Musing with Max

Musing with Max

April 5, 2012

My life in dog years - part 2


OK, technically Rusty wasn't my dog; but I guess you could say the same about Pichi. Here's the story. One day when I was about 16 I was visiting a friend's house and her Siamese cat had had kittens; the father was some tomcat from around the neighborhood and anybody's guess. When my mother came to pick me up I walked out holding a tiny little black kitten with piercing green eyes. As I walked towards the car my mom's head started shaking vehemently, no way was I bringing him home, no pets, period. I stood by her side and showed her this adorable creature giving her that age old excuse every kid has of how "it just followed me around", and besides look how incredibly cute he is. Clearly I wasn't going anywhere without this cat so she finally gave in saying something like "OK only for a couple of days and then we'll bring him back". Yeah, right. To my surprise my brother thought he was adorable and chided me for leaving him outside when it was cold (he was an outside cat). He was also mean as could be and hated me. He would scratch me when I picked him up and squeezed him (wonder why), bite my nose every time I brought him up to my face and tried to put my eye out several times. His name was Bacan, and no that is not bacon misspelled; it's Spanish slang for "cool".
About two months into Bacan's reign my brother appeared with this adorable Irish Setter puppy. He had great big paws, a round puppy face, light red hair and trouble staying on four legs. My brother had gotten him from a breeder and since he was an AKC pup and had papers he named him the overly pretentious name of Rusty Winds Nikya. Apparently his mother had been some haha specimen and her name was Ch. Cherokee Nikya. Humpf! Bacan took one look at him, hissed, arched his back and started plotting murder. My mother took one look at him and though, so much for no pets. Within a couple of weeks Rusty had grown quite a bit. I remember looking out at the backyard one day and saying "who's that", it was Rusty. His fur had turned a dark luminous red and he was tall and slim and his face wasn't round. Bacan looked up at him and decided he'd better make friends. And friends they were, for life. Rusty grew and grew and grew, he was like a horse. He was also the sweetest most loving dumbest dog ever. He would stand up and put his front paws on your shoulders and try to hug you while licking your face. Trouble was he was huge and towered over a lot of people and almost knock them down and that tongue could change your features with one big sloppy kiss. Bacan adored him, and vice versa. They would spend all day together, playing, chasing and napping; they were inseparable. And since Bacan was the mean one, if anyone spoke in a cross way to Rusty he'd defend him with his life, or claws. As is wont to happen when my brother got married Rusty stayed behind; his apartment wasn't big enough. Then I got married and moved away, Bacan stayed behind too. My mom and my aunt had two pets or kids. Rusty had always had a bad tummy so the vet had suggested that he be fed home made food so my mom would boil these giant pots of lamb, carrots and "malanga" (Malanga is a root vegetable who's translation is cocoyam (?) which is very good for stomach ailments.) every week and this is what he would eat. Bacan sometimes shared. Rusty had grown very quickly and at an alarming rate when he was young, therefore his bones never quite developed strong enough. When he was about nine he started to develop arthritis and even though he was given medication it just continued to get worse; to the point that he couldn't stand without assistance, and he weighed a tremendous amount. My mother called me one day to say that since he couldn't stand anymore the vet had recommended they say goodbye...and she did. Two days later Bacan disappeared; a week later they found him lying underneath the house by following the odor. And my heart sank a little bit more. No pets.

Malanga Pure

2 or three malanga, about 1 lb.
Salt to taste
2 to 3 tbpn of butter
1/2 cup of milk

Peel the Malanga, cut into large chunks, cover with water and add salt.
Bring to a boil and cook for about 20 minutes until soft.
Add butter and mash the malanga
Add milk and stir until smooth

Taste and adjust seasoning

Malanga fritters

1 lb. of malanga
1 egg
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbspn chopped parsley
1 tsp salt
1 tsp white vinegar
1 1/2 cups oil for frying

Peel and grate the malanga

Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
Heat the oil in a saucepan to 375F.
Shape the fritters using a large teaspoon and fry in hot oil until golden
Drain on paper towels.
Add salt to taste

Makes about 20 fritters

1 comment:

  1. That's so sweet and so sad.

    I just went and hugged all my kitties because of
    your story.