Cat Capers and Ceviche

September 13, 2012




Our little Aria has already provided us with quite a bit of excitement here at Chez T. Two days after bringing her home (with much fanfare), she began sneezing constantly. Was she allergic to us?

Turns out, she had a kitty cold. I had no idea that cats could get colds. Apparently, it’s common if cats are kept in close quarters (eg: an animal shelter) but on the plus side, humans can’t get kitty colds–only felines. For this I was grateful, because I’ve already got the hands of a washerwoman. The Minxes brought home fresh colds after two whole weeks at school and I’ve been following them around with a Costco-sized canister of Clorox wipes, deathly afraid that I’ll be afflicted. I fear them, but not the kitty. They are GermStores.

Day three of her residency here, I didn’t see or hear Aria all morning. This was odd, because Aria likes to chat in the morning and rub her whiskers on any accessible legs. After depositing the girls at the bus stop, I scoured the house for her, to no avail…I also realized that I need to vacuum under the beds more often. Horrifying stuff, I tell you.

Awesome Stepkid Ro came shambling down the steps around 10 am, and when I mentioned that I hadn’t seen or heard a thing from Aria, he stopped dead in his sleepy little tracks.

“Oh, man,” he said, rubbing a hand over his hair. “I didn’t think about it at the time, but last night, when I was going upstairs to bed, I noticed that the front door had blown open.”

Readers, I felt awful. We adopted Aria with the very strict warning that she’d never been outdoors. Like me, she’s an indoor kind of girl. I was particularly agitated because of the recent Decapitated Bunny Capers around these parts. Aria’s about the size of some of those bunnies, so the possibility that she was fox food was…well, possible.

I did what I always do when I’m scared shitless: I called my mother. She wasn’t home, so I dialed my husband, who wasn’t worried at all. “Cats find their way home all the time,” he said.

“But Aria’s an Outdoor Virgin!” I cried. “And look at the critters we have around here! I might as well have thrown a freaking sandwich out in the yard. That cat is lunch!”

“You’re going to drive yourself nuts about this, aren’t you?”

Hmph. As if.

Okay, yeah.

I spent the next several hours pacing the house like a caged animal, talking on the phone and emailing anyone and everyone who I thought might give a rip about my predicament and casing the neighborhood, calling “kittykittykitty.”  I’m pretty sure all parties involved were certain I was nuts.

I called my husband again. “Cats get out and come back home all the time,” he said.

“But she doesn’t even really know that this is her home yet,” I whined. “What if she’s like me and has a really shitty sense of direction?”

And then I cried. I knew Miss M. would be crushed, and I felt guilty, and I have no idea how to dispose of a cat carcass, and the only pet we’ve ever had with a shorter lifespan than Aria was a purple betta fish who only made it an hour before bobbing up to the surface, toten.

My day was pretty much shot to Hell. Luckily, after much “kittykittykittying,” Aria finally emerged from underneath a neighbor’s rosebush. We both were exhausted, and she must have cried all night, because she has a severe case of kitty laryngitis. She opens her mouth to talk but only a little squeak comes out, which is hilarious and sad at the same time.

Clearly, we are too irresponsible to own animals.

I wasted so much time pacing and being a puddly freak over our feline jailbreaker that dinner didn’t happen.  Hooray for pizza parlors everywhere. I love you.

I tried to make it up to my dudes later in the week by making ceviche. I may or may not have slipped Aria a few renegade scallops. That girl’s a survivor, and survivors deserve seafood.

The nights are cooling down here, but we’ve still had some pretty scorchy days. It doesn’t help that my husband is a stealth cheapo and turns off the air conditioning when he thinks I won’t notice.* But at some point, it gets Hella Hot in the house and I notice. Then I curse him and make ceviche, which is the only thing worth eating when I’m steamed.

Our summer girls from Mexico–Lore, Dani, Ale and Paola–taught us so much about the beauties of ceviche. There are a bazillion different riffs on the recipe, but lots of lime and chile are a must. I had a grapefruit languishing on my counter, so I also tossed in some juice from that, and I liked the clean flavor the juice added to the dish.

Ceviche also doesn’t killa the ass, unless you eat an entire bag of chips with it, which I practically did. Hey, kitty drama makes a girl ravenous.




