Monday, April 15, 2024

Feeding the Masses.

 Donna W. talked about potato soup over on her blog, I still have about 30 lbs of potatoes that I need to use, and I thought that would be a good way to use some of them up. 

Of course, I needed ham for that. I had a little ham, a two pounder, but it was in the freezer. Once thawed, it would need to be used. The soup would not require all that ham, so I made up my mind to do a quiche with spinach, ham, and swiss cheese for tonight. I got that put together and in the oven, and then chopped up some more of the ham and tossed it into a crock pot with celery and onion and some water. 

When the vegetables were tender and the broth good and 'brothy', I added some peeled, diced potatoes and let them simmer until tender. I added half a stick of butter and popped it in the fridge. All I have to do for supper tomorrow is make a cheddar cheese roux, add it to the soup base and heat through. That will make a quick supper for tomorrow. 

The rest of the ham and the left over swiss cheese from the quiche will become grilled ham and cheese sandwiches for the night after next. It's nice, esp. when we're busy, to have suppers pretty much planned and ready to go. 

At the end of the week, we are headed to see Iris' ballet recital. She is quite excited about her show, and it is all top secret, very hush-hush. She did show me one dance step, but swore me to secrecy. We're getting her a wrist corsage to present to her after the show. William is coming along and it will be a nice weekend away, a short one because Tim has a doctor's appointment bright and early Monday morning, so we'll head back Sunday. 

I haven't said anything about the cats lately. Houdi is not allowed out at night, and that seems to be saving his ass, literally. He hasn't been bit in the butt since his last bite in the butt. Of course, it makes him quite ornery when he asks to go out and it doesn't happen for him. He tries to argue the point. 

I know that after the last cat attack, I said that I wasn't going to feed the ferals anymore, but I can't help it. Mangey comes when I call, and he is glad for his food. He gets a good diet because proper nutrition is important to stave off mange. He had a horrible case the first time I met him, and we got him all cured from that. (I tried to talk to his owners about it. They think that this is from excessive grooming.) We treated him for mange, and got him all squared away. I was disappointed to see that a spot had returned on his face in January or so. So he gets a good cat food and medicated every other month as a preventative. His face is looking better. I know that commenters think he needs a new name, something nice, but he knows who I'm talking to when I call for him. He answers. We need to maintain that, because, as I said, when I leave this house, he's coming with me. They have a big dog, and he is not a fan of the dog. He told me so. The way he came over the top of the chainlink fence between our property and theirs was all I needed to know. 

Testing the water, I told Tim that we were bringing Mangey with us when we move. He gave me a look. It's not his favorite idea I don't think, but he didn't say were were not. Hence we have reached The Great Cat Accord. duly witnessed by all of you. You understand that you may be called to submit depositions in the case of objections down the road. 

In any case, when we got home from working on the house, Mangey was waiting for us. His face looks better. I called him to the mudroom and fed him his supper and we visited for a while. 

Another of the ferals is 'Goblin', and I think that he's the aggressive cat. He's a long haired black cat. We tried to bring him in a few years ago. Probably 6, maybe 7. It didn't not work out. He did not want to be an indoor cat. He told me so. The way he continually shot out the door each and every time he had an opportunity to do so made it crystal clear. When we tried to force the issue, he simply got out and to teach us a lesson, he did not come back for a couple months. 

Tim went to visit a friend and was a bit grumpy when he got home. He said, "Well, we've got another one. I've never seen this one before." I said, 'Is he the tiger?' Tim answered, "Nope. He was gray." I said, "Oh, the gray one with the white face?" Tim started to look a bit provoked. "No. He did not have a white face. He was solid gray. How many cats are we feeding???" he wanted to know. I honestly had to tell him that I don't know. If I see a cat hanging around looking hopeful, I put a cup of food out in the dish for him. 

I feel badly for the street cats, but they can't all come with us. We've already got one feral living in the old house in Grand Valley. He's figured out how to get in through the basement, and we don't mind. We run the furnace in the little house, keeping it at 50 degrees because we have a lot of stuff for the new house in there, so Get-Along has a cozy place to get out of the cold. I'm sure that he finds plenty of mice to keep himself fed. He is a true feral, and I doubt that he will ever get close enough to be petted, but he's a wiley character who has managed to fend for himself quite nicely, at the same time avoiding the foxes and coyotes. You have to respect an animal like that. We've seen him, off and on, for 4 or 5 years now, always from a distance, just a glimpse. 

Houdi was a rescue. We'll rescue Mangey too. but we cannot save them all. I can't help but feel bad about that.


  1. Your soup and ham dishes sound delicious!

  2. You could make up your extra potato soup and freeze it. If you do not have the ham for it now just add it when you are heating the soup.

  3. Cats are prolific when feral. When I lived in the country we had several running around and we tried capturing them for neutering - not easy. All you can do is your best and not feel guilty Debby.

  4. Theoretically wouldn't we all like to save all cats, and other animals, and people. You can make a small chink in suffering but you can't change the world, just set the stage by example. I am pleased you intend taking Mangy with you.

  5. Our local cat lady is in the process of saving a colony of 3 dozen. The guy who was feeding them is sick now. She is trying to raise >$8k to treat and neuter them. We contributed our bit. I think she's in the process of gearing up for another auction.

  6. Your potato soup sounds great. Hold the cheese for mine please - we don't play nice together.

  7. I'm so glad to hear you help little ones that are sick or just hungry.

  8. There are at least two orange cats living in our yard out near the garage somewhere. It's a bit disconcerting as we have an orange cat of our own who was a rescue many years ago. Other strays/ferals come and go but as much as our two cats hate each other, they hate stray cats even more and will go after them if they get too close to any food source of theirs. They have their own system.

  9. The first part of your post reminds me that I haven't had a good ham in many many years. I need to remedy that.

    I like Mangey as a name. Back when we had a lot of farm cats, we named them based off of real instances like Burr Butt, Scar Face and Yellow Mama. I got that from my grandparents who named their cat Touch-Me-Not.

  10. Your soup sounds yummy. We had several days of split pea soup with ham and it was really delicious.

  11. You know, I've never in my life heard of putting any kind of meat in potato soup.

  12. I'm glad you have plans for Mangey. I'll be curious to hear how it works out with the move. Moving an outdoor cat is tricky business. My brother moved my mom's cats to his house when she moved into her retirement center, and when he released them from the carriers they both promptly disappeared, never to be seen again.

  13. That ham certainly found its way into a lot of dishes whish all sounded delicious. I have never made potato soup but since we have some ham in the freezer it's could be in the near future before the weather gets too warm. The feral cats must certainly appreciate your kindness, but as you said, you can't rescue them all even though you would want to.

  14. I had to chuckle, when Tim asked you how many cats you were feeding and you didn't know. You have a good heart woman.

  15. The proliferation of feral cats are more of a problem here in Hawaii though because they are unfortunately killing the native wildlife.
    Wow! 30 pounds of potatoes! It's a good thing you're such an excellent cook!


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