Zelda: Life with Greens

Since I was busy elsewhere during MoFo month, I asked some special friends to help out over here. The first thing Zelda brought to my attention, as she started walking across the keyboard to type this out, was my utter lack of a category tag with her namesake. The next demand? Her own month.

Hi guys, Zelda here. I originally hail from a backyard in Brookline, Mass. and I was named when my human pals had a fleeting obsession with a Nintendo emulator back in college. Those were the days you could actually fall sleep on top of computer monitors! Anyway, I seem to have quite a popular name, so I do occasionally go by Zeldarella and Dorito.

Patience, grasshopper.

Back in my younger, feral kitten days, I had a thing for sauteed mushrooms. That got old, and after a brief thing for nutritional yeast, I stuck to my meat cereal until I found something just as special as I was…leafy greens.

Look at the size of the collard greens they grow here!

When we moved to Portland, Jess decided that she was growing up and learned to cook. She started adding the most irrestible greens into our diet: spinach, kale, chard, hell, I was even nibbling the collards.
I quickly became a salad aficionado.
I sniff ‘em out the moment Jess comes home from the five farmers markets she seems to go to per week. They don’t need washing – just throw them on the floor! I will hunt my way through bags of groceries if I have to, and no one wants me to eat plastic, right?

Are these leafy greens? I think not.

-At one point, we had a farmshare, and the variety of greens ruled! I’m not sure what Jess did besides take pictures of it, but I was content.

That is, until one awful day….-

Fennel?! Really? Who eats this sh*t?!

Besides that fennel crap, I do consider myself adventurous about green vegetables. I like to investigate any type of greens – sauteed, steamed, braised, whatever you call it. Yeah, I’ll come licking your dinner bowl, but don’t expect me to finish. I want the fresh stuff.

These smelled like fire.

Even though I’ve knocked over every basil and mint starter Jess has brought home (those are false greens!), is it so much to ask for that we have a freaking indoor garden? What type of vegan is she?

My 4th birthday party.

Now, as many of Jess’ friends can attest, I’m the real reason Jess does not keep beer in the house. She’ll tell you it’s gas, or it’s healthy, or it’s because she’s classy and prefers wine and cocktails, but really, it’s me. I’ll lick wine, but what’s the point? There are no bubbles!

I prefer porters and have a soft spot for Portland microbrews, but I’ll drink the heck out of anything made with hops. I’ll sniff out and lick cider, but it’s not really my thing. I just ruin it for everyone else. I’m really excited that Jess’ brother is supposed to come for Thanksgiving, because he always keeps a case of cheap beer in the fridge.-

Sharing is caring, y'all.

Once, I had 4 licks of beer before someone noticed, and fell asleep while Jess read some book about sparkling vampires.

I have fur. Therefore, Team Jacob.

Ah, dessert.

I’m sure you’re wondering…what sucks about life in Portland? Well, I have an awful roommate. His name is Huxley and I think he’s sleeping on a shelf in a closet somewhere. He has no appreciation for the finer things in life.

I thought you may need some more proof of my fine dining skills, so I got this from Jess’ archives:

Sorry, I got nervous on camera!

Thanks for reading, and just remember – anytime you see leafy greens on this blog,  I was there first.

The Mysterious Huxley’s VeganMoFo Adieu

Since I’m busy elsewhere during MoFo month, I asked some special friends to help out over here. Regardless of the fact that I woke up with this cat in my bed, he has a real soft spot for a certain panda friend of mine….

Guest Post: Huxley

Special Friend: Lisa, Panda with Cookie and Vegans on the Move

I am the Huxley, I speak for the cats
I speak for the cats cause that’s where it’s at.
All you well meaning humans with your parcels of food
I am here to tell you what is bad and what’s good.
I sniff at your agar and stare down your roots
But this is not food for which I give a hoot.
You have bags of fine noodles and boxes of tofu
But for cats with a hunger those simply will not do.
Some sort of pasta formed to miniature wheels,
I sniff at the box top but this is no deal.
Half peeled fruit that is orange and round;
I just look away and leave with no sound.
We hop on the table seeking tastier treats
but this pile of veggies is easy to beat.
Zelda is saddened and I’m feeling blue.
Oh foolish humans, what is a hungry cat to do?
But then from the freezer with a hue and a cry
I see what I want with a gleam in my eye!
So crispy and fried, potatoed and hot
All cats really want is their own bowl of tots.

