The black cat wasn’t eating too well, and I was starting to think maybe she had the same thyroid thing the white one had. But then Friday night it seemed like her back legs were stopping working, and I thought she smelled a little like pee, and I started worrying that maybe she was starting kidney failure. She made it down to the basement to the litter and the food, but she wasn’t eating or drinking. Both cats had been drinking from the furnace condensation puddled by the basement floor drain, instead of their dish. On Saturday morning I came down and she was just sort of staring at the water instead of drinking. All of which lead to Sunday morning, me and her out in the snowstorm, on the way to the emergency vet. And me coming home with her empty carrier. The only reason I’m not sadder is because she hasn’t really been herself for awhile, the cat that could steal your egg off your plate when you weren’t looking and grab cookies out of a plastic container – she loved figs and other dried fruit. I’m glad she’s not hurting anymore.
On Saturday morning I went to the 11th Annual Grilling for Peace. I didn’t cook that much – three big boneless chicken breasts, marinated in lemon juice and garlic and oregano, nine kosher dogs, and three Italian sausages. The landscape architects next to me had like 30 pounds of chicken.
The ice was mostly bare, so we were all skidding around. The snow didn’t come till later. The organizers say:
67 grill spots +
850 pounds of grilled meat collected +
$4099 donated +
wonderful time with wonderful people = PRICELESS!!!!
On Sunday evening, I had book club, and we were talking about Vivian Maier, the street photographer, or Internet sensation, or eccentric nanny, depending on whose version you believe. We read a 2017 book about Maier, by Pamela Bannos, a serious art historian at Northwestern University, Vivian Maier: a photographer’s life and afterlife. To my way of thinking, the biggest loss is that Maier’s storage locker contents got spread all over the world, so there’s no – or little, anyways – hope of determining artist intent. Her work can’t be looked at on its own. Such a big splash was made over Maier that it’s hard to detach the hype from the history. Andy said maybe in a few years when the gossip simmers down and people can start to just look at her pictures, better interpretations will be made. I suspect he’s right.
For book club I made a roasted vegetable dip that was basically this, from the side of a bag of chips we bought in Chicago last weekend, except I used grape tomatoes, and upped the tomato-to-onion ratio in favor of tomatoes. After I roasted the veggies, I pureed them in the food processor, and tossed in a lump of goat cheese from the back of the cheese drawer – it was swell, though not terribly attractive. I was late, and I had dashed out of the house without my phone. It was one of our last meetings at Eric Baillies studio, an old warehouse on Winnebago, and everything was locked when I got there and me with no phone … I banged on all the doors for awhile and someone working in one of the other studios finally let me in.
In the morning, after shoveling snow, while uploading my recorded class lectures, and before I took the black cat to meet her destiny at the emergency vet, I made a big batch of chocolate chip scones.