Cold-hearted Sociopaths

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It’s been rough around here lately.  The rainfall in Sonoma County this spring has been crazy heavy.  Oakley hasn’t been to the dog park in weeks (see Andy’s Corner) and our Siamese cats have been inside with us an inordinate amount of time.  Our house is small for a 50-pound dog, two humans, and two cats – who happen to dislike each other – the cats, that is.  The humans do relatively okay together, especially when it’s NOT raining.  Whether the humans dislike the cats and/or the cats dislike the humans is a part of this little blog.

We’ve had nine cats in our 52 years of marriage, and I’d say six of them were real winners….the kind of kitties who snuggle up to you, rub against your legs, get on your lap, purr when petted, eat what’s given to them without complaining, are amicable with visitors, play well with others, don’t bite or scratch – and only catch mice and rats, not birds.  We loved them dearly and I’d like to think they loved us.

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Trace – who came after Zero and Minus  – all good, kind,  and loving cats

Then a few years ago we picked up a little kitten at the Sonoma Humane Society (Andy says “thanks, Chris!” :).  The folks there had named her Feisty, which should have been a red flag.  I’d lived about 70 years with cats and I had no idea a cat could be a cold-hearted sociopath.

It’s shocking how much comes up when you google “cat” and “sociopath.”  Perhaps my favorite comes from a funny little essay in London’s Telegraph.

What is there to like? What is the point of them?  Cats I mean. They torment, torture and kill smaller animals for fun, meow incessantly until they get fed or let out, sleep and bring absolutely nothing to the party. If a burglar breaks-in the first the thing out of the door, even before the TV, is the cat. A dog will not only let you know somebody is trying to gain access to your property but stand by your side to protect you.

 

 

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The cold-hearted sociopath as a youngster

OnoMoore – FKA Feisty – whom Andy wrote about and videotaped earlier – is our psychotic cat.  Andy thinks we’re being cruel dissing her in this very public way, but I think it’s all justified.  When asked to describe her, our SF family uses words such as “evil,” “terrifying,” and “demented.”  Andy and I take pains not to walk by her when she’s in a bad mood.  Oakley, our dog, won’t leave our bedroom if Ono is in the doorway.  God forbid that she’s in a chair you’d like to sit in.  Blood has been drawn more times than we can count.

I just wish Ono could read this and take note.

I’m no psychologist, but it’s pretty easy to find out what symptoms of sociopathy are.  Please note: there is no hidden political agenda here.  I’m just talking about certain cats, not certain people.

  • Arrogance
  • Using charm or wit to manipulate others for personal gain or personal pleasure
  • Grandiose estimation of self
  • Lack of empathy for others and lack of remorse about harming others
  • Serious violation of rules
  • Easily bored
  • Poor or abusive relationships

But maybe pictures are worth a thousand words?

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Using charm or wit to manipulate others for personal gain or personal pleasure

 

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Grandiose estimation of self

 

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Lack of empathy for others and lack of remorse about harming others

 

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Serious violation of rules

 

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Easily bored

 

Ono and Choco duking it out

Poor or abusive relationships

I’m not sure if “unusually picky eater” is a symptom of a sociopath, but it applies to Ono.  As parents we are generally advised to offer our children a wide variety of foods so that they never become too persnickety.  The same is supposed to apply to dogs and cats.  Accordingly,  we’ve tried to feed Ono endless variations of canned chicken, chicken liver, turkey, beef, and shrimp, all from very pricey and gourmet cat food brands such as “Fussie Cat,” “I and Love and You,” and “Chicken Soup.”   Yet it’s been met with total disgust on her part (like pawing as if she wants to bury it).  But Ono will eat tuna, salmon, and crab, if offered from a few select brands, so here are some fitting  recipes – for humans – all dedicated to the weirdest, craziest, wildest, most psychotic – and possibly the most fun – cat we’ve ever had.

