With her permission, I am posting here Ronni’s New Year story, a gem, which deserved better than a small place in a comment –starring my friend Ollie.
Ronni’s blog, Time Goes By, is here and you can click here to read more of her Oliver stories.
Wishing you a very happy 2007, Claude – and the foie gras was fantastic last evening. I cannot resist, however, telling the cat story that goes with it:
This is very rich stuff, so I prepared just a few slices on a plate with some cornichon and part of that excellent baguette from the local bakery.
As I think I mentioned, I never go out on New Year’s Eve. My ritual for decades is to stay home alone with a book I’ve wanted to read and to be asleep before midnight.
I had a fun book to finish this year – Lisey’s Story. I arranged the comfortable chair in my new library just right, with the bright red throw to keep my legs warm (it’s cold here in Portland this weekend). I carried in a napkin, utensils and the book.
I then brought in the plate with the foie gras and accoutrements, setting it on the table next to the reading chair and I arranged the lighting. As I returned to the kitchen to get the one last item – a glass of wine, the phone rang – a friend with new year’s wishes and we chatted for 10 or 15 minutes.
With wine in hand, I returned to the library to find…
…THE CAT EATING THE FOIE GRAS!!!
To undertand my shock – greater than it might otherwise be – it is necessary to know that this cat, Ollie by name, eats only dry food and when, on occasion, I’ve meant to give him a treat from my dinner such as a piece of chicken, he has walked away in disdain. He has never shown the slightest interest in human food. He has never once in two and a half years stolen food from the table or counter.
So, I was struck dumb for a moment.
He looked over his shoulder at me only briefly and quickly returned to greedily gobbling down the foie gras as if I’d starved him for the past week or two.
When I shouted, “Ollie”, in a tone meant to scare the living sh** out of him, he all but shrugged. Then, getting the idea that I wasn’t pleased, he grabbed the final slice of foie gras and darted under the bed in the guest room where I couldn’t possibly reach him.
And then I laughed. What else was there to do. This over-bred cat on which I spent way too much money, who has never exhibited the least interest in my food, developed an instant taste for haute cuisine – to match his fancy lineage, I suppose. Next thing he’ll be asking for Norwegian smoked salmon or delicately roasted quail.
Fortunately, there was plenty more of the foie gras. I prepared another plate for myself and snuck into the library with it when he wasn’t looking, closing the French doors behind me.
I wished than that I knew how to say the F word in cat language, but I think he got the point when he couldn’t get into the library, but he could certainly smell the foie gras I WAS EATING.
So we both had a delicious meal of the extravagant gift you brought when you visited and I’m sure if he could speak English (or French), Ollie would thank you too.
A very happy new year to you, Claude, from both of us.
The photo of the guilty party, was taken when I visited with Ronni and Ollie, or should I say Sir Oliver, the gourmet, last October.