Green Ceviche

serves about 3, if it’s your dinner


1 pound bay scallops, halved and patted dry with a clean towel

1 minced shallot

1/3 cup cilantro or flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

1-2 jalapeno peppers, minced

1/2 cup finely diced, seeded cucumber

Salt, pepper, ground cumin and chile powder to taste

The juice of 1 fat grapefruit and 2 limes

Tortilla chips, for serving


Place the cut, dry scallops in a non-reactive (not metal) bowl. Pour the citrus juices over the scallops and toss well. Add remaining ingredients except for tortilla chips. Cover and refrigerate for half an hour. Remove ceviche from marinade with a slotted spoon. Serve with tortilla chips or crackers.


*If your partner has any little cheapo annoying habits, I’d love it if you’d share! I’d feel so much better!

Also, don’t worry about eating ceviche–the marination of the seafood in the citrus juices “cooks” the fish, so it’s not really raw!

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Naptimewriting September 13, 2012 at 10:35 am

Cheapo habits? You mean the Depression-era habit of pressing together all the little soap bits to make a slightly bigger soap bit that won’t actually clean my bits?

You mean collecting cans when we’re around town and taking them home to recycle for the few cents it gets us?

You mean saving the tomato sauce jars I consider empty, adding water to them, and pouring them over his pasta, which, might I mention, was sauced perfectly and least in the world needed water?

Like that?


TKW September 13, 2012 at 1:42 pm


I am in full agreement with the other readers: You win!


Arnebya September 13, 2012 at 11:12 am

Little cheapo annoying habits: 1) filling the gas tank with only $20 at a time even though we’ll be back two days later. We spend $60+ a week in gas but he refuses to simply put $60 in at a time; 2) turning off the water to the washing machine and unplugging the dryer. Neither of these has proven to be good for water/electric conservation or a lower bill; 3) buying a jug of lemonade, then pouring half of it into an empty container and adding water because voila! two containers of juice, one of which only he is going to drink because EW.

@Naptimewriting: LITTLE SOAP BITS! I am howling.


TKW September 13, 2012 at 1:43 pm


The 20$ in the gas tank thing would drive me bonkers. After working at gas stations for so many years, I hate putting gas in my car. Argh!


Kristen @ Motherese September 13, 2012 at 11:21 am

Oh, how I love that you called Mama when you were worried about Aria, you sweet thing.

Stealth thermostat switchery is one of my husband’s classic moves too. I was dripping with sweat on Sunday before I realized he had jacked it up to 80 when I was at the grocery store. 80!? What’s the point?

But Nap’s jury-rigged soap bars take the cake.


TKW September 13, 2012 at 1:45 pm


Clearly, our men were meant to hang out together in a sauna.


Abby September 13, 2012 at 11:22 am

Ahh! I’m so glad to know Aria is okay! I’m a big “cats are only indoors unless barn cats” person, so thank goodness she didn’t wander far and won’t be making “outside” a habit. She can come home with much more than a cold…

At any rate, you are not a bad kitty mama. I am a bad kitty mama in that if that I just shove catnip at her so I can get a little space and some quiet. I hear that doesn’t work with kids, which is another reason why I won’t breed.


TKW September 13, 2012 at 1:46 pm


Catnip is weird. Some cats go nuts for it and others don’t seem to be affected. Jury’s still out on Aria.


Camille Brightsmith September 13, 2012 at 11:38 am

That was funny even though you were freaking out. Why are you funniest when making fun of yourself? I think you are an inspirational kitty mom. I am inspired by the peace offering of seafood, for example. I am going to try that next time I notice the rat didn’t have water all day!

Ceviche with capers? OMG YUM.


TKW September 13, 2012 at 1:48 pm


It was funny because I AM JUST LIKE THAT HYPER SQUIRREL THINGY IN ICE AGE. *hangs head in shame*


Jane September 13, 2012 at 11:55 am

You had me at scallops! Yum! Those little beauties are like candy for dinner!


Jennifer September 13, 2012 at 12:30 pm

David’s biggest cheapo habit is that he saves EVERYTHING. Wires, boards, jars… anything that he will use later for one of his “projects” gets saved. The upside is that he usually does actually end up using all of this stuff. The downside is the amount of time it takes to get used.


