It’s my cat’s birthday. It’s also Canada Day. Time for a little celebration!
Dr. Pookie is 12 years old. In human years. Eighty-four in cat years. He’s been a fabulous cat. Incredibly cranky. Extremely demanding. Aloof. Handsome. And loved hugely.
Dr. Pookie likes to use the bathtub as an amphitheatre – jumping into it in the middle of the night and howling for fresh running water – his big Siamese voice reverberating off the walls. He once brought a live chipmunk into the house. And years ago, hidden under our front porch, we found a stash of his well-licked feathers including a turquoise blue feather boa that he had rescued from a box destined for the second-hand store. Pookie stayed in Canada after one of our moves to Australia but when we returned he came back to live with us – purring incessantly for weeks after our return.
He comes by his title because the first vet annoyed me by introducing himself as Dr. B… but then called me by my first name even though he’d never met me before. Here’s my thinking on this – if you want to call yourself doctor – that’s fine – but have the respect to treat others as you wish to be treated. We’re either both on a first name basis – or we’re both on a last name basis until one of us says, “Please use my first name.” Okay, perhaps I’m old-fashioned, or pedantic, or out of touch, but I still believe in good manners. Reciprocal manners.
Anyway, after the vet introduced himself, he asked, “Who do we have here?” about our eight week-old kitten. “Dr. Pookie,” I said, adding, “And because he’s pompous, he’d like you to use his title.” This was all lost on Dr. B – who promptly wrote Dr. Pookie on the cat’s file and merrily continued calling me by my first name.
We have a new vet now. A nice young guy. An excellent vet. We’re all on a first name basis including Pookie.
In honour of Canada Day AND Dr. Pookie’s birthday, I made a cake. It’s red and white for Canada Day – and has a lot of cream in it – because Dr. Pookie likes cream. He had a taste for breakfast this morning and so did the dog, Lola, who doesn’t have a title.
The cake is surprisingly delicious and easy – a real summer cake – no baking.
White Chocolate and Raspberry Cake
Recipe adapted from CHOCOLATE by Kathryn Hawkins. This wonderful book was a birthday gift – for me – from a good friend.
1 1/2 cups golden Oreos (or shortbread or whatever vanilla biscuits you might like), crushed reasonably finely
1/3 cup melted butter
250 grams (8 oz) white chocolate (I used Lindt)
1 tbsp butter extra
300 ml full-fat sour cream (I might try cream cheese next time)
2 tbsp rum or 1 tbsp vanilla essence
300 ml or whipping cream, whipped
fresh raspberries to garnish
Mix together the biscuit crumbs and butter and press into an 8 inch spring-form pan.
Melt the chocolate and butter gently (in the microwave on low power or in a double-boiler over medium-low heat). When melted, stir in the sour cream, and then the rum or vanilla. Gently fold in the whipped cream.
Chill overnight or for the better part of the day (at least six hours). Garnish with raspberries and white chocolate curls.
You can see cookbook author, Kathryn Hawkins’ version below. Much prettier than mine – unsurprisingly!