Something incredible is happening on the rooftop of NOLA. (NOLA as in the Buenos Aires puerta cerrada that I run.)
Ya see last Sunday I was having a ‘Liza day’ and grabbed the computer, camera & to-do lists and got to work on the rooftop soaking up some of the gorgeous Spring weather we’ve been having. The plan was a bit of computer work and then experiment in the kitchen with fish cakes.
So I’m buzzing around and all of a sudden I see this blob of white fur under the parrilla (Argentine grill/BBQ) and before you know it I realize it’s a Siamese cat laying there between the paint cans!!
I immediately text the boys aka BROEDERS Artesanal aka my roommates/boyfriend/business partners and started a group chat entitled, I FOUND A CAT ON THE ROOF!
I was really excited. Which was a bit strange. I mean yea, I have a cat, Momo el gato, and he’s like the coolest cat ever, mostly because he’s more like a dog than a cat, and that’s ideal because dog’s rock. But I definitely wouldn’t say I’m a cat person.
So Marce responds to the group text and he’s like, ‘oh yea, the white one? I see him up there all the time.’ Say what?! This was news to me.
So I set out a little water bowl and let her be while I get back to my work. 20 minutes go by and she catches the corner of my eye as now she is sitting up and facing me. THEN I see something move in between her legs, my eyes bulge, and I discover 4 baby kittens, eyes not even opened yet!!!
This is where the real excitement started. I snap a photo, send it to the group chat and Francisco replies with the response I’ve been looking for. He is a cat person. An all animals person la verdad.
He comes over. Friends come over with food for the cat and churros for the humans. We all go up and admire her and the little ones but she was totally not feeling us and was being super protective. She actually ran off once!
Which is fine, I guess. I mean, that’s what a mother does, right? So we leave the rooftop and head downstairs for mate and to start prepping for Sunday night service.
The next morning I get a message from my suegra (mother in law) saying the cats are gone!! My heart breaks and I ride my bike over to check out the rooftop. Sure enough, only the paint cans under the parrilla.
But I don’t give up!
I do question WHY?! We gave you food and water! A good shelter. Why would you want to leave that, stray rooftop cat?!
Marce feels no sympathy and responds with, problem solved.
I march back up to the roof and start searching while shaking a bowl of fresh food hoping she’ll pop up. Nada.
I look through the house thinking maybe she entered while the door was propped open. Nada!
And then as I’m back on the roof and wanting to find her oh so badly, I approach the wooden lawn chair Marce built years ago, lift the top and slowly but oh so excitedly start to close it as I see her feeding her four gatitos!!
I carefully go back in the house, not wanting to explode of joy in front of her and announce to Maria (the suegra) that I found them. We beam, take another quick peak and let them be.
The afternoon passes, we lunch on fish cakes and a small glass of Malbec and I had back up to the roof with my lists and get to work organizing the week and editing fish cake photos.
Then it happened.
I see the mother jump on the roof. I hadn’t even realized she had left! She goes to the lawn chair and pops back out 3 seconds later with one of the kittens in her mouth. She jumps higher and higher and vanishes to another rooftop before you know it.
I stood in shock. She’s not seriously moving them again?! I go to the chair, pull open the top and see 3 kittens remaining. I close the chair, go back to my lists completely unable to concentrate and bam she’s back.
Round 2. Another kitten in the mouth and she’s gone.
I had to go inside. I couldn’t bare anymore! Hours later I went up and opened the chair to find no kittens. No mama. Nadie. We even left her a can of tuna!
What a tease. A massive 24 hour kitten tease.
According to Marce when he was little and their cat had just given birth, the mom would change their ‘nests’ constantly around the house. Hopefully that’s this situation and they’ll be back.
We planned on putting flyers around the neighborhood in case the mom Siamese is someone’s pet cat and she just left to give birth. But now what? A sign of a picture of her and say, hey I saw this cat on my roof and she had four kittens but now she’s gone and I don’t know where to. Hope this helps!
Luckily the fish cakes came out good.
Fish Cakes ::
- 1/2 kilo fish filets, I used merluza but feel free to mix it up
- zest of one lemon
- fresh dill & chives (parsley or fresh cilantro would also work)
- Old Bay
- salt & pepper
- bread crumbs (or panko, optional)
- coconut oil
Rinse the fish under cold water, shake off access water and give them a rough chop. Season with salt & pepper and a sprinkle of Old Bay and place them in a food processor.
You want the fish to be cold so make sure you do it directly from the fridge.
Add zest, fresh herbs, salt & pepper and pulse a few times just til they come together.
Remove from processor and form fish mix into disks. With a half kilo of fish I formed 5 bigger disks. I dipped the outsides lightly in bread crumbs which helped achieve a nice golden color.
Heat a pan over medium heat, add a drizzle of coconut oil and cook on both sides, about 3-5 minutes depending on their size. Place on a wire rack or paper towel to slightly cool and remove access grease.
Give it a good lemon squeeze and serve immediately with hot sauce.
*Tips- When grinding/processing meat whether it’s fish, beef, pork, whatever, you always want the protein to be very cold. Not frozen, but cold.
I’ve served these guys a few different ways- with mixed greens and Creole remoulade sauce, pineapple + pico de gallo + avocado, and with roasted asparagus & lemon hollandaise. All came out great and they only take about 15 minutes from start to finish and are quite healthy.
Feel free to use salmon, cod, shrimp, crab, whichever is fresh and local. And if you don’t have a food processor just give them a good chop with a sharp knife.
Good luck and a few more cat pics just because!