TKW September 13, 2012 at 1:49 pm


That would drive me a little nuts. I’d be tripping over all of the loose stuff!


Jamie September 13, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Ripping napkins in half and giving each of us a piece
Displaying flowers in wine bottles because vases are “too expensive”
Banning me from buying an iPhone 5 until I have at least a four digit bank account (what a jerk, wants me to be like a REAL adult or something.)


TKW September 14, 2012 at 7:28 am

Ripping napkins in half? That’s hilarious!


Velva September 13, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Glad the kitty is out from under the rose bush and back under you bed. I laughed at the idea of what may happen in your yard if you threw a sandwich-actually, that cracked me up. I have one of those yards too.

Take care.


suzicate September 13, 2012 at 7:04 pm

Glad Aria is home!
My brother loved ceviche. I had the worst time trying to get up the nerve to try it…I was not convinced it had cooked in the lime juice…ha, but this was before I found I actually love sushi!
My hubby is the one who turns the air too cold for me…I’m the annoying one who turns it off!


The Meaning of Me September 13, 2012 at 7:11 pm

I really couldn’t think of any cheapo habits the Hub has…but one came to me. Every time he builds a new computer (I know, I know…), he keeps the old parts because “we might need them for something.” Um, then just keep the computer you have?

Kitties do indeed get kitty colds…Rotten Cat Three always has one. Well, actually, he has kitty allergies. Only in my world. Only my cat. Two words: high maintenance.

And I must tell the truth…I saw Cat Capers and Ceviche, but somehow my brain made it Cat, Capers, and Ceviche and I was like “what the hell recipe is this woman making??” I see my error now, but it did not make your post any less hysterical.

Awesome! And glad Aria is home safe. I’d probably freak out, too, if one of my idiots got out the front door.


TKW September 14, 2012 at 7:29 am


Laughing! If Aria keeps waking me up in the middle of the night for lovin’, I may be posting a recipe for kitty fricassee soon.


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes September 14, 2012 at 4:19 am

When we moved we let the cat stay indoors for a whole week before he got out (he is an outdoor cat so this was actually kinda like torture for him). First time I let him out he runs away faster then an olympic athlete only to resurface FOUR days later completly happy and at ease in his new surroundings. I was a wreck especially as I was pregnant with n°1 and was in the delightfull ’emotional’ state of my pregnancy.
Cheapo habit : putting away jars/tins/whatever of food back in the fridge when there is only enough left inside to feed a not particulary hungry baby flea let alone enough to spread on a sandwich.


TKW September 14, 2012 at 7:31 am


I think ALL men put near-empty containers back. It is so maddening! Why put an empty cracker box back in the pantry? Answer: sloth.


Naptimewriting September 14, 2012 at 2:52 pm

See also: lack of attention, selfishness, secretive hope they don’t have to buy more, obliviousness, and (sometimes) stupidity.


TKW September 17, 2012 at 3:54 pm


I love you.


Jenna September 14, 2012 at 7:49 am

Your husband’s stealth cheapo methods crack me up! =)
And I’m so glad Aria turned up–that would have been so, so sad. I would have cried all day, too.


Robin September 14, 2012 at 9:23 am

I love scallops, but I have never tried Ceviche. This sounds easy and delicious!

Once our cat got out (teen friend left the door open). I plastered the neighborhood with color flyers of our Tibbs. I spent days walking the sidewalks calling his name. Three days later, a neighbor knocked on the door and said he heard a cat meowing under a bush for the last couple of nights. I ran down the street in my pajamas (it was night time) to find our poor little guy cowering under the bush – scared to death of the big outdoors.

My husband will leave the air conditioning running and open the windows!


TKW September 17, 2012 at 4:02 pm


This reminds me of an incident with our former cat, Harryboy. He sneaked out on the 4th of July one year and it was so crazy that I didn’t even notice he was missing until July…6. Yeah, I’m horrible. He’d been freaked out by the fireworks and jumped into a neighbors’ deep, deep, window wells. That cat was spooky for months afterwards.


Ayala September 14, 2012 at 12:48 pm

You are right survivors deserve seafood :) and I am so happy that she is safe.


BigLittleWolf September 14, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Oh, you make me laugh! Kitty dramas and ceviche. Purrrrfect.


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