The Day Mikki Had Gone Lost

Sketch (9/6)

This week, I neither had the time to post my writing nor my illustrations.

So here is a follow-up of Tuesday’s sketch and writing:

Finding Mikki
Finding Mikki

 

 


The Day Mikki Was Lost (31-day writing challenge 7/31) (1186/500)

We once lived in a four-family building.

I was good friends with the neighbour’s children and we used to play on the backside of the building’s premises. Mikki would sit on the kitchen balcony and observe us play.

‘Mikki,’ I would call her sometimes, ‘all well up there?’ and she’d meow in response. Not sure if that represented a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’. I guess it was closer to a ‘no’ when soon after she’d walk along the narrow copper ledge that connected the balcony with the roof terrasse to chase birds instead of us.

It made me nervous watching her balance along the ledge and she did fall a couple of times. Luckily, we were always around to witness her fall and able to attend to her immediately. Apart from a few scratches she always remained unharmed as she usually would fall on the side of the grass patch below.

One late November, I came home from school looking for her. After searching indoors without success, I went to search on the kitchen balcony. When she was not there, I looked through my bedroom window that was facing the rooftop terrasse. With no luck there either, I went to the side of the living room and the living room balcony, as she sometimes would wait in front of this balcony door to be let back in.

I started to get a bit nervous. I went to my neighbours and asked if she possibly entered through their balcony door (Mikki had free access to both our balconies). Unfortunately, they hadn’t seen her, either.

At this point I was more than worried, I was terrified suspecting that she could have fallen off the roof.

I went upstairs to the old lady living above us. She remembered seeing a cat downstairs at the main entrance but shooed her away as she did not recognise her to be Mikki! ‘Oh no’, I thought to myself, ‘what a tragedy!’ I immediately went to search for her around the building premises. Nothing, no trace of Mikki.

I was devastated. Once my parents got home from work, I sobbed and told them what happened. Everybody of the building was alarmed and we all went searching for her in. But Mikki was nowhere to be found.

Back in my room, I felt empty. I could feel that the tiny little space she usually claimed for herself now left a giant void of nothingness. I was heartbroken, crushed, and concerned about Mikki’s wellbeing.

She was not used to being outside like this. She also had no idea of the dangers of busy streets and we lived on the main road of this small town. This street was often busy during peak hours with many trucks as it leads to the freeway. I hoped Mikki would have gone up the hill in direction of the fields and not down the hill across the busy main road in direction of the freeway!

The next day, my dad suggested we write a small column for the newspaper that our cat had gone missing. We lived in a really small town of about 6000 people, so placing an add in the local newspaper was not a big deal.

I did my part and wrote pamphlets with a description of Mikki and where and when she went missing and stuck them wherever I could. I also informed friends and teachers at school.

Days went by, still no Mikki. It was already mid-December and I was drowning in sadness wondering if she was ok. When some folks came up with the rumour she might have been caught to end up as a Christmas meal (how bizarre is that!?) terrified me.

Shortly before Christmas, our phone rang. ‘Good evening,’ the lady on the phone said, ‘I read your newspaper add about the missing cat and wondered if Mikki was still missing because I happened to have seen a cat that fits your description.’ My parents and I immediately jumped into the car and drove to the area Mikki may have been sighted. But it was getting quickly dark and we didn’t spot a cat.

We called the search off. ‘Thank you for your help,’ my dad said, ‘and please do let us know if you see this cat again.’ Disappointed we got back in the car and headed home.

Christmas came and passed. It was a sad one.

On December 31st we received another phone call. This time it was a different woman who lived in the opposite direction of the first suspected sighting. This made us very doubtful that it could be Mikki but we wanted to stay positive.

‘You two go check. I cannot come along as I don’t think I can handle the pressure of another possible disappointment.’ my mum said.

With hope in our hearts, my dad and I jumped into the car and drove to this lady’s home.

Upon arrival, two small dogs barked at us in excitement as we entered the apartment.

