Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Coffee and Cats
"Its amazing how the World begins to change through the eyes of a cup of coffee.."

I realized this morning that I'm addicted to coffee just like my mother. Growing up I used to watch my mother perform her morning ritual. The first place she went to was the coffee machine. Her eyes were half open and her expression knitted into a frown. I knew that until she had that cup of coffee, it was better not to utter a word. (or risk potential death)

My mother watched the coffee drip. When the canister reached one cup, she would pull it out and pour it into her cup. She took a sip...

....and her entire expression changed. The light went back into her eyes, her features relaxed and she would suddenly notice my presence. She would cheerfully say "good morning!"

The day had officially started.

In the beginning we didn't have a coffee machine in our new temporary home, and the day didn't start off right. I knew we couldn't afford to dish out 40 euros for another machine right now, but I found a subsitute "Brazil coffee press" in town for 9 Euros.

Now making coffee is a new experience.

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We have to boil water, than pour it into the canister that contains 8 spoonfuls of coarse ground coffee. We have to stir it for 4 minutes..then push a filter into it. It takes a lot of muscle to make it reach the bottom...especially when you're half-asleep.

But It's worth it.

It makes the best coffee I've ever tasted in my life. Does anyone else use one of these things? This is the first I've seen of this kind of miracle contraption.


Last night at 3 A.M., I heard a pitiful little cry outside of our bedroom window..

I sat up in surprise and pulled back the shades. There was "cha cha". Our boss's children adopted a stray cat and it wanders around the property. They feed it and play with it. They just call it Matzi (which means "The cat"). Tara suggested the name "Cha Cha" and it stuck.

The Cat was peering at me in the darkness with large sad eyes. He pushed his paw against the glass and gave me a pleading look. "let me in...", He meowed.

"Eric.. The Cat is outside..can I let it in?"

"nope..", He mumbed into his pillow rolling over in bed. "we were given explicit instructions NOT to. She has the Winter Garden/lanai with food and a bed. She's not allowed in the house at night"

"But look at you hear those cries?"

"I hear it alright and Our boss had warned that she would try to melt your heart. Close the shades, come back to bed"

I reluctantly lay back down, and listened to the sad little sobbing meows.. it didn't stop and only grew more heartbreaking and persistant. I could see her silhouette through the blinds..that one little paw up..

I shut my eyes tightly and covered my head with the pillow.


"Oh god", Eric mumbled rolling his eyes. "Now she knows we're here..we'll probably have to deal with this every night..."

It went on ALL NIGHT LONG.. I barely slept.

The next morning, I saw "Cha Cha" on the patio. I called to her and she refused to turn around. She just sat there with her back to me with an indignant expression.

Not that I blame her...

Eventually she came around. she's such a beautiful cat.. I just don't know what to do if the night time crying starts up again tonight. What would you do?

It's fully spring and I love the weather. Fluffy clouds and deep blue skies

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Unfortunately spring also means Allergies. Mine are starting up. As I type this my eyes are watery and my nose is congested. My entire face itches.

Green Card Update: Nothing new to report. Still waiting.....
posted by Clarity25 at 1:31 PM |


At April 12, 2006, Anonymous Sarah 

That's such a cute kitty. I'm a major cat person AND a fellow coffee addict. I don't have one of those complex coffee makers though. (too much work for my lazy ass!)

P.S. maybe you can just smuggle the cat in at night and let it out in the morning?

No one will be the wiser.

Okay, I'm a bad influence

At April 12, 2006, Blogger MJW 

I am addicted to absolutely nothing. I don't even drink coffee casually (precisely because almost everyone else is so gung ho over it).

As for the cat, normally I would say if it continues to meow like that, you could tell your boss the full story and ask him if he would mind your bringing it in -- unless you know he would say "no" and then do something rash to get rid of the cat.

This isn't a normal situation, though. You will be leaving soon, and, if you start letting the cat in, it will be doubly heartbroken and lonely when you finally leave. I experienced this myself. I took pity on some outdoor cats while visiting my dad a few years ago (they had been abandoned by the previous residents; my dad fed them, but he already had indoor cats and couldn't let these abandoned cats in). It was bitterly cold out, so I let them stay in the guest cabin with me. They were incredibly grateful. That's not an exaggeration. When I finally left about a week later, I never felt so guilty and sad in my life. I couldn't quit thinking about them wondering where I had gone and why I had abandoned them. I knew the bitterly cold weather was just that much more terrible for them because I had spoiled them for the week that I was there.