Mädchen: The Girl Next Door

Since I’m busy elsewhere during MoFo month, I asked some special friends to help out over here. I somehow got my hands on this draft of a letter to the German edition of Cat Fancy, and well, how could I not share it with the world?

Guest Post: Mädchen

Friend: Michele, Vegtastic Voyage

What are your turn-ons?
Sunshine, blankets, olive oil—I’m a really down-to-earth girl. My favorite possession is a 10-year-old brush that’s really a dish-scrubber. It smelled weird when cold-roommate brought it home, but she said she just needed to “wash the Chinatown off,” and then it was cool. Oh, and I love books. I can’t read or anything, but I’m really into this lying on them (especially when someone is trying to read them).

Drunks and kids. Their erratic behavior confuses me. I’m not trying to tell you how to live your life, but if you come at me all out of control, I’m out of there. If everyone would just cool out with a bit of ‘nip, now there’s a vibe I can get down with. And don’t even think about dressing me up. I see all those fool dogs in their Halloween costumes and it makes me sad. We’re not humans—don’t put your trip on us.

How do you keep in shape?
I’m all about staying fit. At my age, every lick of Tofutti goes straight to my hips. My roommates are great about sparring with me, running around our pad, and they’re way into stringplay. I’ll admit, one thing I was all about as a kid but have let go is jumping up door frames. I used to be able to hit the high hinge with a running start.

Any indulgences you’re not proud of?
I already mentioned the ‘nip, didn’t I? No, you know what, I’m not ashamed of that. It’s an occasional treat, and it don’t hurt a soul. And the roommates get mad at me for eating things like pepper leaves and flowers—even though they’re just sitting right there. But there’s stuff I know I shouldn’t eat: Coconut Bliss, anything chocolate, nooch, potatoes, cookies…basically anything cold-roommate eats that doesn’t have garlic in it. I’d be better off with just warm-roommate; he eats lots of the same stuff, but he ruins everything with hot sauce.

What do you look for in a human?
I want someone who’ll meet me at my level. I just want respect, like any other cat. Someone who tries to pick me up right away—as if they own me—well, they won’t be holding me very long, I can promise you that. And body heat. I love cold-roommate because I’ve known her since I was a kid, but warm-roommate, damn, he’s comfy. I can sit on that lap until the end of time.

Sum it all up for us, what is Mädchen all about?
I’ll steal your water or I’ll steal your heart, your choice.

Dinger and Willow: The Poor Hungry Dogs

Since I’m busy elsewhere during MoFo month, I asked some special friends to help out over here. Today’s post is another double whammy of super cuteness: two pups, 4 melt-your-heart eyeballs and 8 little legs. I promise you two a whole batch of scones when I finally make my way to Austin!

Guest Post: Dinger and Willow

Friend: The Lazy Smurf

*Note Dinger’s is on the left, his voice is kind of like Hank Hills’ but slower. Willow is on the right and more like the English dubbed little girl in an anime movie.

Hi, I’m Dinger McPuppenstein and I guess some girl with a scone or something wanted me to tell you about vegan food. Probably I would have been a lot happier if she had just, like, given me the scone.

I’m Willow and I would eat a scone!

I guess a lot of people don’t realize that I’m a flex-a-tarian or something. I’m pretty flexible about what eat, like, pretty much if it can fit in my mouth I’m probably going to at least try it. I should probably have a show on the food network, actually.

I think Dinger is so cool!

It’s, like, pretty hard to pick any favorites. I just learned about ice cream the other day, I see my human friends eating it all the time. I guess they realized how unfair it is that I mostly get dog food so they gave me, like, one bite. I grunted for about 20 minutes after that and she, like, only gave me a couple more bites. Sometimes you just have to stare at them until they realize how hungry you are. The weird thing is that they say they love animals and are against cruelty or whatever but then they spend all day cooking and, like, hardly give me anything. It has gotten to the point where they started to measure out all the food I get in a little measuring cup. It’s like they want me to beg. And then if I take stuff off their plate when they aren’t looking or get into the trash they act like it’s this huge deal. I’ve even fallen asleep while waiting for something from the table.

Once I stole someone’s sandwich out of their hand!

Sometimes if we go out I get to try things that I hadn’t before. Like, once, at the dog park there was some stupid baby running around with this thing called a lollypop. He was pretty short and I figured he knew about sharing so I took it. It was pretty good but then the humans grabbed it out of my mouth, can you believe that? They didn’t even eat it after that.

I barked the whole time!