‘For some days, I’ve been observing this cat in the neighbourhood’, the lady said, ‘this one looked too skinny and dirty to be accustomed to outdoor life. She also seemed hungry and frightened. So I took her in. My neighbour remembered your newspaper add and kept it in case she would spot the cat.’ she continued. ‘Follow me, I brought the cat into the guest room and closed the door so she is not stressed about my two dogs. As you can see, they are very curious and lively!’ the woman added and laughed as she led us down the hallway. The dogs jumped along.

‘Here’s the room’, she said and opened the door in a way the dogs could not slip in, ‘you can go in and see if this cat is Mikki.’

I entered into a long narrow room. There was a cupboard to my right and a single bed to my left. At the end of the room was a window. But no cat in sight. ‘She might be hiding under the bed’, the woman told me, ‘feel free to check.’ she encouraged me.

‘Mikkiiiiii!’ I exclaimed the moment my head touched the floor. Mikki came charging right at me and she practically jumped into my arms (a thing she never did, she hated to be carried). I stood up with Mikki in my arms. I was overjoyed!

I always wonder what Mikki must have experienced in those five weeks on her own. I hoped she had some good experiences. But the condition we found in her gave evidence that Mikki certainly had a rough time. Her teeth were broken, her fur was not white but yellow with car oil stains and she was only fur and bones.

Of course, we nicely pampered her and after a couple of weeks of rejuvenation, Mikki was quite the usual grumpy pants we knew and loved.

Advent Day 21: It’s Snowing!

Well, there is still no snow outside.

But, because today marks the Equinox and with it the first day of Winter in the Northern Hemisphere, I felt today’s Advent illustration needed to be a snow themed one.

It's Snowing
It’s Snowing!

Hope you’re enjoying the Advent season to its fullest!


Happy 1st day of Winter and 21st day of Advent!


Advent Day 15: The Cosy Corner

The Cosy Corner
The Cosy Corner

 

Days are terribly short and the fog has not lifted today for even a bit.

It’s just cold and misty during daylight hours until night falls again.

And night returns very quickly.

So, here is a dash of colour and illustrative noise for the 15th day of Advent to jolt myself out of the dull grey winter blues.

 


Good night to all, and to all a good night!


Advent Day 14: Going Sledding

Because there is no snow in sight, I’ve decided to capture some virtual snowfall in today’s illustration for the 14th day of Advent.

Going Sledding
Going Sledding: ‘Com’on Archie, let’s climb that hill!’ And Archie began to worry.

 


Love, light and joy to all!


Advent Day 12: Mrs Santa’s Chocolate Cake Recipe

I was so tired last night when I posted this, that I forgot to add a few details like pictures of the cake itself!

You’ll see, it’s pretty much what Mrs. Santa is holding in her hands in this illustration.

Mrs Santa's easy-bake, gluten-free, vegan Chocolate Cake recipe
Mrs Santa’s easy-bake, gluten-free, vegan Chocolate Cake recipe

 

Simple Gluten-Free, Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe

PREPARATION TIME: 40-45 min (excluding cooling off the cake)

What you’ll need:

TOOLS

a large bowl that is comfortable to whisk in

a whisk

a cake form
(I use a 28 cm round cake form, but it can easily be smaller, square, heart-shaped, little cupcake forms, etc. you can let your imagination run wild)

INGREDIENTS FOR THE CAKE

Dry ingredients 

11/2 cups or 120 grams gluten free flour

1/4 cups or 20 grams raw cocoa powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp finely grained Himalayan salt

1/2 cup or 100-110 grams raw cane sugar

(while typing down this recipe, I had a thought: as the Christmas season is upon us, you might also like to try adding some spice to the dry ingredients like 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder [haven’t tried this yet], or 1/2 tsp of cardamom powder, or ginger powder might also be an interesting taste variation)

Wet ingredients 

1 tsp bourbon vanilla extract

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

6 tbsp coconut oil

1cup or 235 ml of water

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 190° Celsius

Put the above mentioned dry ingredients in a bowl and stir with a whisk.

