I believe it's happened again. I believe we've just adopted another cat. Every six months or so a kitten traveling on the kitty highway that passes directly through our back yard decides to pull over and temporarily call our home its own.
We have two cats already and I'm quite sure they would not be amenable to a new addition to the family, therefore all new kitties must live outdoors. They must wait (with varying degrees) of patience for us to come out to visit them and feed them their requisite two daily meals.
Not all of the kitties stick around. Some stick around only for a few quick meals and an application of flea medicine. Some stay until we find them a new family who can actually allow them inside.
This most current kitty though, I think we'll be keeping him ourselves. Not because we love him so (although we do), and not because we don't think we can find a loving family (because I bet we can), but because he's so unbelievably annoying. We've resigned ourselves to this, but I can't imagine asking someone else to do the same.
The kitty in question appeared over a week, meowing that horrible guttural meow of a cat in heat. This, unfortunately, is not an uncommon occurrence in our neighborhood. What is uncommon is for the cat making the offending noises to park themselves in our backyard and never move, not even when we approach it, not even when we let our cat out to see what all the fuss is about.
After three days of the offending noise we did the only thing we knew to do to stop the cries. We fed him, knowing full well the implications (he was now ours). The cries immediately down-graded to an adorable meow. Apparently the kitty was hungry (despite his portly appearance) and also a little lonely. Soon he was letting us pet him, and now he's asking to be picked up. That meowing though? It never stops. He meows at the backdoor... for hours. He meows while he eats. He meows at four AM. He's quite the chatterbox.
A few days ago I went out to feed our little motormouth, who, as it happens, is a black and white tuxedo kitty. Or a socks kitty. Is there a technical term for those markings? Well, at any rate... There our little tuxedo man was sitting, right beside his food bowl waiting... patiently? How strange. This cat was normally nothing if not impatient. And most definitely not silent. So I stared for a second and realized this quiet cat was also a little broader in the shoulders and maybe, just maybe, had a little bit more white on him. And suddenly it struck me. We had an impostor on our hands.
Had our talkative tuxedo kitty gone and told the neighborhood tuxedo cats to stop by for a snack? Is this type of deceptive behavior something tuxedo cats engage just to fool humans? Or was it just a coincidence? I have to think it wasn't. This more portly version of our tuxedo cat clearly was ready for breakfast and was trying to pull a fast one on me. I could see it in his eyes.
Determined not to open my arms to every tuxedo cat that waltzed into the backyard for a snack, I began to wait until I heard our little guy start meowing before I went out to feed him. So yesterday, as I whipped up Christmas cookie batch number 2 gazillion and 3, I collected a few extra egg yolks and was going to feed them to our cats. I heard the tuxedo kitty chattering away so I went out to feed him his yolk. When I got back inside and looked out of the window I called Mark over to watch how cute the kitty was, sticking his paw in the yolk and licking it off... but wait. That wasn't our guy. He wasn't meowing through mouthfuls... and yes, he was a little more portly and little whiter. The impostor yet again.
I've decided it's beyond our control. But it did help us name our new kitty. His name is Tiny Tim, perpetually sitting by our back door asking if he can "have some more, please". And the portly impostor? We'll call him Ebenezer.
As for the cookies, well, the list this year seems to be never-ending. I'm trying lots of news ones. There are slices of gibassier, meringues with cacao nibs and sesame cookies. Since I've already shared the gibassier recipe, and the meringues are fairly standard (although adorable and delicious), I'll share the sesame cookies with you. They're a cross between halvah and peanut butter cookies. They have the nutty, slightly bitter taste of tahini in cookie form. If you have some tahini lying around like I did, by all means, make these. You'll have extra egg white lying around and I'm quite sure your kitties will think it's a divine holiday treat.
Adapted from Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich
3 oz (2/3 cup) all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup unsalted tahini
1/6 cup cashew butter, or some other mild nut butter (not peanut)
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
3-5 Tbsp sesame seeds
Whisk flour and baking soda in a small bowl until blended. Set aside.
In a medium bowl mix tahini, cashew butter, butter, sugar, egg yolk, vanilla and salt until smooth. Add the flour mixture and mix till just blended. Gently squeeze the dough into two patties, wrap in plastic and chill for 2 hours, or overnight.
When ready to bake, pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Remove dough from the refrigerator and place a patty between two sheets of waxed paper. Press slightly with your hands to spread out a bit. The roll gently with a rolling pin until about 1/4" thick. Lift wax paper and sprinkle one side with half the sesame seeds. Re-cover with wax paper and lightly roll to set seeds in.
Remove wax paper and cut cookies into 1 1/2 inch rounds. You want them small because the cookies are delicate. Place on cookie sheet about an inch apart from each other.
Repeat with other patty. Gently push the scraps together and roll and cut those as well.
Bake until cookies are a light golden brown, about 10-12 mins. Apparently these keep in an airtight container for one month. Mine, however, will be eaten completely in a few days.