The point is that I felt far worse for having let them in than if I had just ignored them from the beginning. Regrettably, it isn't in my nature to be able to ignore needy animals, though.

At April 12, 2006, Blogger The Queen 

I have two cats who are a year and just under a year, so they are still technically kittens and really needy and spoiled. Since they refuse to sleep at night (cats are nocturnal, as you probably know), we had to start kicking them out of our bedroom at night. They cried and cried and cried and sometimes I would become weak and let them in, but other times Paulo refused to let me let them in and we lost sleep listening to them cry all night. Eventually they got used to it and now they start meowing promptly at 6:30 when they hear my alarm go off. Haha, damn cats, but I love them so much. xoxox - me

At April 12, 2006, Anonymous alice 

Maybe its a German thing, but everywhere else Ive ever been that is a French coffee press(It tastes so good because of the oils, if you look at your coffee you can see it has more oils floating,thats the flavor)..I have one, alas Iam the only coffee drinker/addict in my house so I do not often bring it out, as I have my choice of about 5 coffee shops all on the way to work.
I used to drink 1-2 coffees an hour..all day long..then I stopped for awhile and now if I drink to much I get the jitters really bad and feel like Im dying.

As for the cat.
It's probably best not to go against your bosses rules. And I agree with the other comment that said that the cat would be confused and upset when suddenly you werent there.
Cats are sensitive that way.

Theres a house by my place that always has about 6 cats on the porch. They are always having little cat parties.
Once I get a digital camera Ill post a photo.
God once I get a digital camera Ill be posting photos non stop!

At April 12, 2006, Anonymous Acorn 

Ah, the plunger pot coffee maker - it's all Wade and I have used the whole time we've been together whenever we make coffee. It's how I wooed him the first time I made coffee for him all those years ago - I ground my own beans and boiled the water to put into the plunger pot. Supposedly, it's THE way to make coffee, as none of the essential oils get trapped in the coffee filter paper. That's why people buy those expensive gold reusable filters. And about the cat - I'd SO let that cat in, I'm a sucker for animals.

At April 12, 2006, Anonymous autum 

i've never seen that thing. as you know i am a fellow coffee addict. i actually love the taste of coffee as well as the high from the caffiene. (jsut writing about this makes me want to go get a coffee!)
i've never seen that thing. when you said it takes a lot of muscle, but as soon as you said it makes the best coffee i decided i've GOT to find one :o)
the part that sucks is shane doens't really know the difference between good and bad coffee. it piles so much creamer in his coffe it looks light brown. so, he makes crappy coffee. i have to wake up before him to get good coffee!!

At April 12, 2006, Anonymous autum 

^wow. a lot of typos. i won't try to fix it. hopefully you know what i meant :o) sorry!!!

At April 12, 2006, Anonymous Heeland Lass 

I can't believe you've never seen a coffee pot like that! We call it a cafetierre (it's French). We have one - and we have a few other coffee makers, but because there's just the 2 of us we use the cafetierre because it's so easy and it's ingenius. I would have thought funky counterculture chicks like you & Eric would've been in on that one a long time ago!! Thanks for your last comment. I wish we could chat again soon - it's been too long. And you're right - we're WAY past worrying about the other one feeling neglected. Love Ya! xxx

At April 12, 2006, Anonymous portia 

Beautiful cat! I would sit with her on the lanai and put her in the bed to show her it's comfy. Maybe during the day. Then just ignore her at night, you didn't let her in last night so she should get the message. It would be different if it was your house I guess, cause I would want to let her in too! My brother just ordered me a Percy shirt, I am excited :D

At April 12, 2006, Blogger Crystal 

I am a coffee addict too! Don't even THINK about speaking to me before I've had my first sip of that luscious morning juice! I won't bite your head off, but I will growl. :) I only drink it in the mornings though and usually only two cups (first one right when I wake up, the second one about an hour later). After that, I'm wide awake and if I drink more, I'm like a Mexican jumping bean! It's quite frightening to onlookers.

That's a beautiful cat! Love the green eyes!

