Close Encounter of the Feline Kind

When I was walking home yesterday I noticed a large black cat sitting on a garden fence next to the road. As I like cats very much I walked up to it to see if it was interested in becoming acquainted.

It was and I petted it for a few minutes. It seemed a little restless, though. When I walked on it jumped down and accompanied me; it walked right next to me much like a ‘heel’ing dog. When I came to the gate of my garden it went right through and waited for me at the front door. I thought it might be just happy to be on dry ground but when I unlocked the front door it immediately pushed through the crack and ran up the steps to where my rooms are. Luckily my landlord was in his rooms below and did not see that. By that time I was curious what it would do so I opened the doors to my living room and bedroom.

For around ten minutes the cat inspected the two rooms thoroughly, rubbing against the corners of the furniture, walking around the sofa, looking under the bed, sniffing at everything. When it had gone through both rooms twice – with intermittent being petted and purring – it walked down the stairs and waited at the front door. I opened it, the cat looked at me and meowed and then it left.

That was rather peculiar.

If I was superstitious I would now feel better because maybe it was looking for evil energies but could not find any. As it is now, I feel better because, for ten minutes, I have had a cat.

Rice noodle salad with chicken

I made a simple, Asian-inspired salad out of white rice noodles and grilled chicken slices. Some of my ingredients were bought ready-to-eat, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to prepare them as well.

I used:

  • one pepper (orange, but any other colour will do)
  • one medium sized carrot
  • one bunch of fresh coriander leaves
  • one stalk of fresh lemon grass
  • (spring onions could also be added but I dislike them, prepare them like the lemon grass)
  • one bag of white rice noodles (mine were pre-cooked, 500 g, but dried ones will do, just soak them in boiling water for a few minutes until soft)
  • one or two grilled and sliced chicken breast
  • sesame oil, soy sauce, olive oil, lemon pepper, salt – finely grated fresh ginger can add some further freshness

First, cut the pepper and carrot in small pieces; finely chop the coriander leaves and the lemon grass.

Mix the pepper, carrot, coriander and lemon grass with the sliced chicken breast and add about three tablespoons of sesame oil, the same amount of soy sauce, one tablespoon olive oil, salt and lemon pepper to taste.

Stir well and let it sit for ten minutes while the rice noodles soak. Drain them when they’re soft, mix with a drop of sesame oil to prevent them from getting sticky and spread them on a plate (or two). Stir the vegetable-chicken-mix once again and spoon it in the middle of the noodles, decorate with a few seeds, chillies and/or  sesame seeds and enjoy.