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Below are links for three of our favorite tuna, crab, and salmon recipes, previously posted on BigLittleMeals.  Plus, we’ve got two new ones for your dining pleasure.

Mom’s Tuna Noodle Casserole – Ono recommends this highly but prefers it without cheddar cheese.

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Mom’s Tuna Noodle Casserole

Slow-Roasted Salmon – Ono says this is a real keeper – especially if you omit the sauce.

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Slow-Roasted Salmon

Crab Louie – Nope.  Ono is not crazy about this – way too much green stuff and dressing.  And who wants to deal with shells?!

 

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Crab Louie

 

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All the ingredients ready to go into the Tuna Nicoise Salad Bowl

Tuna Nicoise Salad Bowl – Ono asked that we just serve her the tuna straight from the jar.  No extra stuff….like green beans!  Yuck.  Tomatoes.  Double yuck.

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This was not staged.  Ono just appeared as Andy prepped the photo.  Got a whiff of tuna, I guess.  And just so you know, we stopped her before she took a lick or bite.  She does respond to someone screaming “Pssssst!”

Tuna Nicoise Salad Bowl

This a non-traditional approach to the classic recipe, but it works.  A delicious and beautiful salad bowl!  Serve with some French bread and dinner is done. Omit the anchovies from the dressing and the tuna from the salad and you’ve got vegetarian – and it’s still yummy.

Dressing

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 anchovy fillets, minced
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/3 c olive oil

Whisk all the dressing ingredients until combined.

Salad

  • 4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, boiled in heavily salted water and lightly mashed
  • 1/2 lb of string beans, cooked just until tender, blanched, and cut into 1 1/2″ pieces
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1/4 c sliced black olives, preferably Nicoise (optional; we usually omit them)
  • 2 T minced shallots – or minced red onion
  • 1 T capers
  • 10 basil leaves, slivered
  • 1 4.5 oz can or 6.7 oz jar of oil-packed tuna, drained and broken into pieces
  • Arugula or other greens to serve the salad on (optional)
  • 2-3 eggs, hard-boiled and quartered lengthwise

If you’re using greens, line your bowl (individual or serving bowl) with them.  Then toss the smashed potatoes with a tablespoon or so of dressing and add them to the bowl.  Next carefully toss the remaining salad ingredients, except the eggs, adding the dressing – and salt and pepper – to taste.  Pile that on top of the potatoes.  Arrange the quartered eggs around the bowl and serve.

The salad will keep a day or so, refrigerated.  It won’t be quite as pretty but will be just as tasty.  Recipe brought to you by BigLittleMeals.com and Andy and Ann.

Grilled Tuna with Herbed Mayo – Ono prefers this tuna plain – as pictured.  She wonders why folks insist upon ruining a good thing by adding a sauce.

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Grilled Tuna (without Herbed Mayo)

Grilled Tuna with Herbed Mayo

Recipe is adapted from a Bon Appetit recipe.

  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 2 T red wine vinegar
  • 2 T chopped fresh basil (or 2 tsp dried basil)
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme (or 3/4 tsp dried thyme)
  • 2 T chopped fresh tarragon (or 2 tsp dried tarragon)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 c mayonnaise
  • 4 4-5 oz tuna steaks (about 1″ thick)

For the marinade, whisk together the oil, vinegar, basil, thyme, tarragon, and garlic.  Put the mayonnaise in another bowl and stir in 1 1/2 T of the marinade.

Lightly salt and pepper the fish (figure about 1 tsp kosher salt per pound).  Place the fish in a plastic sack with the marinade (not the mayo mixture) and turn the fish over until it’s well coated.  Marinate for about 1 hour at room temperature (no longer).

Oil the grill’s rack.  On medium high heat, grill the tuna to desired doneness.  About 3 minutes per side should be good.  Top the tuna with the mayo sauce and serve.

Recipe brought to you by BigLittleMeals.com and Andy and Ann.

 

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