Friday, June 09, 2006

The Mama Gin Files Chapter 2: Mama Gin + Betty

My pal Lulu made reference to a classic Mama Gin story about the time she tried to feed my cat, the dearly departed Betty. Mama Gin & Betty, having lived in the same house for seven years, enjoyed a fear-hate relationship. (Mama Gin both feared & hated Betty, whereas Betty merely feared Mama Gin.)

The first time Mama Gin ever caught sight of Betty, she came down to the apartment and told George "be sure to tie that cat up at night."

"Why?" George responded.

"Because, if you go to bed with a little piece of food stuck on your face, the cat will wait until you're asleep, and then jump on the bed to try to eat the food and she'll bite your face off."

When George translated this for me, I wasn't sure what to be more disturbed by - the fact that she was so afraid of the cat, or that she thought it was normal behavior to go to bed with food stuck on your face.

Then she suggested that we tie Betty up in the back yard so that she could catch wild birds for us to eat. (Mama Gin is obsessed with eating food caught in the wild, even if the "wild" is a back yard in Brooklyn.)

But my favorite Mama Gin + Betty story is the one Lulu made reference to.

One lovely spring day, George and I decided to have a little outing to the botanical gardens or someplace like that. We left the house around 11:00 am, and returned late afternoon. In other words, we weren't even gone as long as we would be on a normal work day.

For some reason (an appropriate opener of any sentence that discusses the philosophies and motives of Mama Gin) she thought we had packed up and left for good, leaving the cat behind. Yes, it's insane, but that's what she thought. So, figuring that we were gone for good, Mama Gin found enough kindness in her heart to come down to our apartment to "rescue" the poor cat by feeding her.

Mama figured Betty would enjoy a nice, huge deep-dish pie plate of pork chunks covered in milk.

That's right - pork and milk. In huge chunks as big as an adult human's fist. Good thing Betty didn't keep kosher.

Needless to say, Betty did not touch the pork and milk platter.

Another time we came back from a weekend away, when we had left Betty at home alone for about a day and a half. We did this now and again, and Betty was generally fine with a big dish of dry food and a nice bowl of water to tide her over.

I walked in the door & found Betty yowling and quite agitated. I figured she was hungry, so I approached her food bowl and found it completely covered by six whole slices of Wonder Bread. Betty couldn't get to her food because it was covered in Wonder Bread.

George went upstairs and instructed Mama Gin never to come down again.


jin said...

Ok...I admit I knew you posted this many hours before I found the courage to read it...I was scared to death that Mama Gin was going to give your poor kitty something that would make her very sick.
Relief!!! Just a funny story!!!

.....and now back to jins regularly scheduled comment.....

GROSS about the 'wild' birds!
But, even grosser.....Wonder bread!
You know why they call it that, right?
Well, don't you wonder what's in it?


Melinda June said...

I still marvel at the pork and milk treat.

lulu said...

My poor dead Fathead Fred would have been all over the Wonder Bread. A truely amazing kitty, she could say many words, "bread" being one of them, and loved a nice piece of toast with butter on it as a snack.

husband of CPW, son of MG said...

This is why I have the immune system and recuperative powers of a starfish. Pampering was definitely not my mother's way of showing affection... come to think of it, she NEVER has shown any affection unless you consider that she raised her children the way a foie gras farmer raises geese. Yep, the stories of life with MG abound, and I assure you they are all true.

lulu said...


"she raised her children the way a foie gras farmer raises geese" is just about the funniest description I have read eveh. I hope you don't mind if I steal it for the novel.

MG must have done something right, because you turned out so well.......

husband of CPW, son of MG said...

lulu you make me blush for being so wicked!