As the drama continues to unfold with Coco’s ongoing ‘intestinal issues’, I received a cat food recipe from a friend in California. The basic ingredients were pumpkin, psyllium powder and canned cat food. I’m in Italy, not sunny California, so I was a bit stumped where I could find these simple but hard to find ingredients.
Recently, I bought an enormous can of pumpkin from the American Christmas Bazaar for 5€. Maybe that would work? But no, it has added sugar so that won’t do. I have to find me a pumpkin Charlie Brown! The Italian word for pumpkin is zucca, but that is also the word for squash. Could they essentially be the same inside? I Googled it and in fact yes it is.
Okay, next step, find the psyllium powder. Zio’s wife, and Mama’s younger sister, owns an herbal shop. I’ll take the bus over there and ask Zia. Lo and behold, she actually has the stuff in two forms and gave me strict instructions about water, blah, blah, blah.
Okay, I’m all set. Yesterday, I went to see Mama. I told her that I had recently saw Zia and that is when the Spanish inquisition started. I swear, at one instance I saw her nostrils flare when I explained that I needed some stuff for Coco. Mama stated that Coco was nothing but trouble like she was a delinquent grandchild who kept ending up in the slammer. Whoa, where did all this come from? Was she jealous that I didn’t consult with her first regarding her granddaughter or something? This is crazy! She’s a CAT!
Of course, then Mama made a few steps towards her magic medicine cabinet. You know, the one where she stashes needles and stuff. Italian’s love injections. The only people I ever knew to have needles in the house were diabetics and drug dealers (not that I personally knew anyone who was diabetic).
She then produced these little black hashish looking balls. What the hell are those? She told me that they were also from Zia’s shop, and that old people take them for constipation. She insisted that I take a handful for Coco and she wouldn’t take no for an answer. I took them all the while thinking crap, I better not forget to take these out of my purse when I get home. Can you just imagine how I would be explaining these balls to the American Customs Officer if I went abroad and forgot they were in my purse?
“Oh those! I know what this must look like Officer, but I swear, they’re just compressed herbal balls for my cat’s constipation”.
“Yeah, sure lady”…and so the story goes.