Social distancing and quarantining being the order of the day, working on Christmas Eve really isn't a hardship. Yesterday, I did my shopping for the day, buying several varieties of seafood so I could do whatever sort of take on the fish thing that I could pull off on the job... I do have a hotplate, toaster oven, and microwave here. I also picked up a couple of bottles of prosecco for my upstairs neighbor, who always puts together a plate for me when she knows I've been working on a holiday, gift cards for her children (because they are good kids, unfailingly kind to the small army of peers who are always over to shoot hoops or do homework), and a bottle of whisky for my next door neighbors.
I left my apartment and handed over the wine and gift cards to my upstairs neighbors elder child, then as I left the house, I ran into the new upstairs neighbors, who moved in at the beginning of the month (the previous tenants relocated to Buffalo, NY, when the husband acquired a government job). After a brief chat, I went next door, and as I was knocking on the door, my neighbor pulled up. I gave him the bottle and we had a nice chat. He told me that, in case of bad snowstorms and worse parking situations, I could always park in his driveway. I joked that this was the reason I brought over a bottle of whisky.
Earlier this year, he and his wife lost their yellow lab, Sétanta, to old age and hip pathology. Sétanta was the first neighbor that I met when I moved onto the block, a big, friendly dog who was the perfect sidekick to my good-hearted, sociable neighbors. My neighbor told me that he and the missus were getting a black lab puppy named Finn, keeping up the tradition of naming dogs after heroes of Irish legendry.
I arrived at work early, covering the afternoon shift so my coworker could spend Christmas Eve with his family. It's been an uncharacteristically warm and windy December day, with torrential rain in the forecast. I'm glad I prepared last night for tonight's 'festivities', having stocked the fridge yesterday. Tonight, it's the cat and I holding down the fort. I made sure to call mom and text other friends and family. One of my aunts checked in as well, she's also spending an uncharacteristic solo Christmas Eve, away from the kids and grandkids.
The cat has been kinda... well... catty tonight. I gave her a small piece of fish to see if she would be interested, but it held no appeal for her. Later, of course, she wanted MY fish, paying an unseemly amount of attention to a pasta-with-sardines dish I had thrown together, and my follow-up dish of scallops sauteed with garlic and rosemary also elicited some interest on her part. Then I made the mistake of opening a tin of smoked oysters, emulating the sound of a cat food can... big mistake, she really wouldn't stop trying to climb my shirt to check out what I was eating. Besides getting her typical half can of cat food, she also has a small piece of fish that she's left untouched... and she's not exactly a candidate for starvation. Again, my vittles have more appeal than hers, in her estimation.
I still have some fish to sautee with a soy/brown sugar glaze to finish up the traditional Christmas Eve dinner, and I suspect that Ginger will suddenly develop an interest in the same fish which, unglazed, lies in her bowl. She's been well fed, as have I, but I'm sure that she'll develop a covetous streak. She's scheduled to get her customary half can (about three ounces) of food before I leave, but again, MY food is more appealing to her... I still don't have the heart to put her on the naughty list, though.