The past couple of weeks haven’t been the best. Sure, there have been some highlights, but the short span has also included a stubborn cough and a nightmare-come-true. Oh and we also watched the original Bladerunner from the ‘80s, which DOES NOT hold up. I don’t often feel like I wasted time watching a movie, but this time I did. No offense, Harrison, I still love you.
One good aspect of the recent weeks was a day-long trip to Disneyland with Todd, Jessica, Dan, and Tiff. Spending a day with that group is always a good time, and this was no exception. The best memory of the day was our 5 pm ride on Grizzly River Run, or “RAFT,” as I liked to call it. A slight chill had crept into the air but, despite Tiff’s offer to skip it and hold everyone’s shoes, all six of us clambered onto the round raft. The roulette style of the ride resulted in a hefty dousing for everyone, but mostly poor Tiff. The final straw was the geyser that never actually gets anyone wet, but which completely covered us all in cold water. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Jess laugh so hard; my own stomach ached from the sight of everyone entirely drenched and shivering as the sun went down.
In other news, I’ve signed on as a full-time employee at Leroy & Rose! So I’m officially a real adult now, even though not much has changed. My work schedule remains the same, and I’m sure I will continue to glower at blanket-on-concrete girl on a daily basis until the “LA Winter” rains rolls in.
This past Friday something I’ve always dreaded came to pass. As I exited the freeway and turned onto the main road on my way home from the gym, I spotted a small grey form among the parked cars on the side of the street. My heart plummeted, and I automatically swerved into a parking space nearby. As I walked back to the place I had seen the little creature, I hoped my eyes had deceived me.
They hadn’t. A grey kitten lay right behind a parked car, almost appearing to be asleep on the sun-drenched pavement. All I could think was that it looked just like Babs; or, at least, what she must have looked like when she was small. The sound of cars driving by ceased to exist as I knelt down beside her and gently lifted her off the road, placing her on the shade-dappled grass under a nearby tree. Her fuzzy form was still warm, and she looked nearly perfect but for the obvious wound on one side of her head. My heart broke to see such a beautiful little thing meet such an early end. I wish I could have seen her play, or purr, or chirp. I wish I could have saved her.
I hated to leave her there, but I assumed her family was close by and thought they should know what happened. Driving away, I felt like I had left a little piece of myself behind, resting forever under the shade of a tree by the freeway.
It’s hard to even write about the little creature now; I considered leaving it out. In the end, I decided it would stand as a sort of memorial to her. Those of you who know me well know that I love animals. I feel like I understand them, and they understand me. We often find a mutual respect because I don’t want to be their superior, for who am I to treat a creature as lesser than I simply because I happened to be born with a bigger brain and body? One of my favorite quotes from Harry Potter is from Sirius: “If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” I guess all I’m saying is, be good to the little creatures around you. Give them all the love that you can possibly give them in the short time that they’re here, especially because they can’t ask for it. They are smart, and sweet, and small, and their lives often ebb and flow based on the actions of humankind. I may have been too late to save the grey kitten, but at least I know that some of the last hands that held her were gentle. And I write about her now to show her one last act of love. I think Daddad would be proud.
I assume we’re all crying now, so I suppose the best thing to do (besides go sob into your cat or dog’s fur as they confusedly try to lick your buried face) is to make cookies. This is one of my go-to cookie recipes, good for emotional afternoons, random weeknights, or even a wedding. Seriously, I did make these for Bailey and Matt’s wedding. I can’t imagine one can ever have too many chocolate chip cookie recipes; they’re all different and wonderful in their own unique way. In that way, they’re a lot like pets.
Note that these cookies use egg yolks instead of whole eggs, which makes them especially rich and soft.
Chocolate Chip Cookies, 2.0
makes about 16 cookies • recipe adapted from The Violet Bakery Cookbook by Claire Ptak
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 egg yolks
2 1/3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars together until combined and fluffy, a couple of minutes. Add the vanilla and egg yolks and mix well, until just combined.
Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda in a separate bowl. Slowly mix into the butter mixture, then add the chocolate and mix until just combined.
Cover the dough and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes (you can skip this step, but the cookies do hold their shape better if chilled).
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper and place balls of dough evenly across the pan. Bake for 12–15 minutes, or until golden brown. Enjoy!