Pancakes: A Love Story

I've been obsessed with pancakes lately. THE WAY TO MY HEART IS TO MAKE ME PANCAKES apparently. I don't even like to eat pancakes, they're basically nutritionally void, and unless I'm using drugs I try to eat a healthy balanced diet which excludes the sort of comfort-food category under which pancakes fall. As a child, I remember one or both of my parents (who are actually really excellent cooks) offering to make pancakes for my brother and I. It would be our job to drop in "a few" chocolate chips-- we'd throw fistfulls into the batter, charring them to our cast iron pan and inevitably ruining that morning's breakfast. Pancakes are hard to make. Harder than you would think. I have a hard time with it. Maybe they're not hard maybe they just require more patience than I can ever muster but they seem impossibly luxurious to me. I cannot get the idea of blueberry pancakes out of my head. I want someone to go out to brunch with me and get them, except my weekend mornings are kind of, um, hectic these days. Poorly-planned. I sort of feel like I'll have them around Xmas with the fam, or maybe I'll make Grey to get pancakes with me. Or maybe, perfectly, they'll wind up in my fortune's path somehow.

(I have an elaborate fantasy in which you sleep over and in the morning we go out for blueberry pancakes. It's not even that elaborate of a fantasy, see? I shared mine. Now tell me yours.)

In college, I became obsessed with scallion pancakes too. One of the few places to eat near my campus that wasn't part of the campus was an exceedingly greasy Chinese take-out place called Sun Xing Garden. It was my first introduction to east coast Chinese food (maybe I should say "Chinese") and my first taste of scallion pancakes and while those are also similarly nutritionally void and terribly bad for you they remain another kind of obsession for me. It's like food porn. WHY PANCAKES? There's nothing good about them.

(Maybe, before, in our fantasy date, we'll go out for Chinese food and get scallion pancakes. Maybe we'll order food and I'll make you a picnic on my roof, if the weather's nice enough. I want to make out with you under the open sky and the quickest way is up. But you know that.)

About three years ago, I came home one night, drunk, to find a note in my kitchen. My room mate Jenny had scrawled out a note saying that she had rescued a cat who had been hanging out on our stoop, that she would be taking care of it (as she did her other cat) and to please be nice, since the New Cat was probably really freaked out. I went to the bathroom and found a very skinny grey cat sitting in the tub, staring up at me with an angry face. As angry of a face as a cat can make. I sat on the edge of the bathtub and held out my hand and eventually she nuzzled me. She saw that I was no threat and I saw that she was no threat. We bonded and I loved her very much.

I named her Pancakes. None of my other three room mates wanted to call her that. They all said I could call her Pancakes "for now". We had two other cats in the house-- Cassie had a 24 year-old black cat named Midnight, who I called Munununu. Midnight / Munununu was, at the time, older than I was in human years. She stayed mostly in Cassie's room and, since she was my senior I stayed out of her way. She had no interaction with Pancakes. Jenny had an obese male cat with serious social anxiety issues named Ilja. Ilja and I never got along, I teased him incessantly about his weight. Ilja and Pancakes immediately hated each other, so while Jenny wanted to be the Cat Person of the house, Pancakes often came and hung out in my room, being as it was the furthest from Ilja and Jenny's.

I adored Pancakes. She liked to hide for days at a time in one of our many closets of under my bed, sneaking out for about fifteen minutes of affection a day, making her appearance for either food or the litter box. She was low-maintenance and I really admired that, since I am the opposite. At some point she started acting weird, and Ilja would literally chase her around the house. Jenny thought maybe Pancakes was giving off some kind of pheromone, but since I couldn't keep her, really, we had decided that we should start looking for a home for her.

I brought a boy home with me, once, around this time, and I remember making out with him in my room, standing up, when he shrieked: "Oh my god something is moving! Something's under your chair!"

"Oh," I said "that's Pancakes, she's our cat."

"Will she bite me?"

"No, of course not, she's nice. She's just shy. Take off your belt."

Pancakes jumped into a chair I had in the corner of my room and stared at us. She nestled on top of my jacket, where I had kept my wallet and iPod.

"Um, Billy" my date said "your cat is peeing."

I turned to see Pancakes staring at us, now in our underpants, pissing all over my iPod, hoodie, wallet and chair. "PANCAKES! NO!" I screamed. Everyone in the room was sorely embarrassed but I eventually cleaned it up and threw out the chair (it was from Ikea) and anyways my date still put out. (Everyone puts out).

So now Pancakes had turned on me. We had decided to get rid of her when it became somehow apparent that she was pregnant. As soon as we realized this, everyone started calling her Mama or Mamacita. But to me she was always Pancakes:

She had six adorable kittens, whom I named things like Ganja and Ninja. No one liked my cat names. Jenny kept one of the kittens, the only male (and the runt of the litter) and found a home for the other cats, including Pancakes. That is how Quinn entered my life, one of the most significant relationships I've had in the last few years:

Anyways. Mondays and cats seem to go together and now I really really want some pancakes, but I guess I'll go to the gym instead.

Besides, I'd rather get them with you.

1 comment:

Gil Buckman said...

Billy. You need to get yourself some Batter Blaster. If for no other reason than the NAME.
They are organic (important to many) and they are super easy (also important) and they are good. And it is nice to have them at the ready in case of latenight or early morning or anytime cravings.
I'm just sayin'