At April 13, 2006, Anonymous spinster 

Everyone has at least one vice, and mine is coffee, pure and simple. BTW, that contraption you posted pics of is called a "plunger" here in Australia.
I actually have one, but prefer to use it for herbal tea. The other types of machines are the dripolater (filtered)which to my mind isn't the purest way to make a coffee and the stove top espresso machine, (stainless steel of course).Unless you can afford a real fancy cappucino machine, this is my preferred way of making coffee: as the 'crema' is the essence to a good cup of coffee: that's the layer of foam on the top, with all the oils from the (aribica) beans. Yep, I know, I'm a coffee nerd...
And if you have read my "things about me" on my blog, you'd know that I can't even begin to function in the morning, until I have my espresso or three! fact I am incapable of speaking and I'm soooo grumpy if someone denies me of my morning fix!

At April 13, 2006, Anonymous spinster 

oh, and you know what they say about cats and dogs?
Dogs have masters, cats have staff!

At April 13, 2006, Anonymous Vicola 

I LOVE coffee. I'm completely braindead in the morning till I've had a cup. Those coffee makers are very common here, we call them cafetieres and they come in all different sizes. M doesn' drink coffee so I have a tiny mini one for one person. It's cute.

I'd like to say that I'd stick to the boss's rules and keep the cat outside but I am an absolute sucker for needy animals and can pretty much guarantee I'd let it in. I'm not recommending you do that, just saying that I probably would!

At April 13, 2006, Anonymous Gentry 

Welcome to the wonderful world of French presses (I still prefer Italian espresso percolators, though). And I would totally let the cat in.

And Eric looks gay, too. It's just a European thing. They're so pretty, euromales.

At April 13, 2006, Anonymous moonfaeryy 

You're asking someone with 14 cats what do to with Cha Cha? Hahaha...if it was my place, I would let her in, but since you are only there for a short time, and your boss said, No, you should follow his wishes.

At April 13, 2006, Anonymous Amy 

Cha Cha is cute! We have a kitty visitor who we call Poochy Boo Boo II (because our friends have Poochy Boo Boo I...whatever...ha ha)...but Avocado won't let me let her in the house.

I LOVE those coffee presses like the one you have. They are so awesome.

At April 13, 2006, Blogger Kathleen 

One of the guys at work uses that coffee maker every day. I don't drink coffee, so I think the incredible flavor would be wasted on me.

I have to agree with Welfl on this one. I would be SORELY tempted to bring the cat in but first off, wouldn't want to piss off the bossman and secondly, you can't bring it home with you, so it would just be doubly sad when you left. Cha Cha is a beautiful cat. I would so let it in if it were hanging around my house.

At April 13, 2006, Anonymous yelayna 

I’m addicted to caffeine. I really struggle with my day without some, and I get a headache if I don’t have one by about lunchtime. I can’t go cold turkey, andi like it too much to cut down…

Now we have a café Nero in Egham I do a daily coffee run for the guys here in the morning first thing. We all have our usual choices, and I quite like the excuse to go out in the fresh air and then come back in and settle down with my coffee and work out what I’m up to.

Weekends if I’m having a nice lazy one I’ll get the big cafetiere out and make a big pot… I have three of those of different sizes, and a stovetop espresso maker, which runs on magic I think! But I do believe that a cafetiere makes better coffee than a filter thing, but the stovetop maker is good for really strong stuff. Like espresso… I have to say I like the instant flavoured stuff as a close relation to a decent cup with syrup. I’m particularly fond of ginger coffee at the moment… mmm…

As for the cat – be mean! I’m not sure I could resist either though…

At April 13, 2006, Anonymous Kristina 

I have used nothing but a french press for coffee for the past few years. I would never go back to the coffee pot now. It's so much better this way, even if you do have to boil the water. I think I'm just as addicted to the ritual now as I am to the actual coffee.

At April 13, 2006, Anonymous Janet 

I would have let her in, because I am WEAK when it comes to the felines. Really, you can't be in a bad mood when a kitty cat is all snuggled up against you.

At April 22, 2006, Anonymous cancan 

We use one of those coffee presses too. i think it is easier than an electric coffee maker. Ours is called a "french press". I think that is what Americans call them. We liked our cheap one so much we bought a fancy stainless steel one from starbucks in Thailand.

At May 17, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous 

Like your blog, keep up the good work.

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At May 17, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous 

Like your blog, keep up the good work.

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At May 18, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous 

Fantastic blog. Ben

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