Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Just Some of the Reasons We Love Nermal

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Just Some of the Reasons We Love Nermal

Brett and I are very lucky to have two very sweet kitties - different in their own right, but they are both wonderful pets (though admittedly, Gabby seems more like a dog sometimes). Gabby, due to her permanently kitten-like face, ever-presence, and rude determination, tends to have the spotlight most of the time. And really, she tends to take better pictures than Nermal. Nermal generally looks so angry and displeased to have her picture taken, so tonight provided a rare opportunity to show her at her best.

It is moments like these that make all her frustrating quirks cease to be important. She is a very special cat who, in addition to occasionally providing free grooming, also lets you rub her belly, nuzzles your face, and gives you some very sweet (though a little gross due to kitty breath) kisses. This helps make up for her constant meowing, endless rituals, and the particularities and subtle "preferences" (read: non-negotiable demands) one must heed most of the time to pet her just right, if you don't get everything right, well, she determines you aren't worth it and either teases you by going just out of reach (stupid human tricks), or leaves the room, generally with her displeasure being made known on her way out.

The grooming is something Nermal used to do with frequency and great intensity before we got Gabby. This attention was directed towards Brett for the most part - she would try to groom me, but my hair is long and she would end up choking on it. Anyways, many o' days in the early morning she would decide she wanted to groom Brett and would go to town. He would wake up, literally, with a wet head. It was/is both gross and sweet. He was generally awoken once she had tired of his hair and moved on to his skin where she likes to focus on one area with her sandpaper tongue. This is one word - painful. She used to do this to me, and she'd often center on my closed eye, not pleasant at all.

Anyways, tonights experience was a painless grooming and after getting Gabby, she completely discontinued grooming or licking either of us very often. She has gotten back into it over the past month or so and I got the opportunity to get some good pictures tonight.

It's hard to get mad at her sandpaper tongue or smelly kitty breath (or to think about how gross her kitty slobber is for that matter), with how sweet it is.

And I had to share this gem. I haven't been taking pictures much lately and I guess I was excited because I just started snapping pictures as soon as the flash was ready and I caught this moment.

I love it! You can bet this became our computer desktop picture right away.

In other news, we got our first round of seeds started this weekend and signed up for our community garden plots. All I can say is we are going to have a lot of plants. We filled four "hot houses" with small containers of greens, herb, pepper, and tomatillo seeds. I was able to start two pots of each of the tomato and tomatillo varieties, but was getting short on containers by the time I got to the peppers (I am growing far too many varieties, but I love them all), so there are only one pot of each going right now - two of a select variety. We used egg cartons made from natural fibers (not the styrofoam ones) to start the spinach, kale, chard, cumin, cilantro, and two types of basil seeds. We have another in our fridge right now, and once we are done with the eggs, I will use those to start more pepper seeds. I've heard of folks making newspaper pots for their plants, I may be really dumb to ask this, but how is this done, how do you make the pots?

Our wormies are experiencing a bit of trouble - we are having our first worm health crisis. We've noticed that each day, more and more of the worms were making their way to the top of the bin and on top of the newspaper sheets. Each day the worms that appeared looked more and more bloated and just all around not good. We did a little investigating and research and determined that our bin had too much moisture. We added a big batch of shredded paper (courtesy of the office), and left the lid part way off for most of the day today. No more worms are trying to get to the top anymore and it seems to be helping. It is a good lesson to make sure to have plenty of fiber bedding, the ratio to food should be 50/50, which it wasn't. Phew. When lives hang in the balance, even just "lowly" worms, I get concerned, I was a bit worried that we were going to have the "blood of 1,000 worm deaths on our hands", you know, like we a worm genocide or something, but luckily it doesn't look as though that is the case. I don't know how people with kids do it, I can't even keep worms happy and I give myself anxiety over their well being perhaps beyond what is necessary, having children would not be good for my anxiety issues. I can't even imagine, I would have no hair, and I would never eat - hair and appetite loss seem to be very common stress-related side effects for me.

Anyways, I hope everyone had a great weekend and here's to a good week!

I will leave you with today's picks for Song(s) of the Day:

With Words: The Chain - Fleetwood Mac
Without Words: Alone Together - Bill Evans (the one and only)

'Til next time.


Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

that's so sweet about Nermal. I find pet photos really hard to take, Scout either won't stand still or looks super sheepish. When I rarely get a good shot I got excited too. Glad your worms are doing better!

Heather @ SGF said...

One of our kitties (Isabel) is like that too. She's always snuggling.

Catherine said...

I love that photo of Nermal with her tongue hanging out!

jessy said...

that's one of many reasons i've got for not having kids: anxiety. i would be so constantly overwhelmed with anxiety it wouldn't be good, at all! eek! :) glad you guys have got the worms all good-to-go again! happy worms are the best worms! yay!

Nermal (i just love her name!) = the best kitty ever! that is just too darn adorable with her grooming you guys. the shot of her with her little pink tongue sticking out is hilarious! i love it! cats are so peculiar & funny! ahahahahaa!

good idea on using the biodegradable egg cartons for the seedlings. brilliant! i found a pretty cool blog post with some newspaper pot hoooooray for starting lots of seeds & for signing up for your plots, too! superexcitedface! w00t!

Daphne said...

I make newspaper pots without bottoms (most have bottoms). I just cut a strip of newspaper and roll it up. I put in dirt and pack it down a touch so the soil adheres together and the bottom parts don't fall out. I use a paper clip to hold the top edge together and take it off before planting.

Bianca said...

Ah, Nermal is too cute! My kitty Akasha grooms me in the morning, when I'm still sleeping. But then he starts biting my hair and pulling...I think it's more a ploy to wake me up (so I'll feed him) than him trying to be sweet. :-)

Anonymous said...

That picture of your kitty with her tongue hanging out is too cute! That photo alone is enough to make up for any of her quirks :o)

Good luck with all of your seeds--it sounds exciting! You will have a lot of produce this summer!


veggievixen said...

hehe! that's so adorable. i love the one with the tongue stuck out!

Chile said...

Here's a video of making wrap-style newspaper seed pots.

Anonymous said...

awe cute Nermal! What's it with kitties and licking? Don't they know that it hurts us?d

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Lisa - Nermal usually has a look of pure disdain on her face when we take her picture, either that or she runs away or stops doing what she was doing (Gabby does that too). Maybe Scout is just camera shy?

Thanks, I am happy they are doing better too.

Heather - I didn't know you had cats too! I just knew about your cute Kelsey pup. I love snuggling kitties - except when they knead you with their claws, it hurts.

Catherine - Me too!

Jessy - I am so happy to hear that someone else feels the way I do. Anxiety is not the only reason - not at all - but wow, if I think it is hard to deal now, with a child to worry about? Eeek, my heart starts racing at the thought.

I am too, I was worried they were all going to die. But since we added fiber (and then added another load of fiber today), they seem to be doing a lot better. Brett looked around in the bin the other day and said that most of the food doesn't look like, well, food any more - I know that is really gross, but it is also a sign that they are eating the food.

I love that cats all seem to have their own distinct personalities. Not that dogs don't too - but cats make you work for their affection, they are moody, they have preferences, they won't be ordered around - you gotta respect that.

I don't think I came up with the egg carton idea myself. I couldn't tell you where I read or saw it, but I'm not creative genius when it comes to gardening, so I doubt it was my own idea.

Thank you so much for the link! I have been collecting newspapers from work and am going to make some this weekend.

I noticed today that one of our sheepnose pimento peppers has germinated, I hope many more follow, wahoo!

Daphne - Thank you for the instructions, and great idea with the paper clip.

Bianca - I think so too. Akasha - that is a really neat name. Haha, perhaps feeding is what they are after. I always thought it was her way of waking us up, though we feed them in the evening...

Courtney - I agree, really for all her quirks, she is such a sweet cat. That is actually part of her problem, she is too sweet a lot of the time, it gets overbearing, but we love her.

We are really excited about the garden season, we hope to have a lot of produce!

Veggie Vixen - I was stoked to get that shot.

Chile - Thanks for the link. I've been collecting newspaper and am going to make some pots this weekend.

Leng - She is a sweetie. Haha, I don't think they think it hurts us, I mean, they have fur, so it probably doesn't hurt them, so I guess perhaps they assume the same goes for us.