I've taken care of cats for many years, served attractive meals, given them treats, hoisted tons of litter and let them take up most of my bed. But never have they so much as cooked dinner for me, not even on Mother's Day.
That is, not until last week. One evening, I caught the two of them going over cookbooks. Mr. Lucky was paging through "Women's Circle Home Cooking," while Miss Lily scanned "Our Favorite Italian Recipes," put out by the Central Coast District of the Italian Catholic Federation. After some consultation, each selected a dish. Then they directed me in the preparation. Mr. Lucky chose linguine with garlic olive oil, a simple pasta for a beginning cook.
Miss Lily decided on melanzana alla Parmigiana (eggplant Parmesan). I didn't have the mozzarella that the recipe called for, so she let me use Cheddar. But she insisted that I put Parmesan on top, even though the cheese I had was old and solid as concrete. It was hard work grating enough for a feathery topping.
The eggplant was Chinese, not Italian. And I had to substitute marinara sauce and tomato puree for fresh tomatoes. But I did the best I could, because Miss Lily is strict and might enforce her orders with teeth and claws.
To dress up their meal, I added a salad and a glass of red wine. Each one looked it over and was pleased.
Proud but tired, they slept while I ate. They slept some more while I put away leftovers. And they continued to sleep while I washed the dishes.
Now that they've mastered Italian, we'll move on to something else. But we'll all have to take a few catnaps to get in shape for that.