It’s been said that a decent cat photo can propel an otherwise quiet living person to virtual fame. For my money, boxer puppy photos win the Internet, but still I present this foggy out-of-focus snapshot for your viewing pleasure…
It only took about six months in the Jimmy Rockford for the neighborhood (feral) cat to adopt us. And it’s all my fault.
I’m ever mindful that good instincts are key to survival in the wild. And Domino, as she came to be known (because of her black and white coat), was darn effective at eluding capture by the local animal cops and eager kids who wanted to pet her.
Enter an eternal softy and a case of canned cat food.
After a few weeks of cautious late-night meals outside the Jimmy Rockford, Domino decided to occasionally socialize with my daughter and I. All of it was on her terms — brushing against my calf and then quickly darting away, or allowing a quick scratch behind her ears as she scampered a safe distance from us.
We learned eventually that Domino was friendlier with those of her own kind. Yep. Her belly began to tighten, and not because of the canned cat food.
‘Have you seen the babies?’ Catherine would ask me on an almost-daily basis during our long distance telephone calls.
‘No, and I don’t want to,’ I would reply.
It’s one thing for a half-wild animal to show up once in a while. For (a much younger) me, it’s the equivalent of having a girlfriend who lives 75 miles away. It’s just a great arrangement, because… Well, never mind, because the the new mom around here changed all of that. Sure enough, she brought her litter to the Jimmy Rockford. And her timing couldn’t have been better … or worse.
Because Catherine and the boy had permanently joined us just a few days prior, one of those kittens was also destined to become a permanent family member. Oh, and her mother too. Catherine found a home for two of the babies in our old hometown. In fact, they’re friends of ours and have already spoiled their new pets on a Ritz Carlton level.
As for Domino and Pinky Tuscadero (our kitten), they’ll be eating canned cat food to their hearts’ content for the rest of their nine lives. Right here at home.
Remember the commercial in which Robby Benson (‘Ode to Billy Joe’) and Donny Most (aka ‘Ralph Malph’) collided on a busy street corner? Benson’s peanut butter and Most’s chocolate became mixed in the process, and the world’s love affair with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups was forever changed.
While I have no expectations that Pimento Cheese Squash Casserole might soon be available at every gas station in the free world — or that millions of young ladies might crush on me a la Benson — it’s a bang up combo. The tang of the pimento cheese and the slight sweetness of summer squash go together like … Well, you know.
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Pimento Cheese Squash Casserole
- 6 – Medium yellow summer squashed, sliced about ½-inch thick
- ¼ cup – Yellow onion, chopped
- 1 cup – Pimento Cheese
- 1½ cups (about 1 sleeve) – Crushed saltines**
- 2 TB – Butter, melted**
- 1 TB – Neutral oil (vegetable, grapeseed, canola, etc.)
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- In a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the squash and onions in oil until crisp tender, about 5-7 minutes.
- Allow mixture to cool for 15-20 minutes, then mix with prepared pimento cheese.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix butter into crackers.
- Place squash mixture in an oiled 2-quart casserole dish.
- Top with crackers.
- Bake uncovered until bubbly, about 20 minutes.