Tag Archives: crab louie

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. Continue reading

It’s Louie Louie Time

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Tired of Christmas music?

If you’re of my generation, you may have fond memories of the Kingsmen and their recording of Louie Louie .  I remember how we desperately tried to figure out what the rumored “dirty words” were in those mostly unintelligible lyrics.  Apparently the FBI tried to figure it out too. (I’ve been thinking about the FBI lately.)  Some say it took them two years to work on it – yet they never interviewed Jack Ely who sang it on that infamous recording.  Snopes.com has a fascinating article about the song.

Of course, as I danced around in my best 60’s dance mode to Louie Louie, I immediately thought of Crab Louie and a blog.  Andy began reminiscing about a crab boil in Louisiana.

If you’re lucky enough to live in an area where freshly cooked crabs are available, a Crab Louie – or Louis – dinner is the perfect holiday meal – simple to prepare, beautiful, healthy.  If you can get fresh shrimp, that works too.

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According to Leigh, Louie dressing is all about using homemade horseradish and appraising the color.  This is too pale.  I needed to up the ketchup amount.

Our neighbors and friends, Leigh and Maxine, are my authorities on Crab Louie.  Maxine grew up in San Francisco and shared this bit of her family history with us:

When asked to write something about growing up in San Francisco and eating Dungeness Crab, I had a wonderful flashback from being a 10 year old girl. My parents waited all year for crab season to open in November, and I have a fond memory of going to Fisherman’s Wharf with my Dad when the time came. We would drive to the dock where the fishermen were unloading the crabs. A vendor would pop them in a vat of boiling water for a minute or two, take them out and hand them to his partner who would clean and crack them. Then he would wrap the crab in some newspaper and send us on our way.

On the way home, we always stopped at the Larraburu Bakery and bought a large loaf of fresh, warm sourdough French bread. When we arrived home my mom would have prepared a simple salad with lettuce, celery and lots of avocado. She made a Thousand Island dressing and served it on the side along with some lemon wedges. My parents would shell a big pile of crab on their plate, add the salad and dressing and feast with the sourdough bread, all the while talking and catching up on each others news. Meanwhile, I loved my grilled cheese sandwich.

So get crackin’!  And try Maxine’s approach (to the crab, that is; not the cheese sandwich): have everyone sit and shell the crab while visiting (and enjoying a glass of chilled dry white wine – perhaps Sonoma’s Dry Creek Fumé Blanc).  When all the crab has been shelled and every guest has a plate with a pile of crab, you’re ready to pass the green salad and the dressing and dig in.  Slow-food at its best.  And, this dear readers, is a Best of the Besties!

Crab Louie

  • Servings: 1 big crab should feed 2 people; 1 pound of shrimp - for Shrimp Louie - will serve 4
  • Print


Homemade Horseradish

  • 8-10″ piece of horseradish root, peeled and chopped
  • 2 T water
  • 1 T white vinegar
  • pinch salt

Put all the ingredients in a food processor (being careful not to rub your eyes after handling the fresh horseradish) and process until well ground.  Transfer the horseradish to a jar and refrigerate.  It will keep 3-4 weeks.

Crab Louie Dressing (enough for 4 hearty eaters)

  • 3/4 c mayonnaise
  • 3/4 c ketchup
  • 3 tsp horseradish (or to taste)

Crab Louie Salad

  • Romaine or Baby Gem lettuce, chopped or torn into bite-size pieces
  • Avocados, cut into bite-size pieces or sliced, and placed on top of the lettuce

Accompaniments: lemon slices and slices of top-notch artisan bread – traditionally sourdough


  • One beautiful bowl of cracked crab pieces, surrounded by lemon slices
  • One bowl of salad/avocado mix
  • Crab Louie Dressing
  • Bread

Recipe brought to you by Maxine and Lee and BigLittleMeals.com



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