And then another time we were at a kite festival and this baby was sitting in a stroller with a pile of snacks. He wasn’t even eating it so I just took the whole thing. Then they were like “we are never taking you to a kite festival again.

I like kites!

Sometimes when they feed me they just walk away and I have to just sit there and stare at them until they remember to add Chia Seeds and Nooch to my bowl. It’s like, “hello? where I am I supposed to get my Omega 3s and B vitamins?” They can just be so stupid.

I lick all the nooch off before I eat my food!

But they’re good people I guess. Usually we all sleep in a pile and that’s pretty cool. Unless someone takes my spot.

I love Dinger!!!

Besides hanging out with these two cuties, The Lazy Smurf also spends her time helping other animals – check out one of her latest projects, the collective Sunny Days in Texas cookzine. All sales of this zine go directly to Sunny Day Farms Animal Sanctuary in La Coste, Texas, which experienced an awful, lengthy draught this past summer. 

Yummers Spills The Beans

Since I’m busy elsewhere during MoFo month, I asked some special friends to help out over here. I like this next enthusiastic kitty so much I wear a pin with his likeness on it. If you went to Vida Vegan Con, you know what I mean

Guest Post: Yummers

Friend: Amey, Vegan Eats & Treats!

what’s that?! Do I smell asparagus in the kitchen??

Listen up now, I’ve got some important advice for any of you kitties out there who might be interested in getting in on the People Food action.

just look at all that kale… you know they’re gonna give me some!

It’s Yummers Potatoes here. You might remember me from Amey’s blog. Today, I’d like to talk about a subject that’s very dear to me, People Food. People Food is pretty good stuff… I’ve had the honor of eating such delicacies as tortilla chips, ice cream, and crackers. But most of all, I love the veggies. Back in the day I was into raisins and mango, but once I discovered veggies, there was just no going back. My favorites are the green veggies, like kale and spinach, broccoli and asparagus, and green beans, but I also really love corn, which is not green.

me eating some awesome asparagus!

Here’s how you can get involved in eating People Food: My tactic was to start off by being very standoffish. When Amey and Matt first adopted me, I was sure to keep my distance. Anytime they tried to pet me, I would scamper off. When we all sat down on the sofa, I would sit three or four feet away. I called this “long distance snuggling.” Soon enough, they were becoming increasingly desperate for snuggles, and they started to offer me tasty little bits of People Food to see if they could draw me in closer. Don’t give in too quickly, friends! Take the morsel and run off again.

this is how you ask for broccoli!
check it out – I got them so excited about giving me People Food that they make movies about it!

Once you have established a pattern of people giving you People Food, you need to learn how to ask for it more aggressively. As soon as you smell the broccoli cooking on the stove top, run into the kitchen and start meowing like crazy. This will send the message that you are interested. When they sit down to eat, jump up on their chair, or on the sofa next to them and look super cute. It might be a good idea to meow some more as well. If you are still not getting any broccoli handouts, you will need to be more proactive. As soon as they lift their fork from the plate, stick out your little paw and try to knock the broccoli off the fork! If it falls to the ground it will be all yours!

see how she thinks I am cuddling her, but actually I am just getting very close to her borscht! 

Best of all, those annoying dogs aren’t allowed to have people food, so I get to enjoy my asparagus and gloat over it while those poor saps stand by and watch. Mwahahahaha!

Good luck, feline friends. Stay strong and may the People Food soon be yours!

Here they are giving me corn. Wait! Why did they give some to the dogs?!

Molly & The Keeper of the Nori

Since I’m busy elsewhere during MoFo month, I asked some special friends to help out over here. Don’t tell my feline roommates, but we have one more canine in tow, Molly, who knows a thing or two, or twelve, about a certain seaweed…

Guest Post: Molly

Friend: Erika, The Cosmopolitan Hour & Soyfucker

Nori is a catch-all term for the thin sheets of dried Porphyra seaweed commonly used in sushi-making.  Nori has been a staple of Asian diets for centuries, and was part of Japan’s taxation system as early as the 8th century.  Nori does not naturally grow in sheets; it is harvested from the ocean, shredded, and then dried in sheet form.  So it’s a lot like paper, but saltier (apropos, have you ever tried eating shredded facial tissues? They’re delectable!).  Nori is very nutrient-dense, especially where daily intakes of iron, calcium, iodine, carotene, and Vitamins A, B, and C are concerned.

