday gatherings. I kind of developed this one many years ago by using a combination of several vegetable casserole recipes to come up with this one. I’ve had many compliments on this dish when I have prepared it. It is tried and true
32 oz. pkg. frozen broccoli and cauliflower
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 can creamy chicken mushroom soup
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can French fried onions
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 1/2 cups Italian bread crumbs
1. Boil broccoli and cauliflower slightly.
2. Drain vegetables and mix together with soups, mayonnaise, onions, water chestnuts, and eggs.
3. Pour mixture into a casserole dish. Top with grated cheese.
4. Melt butter and mix together with bread crumbs. Sprinkle bread crumbs over casserole.
5. Bake in 325° oven for 35-45 minutes, or until bread crumbs are browned on top.
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“Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.”
— (Proverbs 12:25)