Grumpy Cat, a media phenomenon, is raking in the cat treats at an amazing pace. The cat’s irascible face is showing up on mugs, greeting cards, tee-shirts and she even stars in a video, Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas ever. Really? I give Boo a toy mouse and she flicks it a time or two and I find it either under the couch or a bloated casualty floating in her water dish. Looking at Boo, the Queen of Cats, lying supine on the floor at the moment cleaning between her claws we aren’t looking for any big payoff any time in her immediate future. Boo, as beautiful as she may be in the feline sense, doesn’t show much talent for anything bringing in a big paycheck unless cats are currently getting paid to eat, drink, and recycle same. Boo, any more lazy, could technically be considered comatose. The most I could hope for would be footage of the cat sleeping in a variety of positions all around the house.
Lately stories are circulating about the increasing number of animals falling under the umbrella of “service animals”. People, being people, have taken advantage of the title in some cases to be able to take their animals into places only allowing service animals or on planes, as an example, without paying.
Service animals are not limited to felines or canines. Parrots, ferrets, monkeys, and a variety of other species have been called into service to help people with physical or mental limitations. It was interesting to learn that not all dogs, for example, are cut out to wear the service dog emblem. A certain personality and disposition is required to make a good candidate.
Therapy dogs are used to help people manage stress. I could use one on some days. Apparently they have a calming effect on their owners making it easier to get through a hard day or a period of grieving. I have a dear friend who lives alone. Her small dog is truly a lifeline for her, providing companionship unconditionally, affection, and also lending a hand, or paw if you will, when one is needed. The small dog retrieves items on command and although never trained specifically to provide such support, seems to instinctively understand what is required of him. Rather amazing. Studies show people who have animals living with them or visiting them, such as hospital or nursing home patients, benefit emotionally and healthwise with their furry companions around.
Miniature horses are another surprising animal used for such service. I hope they don’t sleep with their owners. Horses, prone to flatulence and with rather stiff hooves would not be my choice for a bed partner. Often the small horses, natural guides, are used as such for the blind. If a member of a herd of horses goes blind, a herd member will take responsibility for the animal and guide him along with the others.
Pigs also can be taught to assist humans in need. Very intelligent animals, they learn quickly and have a great sense of smell. Having worked around pigs while working at the feed and grain in Arkansas, I can attest to the fact piggies are a bit fragrant themselves. I’m not sure how they would work inside a house, but perhaps if bathed often and some excellent room spray it might work. Pigs have even been taught to maneuver joysticks on video games. So bad am I at video games, I’m sure the pig would take me before I even got started. I found it interesting reading recently about the woman who took her pig on a plane to keep her calm. Someone should have brought a therapist for the pig apparently as it became overly excited on boarding and began squealing leaving a trail of pig poop all along the aisle. In the end (sorry), pig and pig’s person were asked to leave the plane and find another mode of transportation. Somehow sitting in coach with a pig in the adjacent seat paints a funny picture. Looking back I’ve done it a flight or two, but that’s another blog.
I’d like to find a Capuchin who favors housework. Now that would be the monkey to have around. We eat a lot of vegetables around our house so feeding a monkey wouldn’t be much of a problem. As to the meal worms, crickets, and grasshoppers, the monkey would be on its own there. We do offer Sundays and Thursdays off and excellent benefits if you know of any monkeys looking for a domestic service job. Interestingly, I thought, on reading further about the little simians the article said Capuchins need a variety in their diet. If bored with their food they won’t eat. Not so different then us humans. I often look at Boo, who seems quite content to eat Adult indoor cat kibble every day with a smattering of treats, and wonder she doesn’t go on strike. Over the years I’ve introduced new flavors and tastes to be her bowl only to be met with accusatory stares from the cat as though I was trying to poison her.
Sigh, felines. I’ll never understand them. Maybe that’s where difficult humans go to be reincarnated?
We had turkey for Thanksgiving. I made broth from the carcass and froze the rest. I saved enough bird to put together these quick and easy enchiladas which we lapped up.
Easy Turkey Enchiladas
2 cups shredded turkey
2 cups Mexican style cheese blend
1 onion, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
1 small can diced green chiles
1 2 oz. can sliced black olives, drained
Salt and pepper to taste
1 19 oz. can red enchilada sauce
10 corn enchiladas (taco size)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8 x 11″ pan.
Mix together turkey, 1 cup cheese, onion, green onions, chiles and 1/2 of the black olives. Season with salt and peper. Set aside.
Ladle some of the sauce in bottom of prepared dish and spread to cover.
Pour 1 cup of sauce in small frying pan. Heat over med. heat. Turn to low. Dip each tortilla in the warm sauce. Place 1/10 of the turkey mixture in the center of each tortilla and roll like a cigar. Place seam down side by side in dish. Pour remaining sauce over all. Top with remaining cup of cheese and sprinkle with remaining black olives.
Bake uncovered for 30 mins. Cover tightly with foil and bake 20 mins. longer or until cheese is melted. Allow to sit for 6 mins. before serving.