Most importantly, however, is how nori is digested.  My personally preferred method is to lie on the side, on a couch or bed, while smacking my jaws in a ridiculous fashion to get all the nori that has bunched up and gotten stuck in my gums.  A crucial part of the digestion of nori is the Enzyme Science©, so I find that lying on a cool floor during a hot day is also an effective method of nori digestion.  Likewise, on a cool day, you want to make sure your humans cover you with as many soft blankets as possible.

When digesting any food, you want your guts and bits to have room to work and stretch out.  You can’t get any work done if you’re cheek to jowl, can you?  And let me tell you, I know a thing or two about jowls.  So stretch out!  Take as much space as possible for your entire body, but especially your rotund belly.  I’m only 35 lbs, but I can take up an entire queen bed with a minimal effort.  Now, I don’t anticipate an amateur being able to tackle this level of space-hogging on their first attempt- go at your own pace!  But it’s good for pros like me to put out there that to which you may one day aspire.  Aim high!

You know how your mom never told you to go swimming right after eating, right?  Well, the same applies to walking.  Or working.  Or looking at stuff.  Or doing anything.  Give yourself plenty of downtime, once stretched and comfortable, to digest your nori.  I usually find that 6-10 hours of non-activity, on average, works best for every sheet of nori consumed.  If you’re unsure, always round up.

When you’re feeling sufficiently rested and your nori has been digested, you’re ready to move on.  Be sure to take a big, long stretch to get all the excess nori tamped down into your lower colon and free up as much space as possible for more nori.  Then go ask your human, or anyone else with an opposable thumb, to get some more out of the cupboard for you.  I find the best method of asking is to stare plaintively with the largest, most watery eyes possible.  If your human is successful in ignoring you, start whining and pawing at their leg until you get what you want.  Looking as cute and/or pathetic as possible is always a bonus- due to the significant number of teeth I’ve lost over the years, my tongue hangs out of my mouth involuntarily from time to time.  A lesser being would feel ashamed of their appearance, but to me that tongue is a golden ticket to unlimited Sympathy Nori.

Now, whoever is the Keeper of Nori in your household (unless you are lucky enough to be the Keeper yourself) may be so inclined to demand performances from you in exchange for salty little green flakes of heaven.  You may be required to demonstrate that you do indeed know how to sit on your ass or lift up a paw/hand to give a high-five.  Why are we high-fiving?  There is nothing to high-five about unless as much of that nori is in my mouth as possible, you horrible, horrible monster woman. When this happens, just bear through it (think of the nori) and make a note of it later in your diary.  You know, the accounting of misdeeds to which you will refer after The Uprising.

Thanks, Molly! Now surely, I’m not the only one thinking sushi for lunch.

Pudds Talks About Food

Since I’m busy elsewhere during MoFo month, I asked some special friends to help out over here. Next up, a gorgeous fluffball that goes by “Pudds”, aka one of the best kitty names I’ve ever heard.  I want to hug this visionary creature!

Guest Post: Pudds

Friend: Lauren, Whoa Wren

Greetings, non-feline and feline readers alike. My name is Lord Puddleglum Christensen III. You, however, may call me Pudds, as my formal name is quite a mouthful. I understand that I am to talk about my favorite vegan foods. My caretaker will only allow me to eat the food that is prescribed to me, a hard kibble poured out of a resealable bag, but when she isn’t looking, this is what I would get into if I had opposable thumbs.

Chipotle Burritos/Burrito Bowls: Ah, my owner’s attempts at keeping me away from these spicy beacons of goodness will someday be thwarted! There was one lovely afternoon where I was able to gobble down a bean, lost from his brothers after he fell from the silver, pronged device my owner uses to move the food to her mouth. What an afternoon that was! Full of flavor and spice and dreams.

Nutritional Yeast: The blonde one who feeds me and cleans my mobile bathroom is always putting this yellow substance on her food (something about bee twelve?) and I sometimes am able to steal a taste off her fingers. I live for those moments, but often settle for a long, relaxing belly rub instead.

Roasted vegetables: I have no specific reason for this, I just think they look nice and smell good. The blonde one eats them all the time and I would like to know the reasons for it. Her favorites appear to be the small, green trees, the tan orbs and the orange sticks, so I assume my tastes would run in a similar vein.

Rescue Remedy Pet: Sometimes I need a cocktail at the end of the day. Don’t we all?

The day that my opposable thumb training pays off, and I am able to sample these delights in their full glory, I shall victoriously report back to you with my full opinions. Until then, I bid you adieu and wish you all the delightful experiences you dream of.