Now add all the wet ingredients – except for the water – and whisk it so you get a bit of a smooth wet center in the bowl.

Then, slowly add the water while whisking the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients starting from the center.

The dough should turn soft and gluey.

Sometimes this happens before the cup of water is empty (at around 220 ml); this is when I stop adding water.

Now, whisk just long enough for the dough to have an even consistency.

As it is gluten-free flour, it will not rise as you may be used to with other types of flour and beating it will not make the difference.

Oil the cake form bottom and sides, then add the cake dough.

Put it in the oven and wait for 35 minutes.

That’s it. Done!

 

VARIATIONS on how you can prepare the cake to serve

 

easybakeglutenfreechocolatecake
Easy-bake, gluten-free, chocolate cake and its serving variations.

 

THE SIMPLE ONE

You can treat a piece of this cake like a croissant.

This is also why I call this cake a ‘Chocolate Flat Bread’.

It can be simply enjoyed like a slice of toast or a croissant adding your favourite jam  on top (I personally love cherry jam combined with the chocolate flavour of this cake).

If you really looove chocolate, you can also use a vegan cocoa butter spread – it gives the cake some extra creamy moisture. However, for some, it might just be a chocolate flavour overkill.

 

THE ONE WITH THE POWDERED SUGAR TOPPING

This variation is nice for decorating the cake.

I like to make heart or flower cut-outs, which I add before I sprinkle the powdered sugar on the cake to create a nice pattern.

You can enjoy this powdered topping cake plain or with jam as in ‘The Simple One’.

 

THE ONE FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS

On some occasions, you might want the cake to look a little fancier. But due to time constraints, you may still desire a fairly simple cake. Here is what I do:

For the double/triple layer cake, I bake two cakes.

I add a thin layer of jam or icing of choice on the upper side of the bottom cake layer.

Then, I add the second cake layer on top. That’s it!

You can now add powdered sugar as in the above variation or an icing of choice as a topping.

 

ICING suggestions

80 grams of cocoa butter 100 grams or more (depending on your sweet tooth)

raw powdered cane sugar

Making the icing

Melt the cocoa butter in a bain marie and let it cool off to a creamier state.

Slowly keep adding the powdered sugar and stir it into the cocoa butter (I use a hand blender for this, but it is not really necessary).

Keep adding the powdered sugar until you reach the desired sweetness and consistency.

Variations of the icing flavour

Add 1 banana to the icing mix (add a bit of blueberry or raspberry or beetroot juice for a nicer colour) or

Add a bit of lemon/lime

Enjoy

***

As I never mix dairy with chocolate (for Ayurvedic food combining principle reasons), all my chocolate creations are vegan.

That is why my icing suggestions for this cake will also always be vegan. 

All produce I use for this cake are organic.

***


Bon apétit and happy 12th day of Advent!


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Advent Day 11: One with the Sea

For the 11th day of the Advent: I am One with the Sea.

I am One with the Sea
I am One with the Sea: made with Photoshop using Kyle T. Webster brushes

My muses are still on strike.

So, I thought I’d use this opportunity to finish off the unfinished.

I decided to complete the SeaBlue #colour_collective illustration from two weeks back for today’s Advent day 11.

With the Advent season upon us, I’ve been postponing the final touches to it and focused more on Winter and Christmas themed illustrations.

But, I am glad I completed this one now.

Working may way through the lines, hair and waves was a such a meditative process.

Quite the contrary to how I felt after yesterday’s illustration, which left me with stiff shoulders, a stiff neck and an everything but satisfied me.

But after working on ‘I am One with the Sea’, I feel relaxed, at peace and ready to welcome the new week.

Just the right way to end what was a pretty task filled week.

Well, that and a cup of Tulsi Tea! Cheers!

For tomorrow, I am planning on sharing my most simple ever version of a gluten-free, vegan Chocolate Cake recipe, or as I also call it gluten-free, vegan Chocolate Flat Bread. It is so simple (even kids can bake this one) and it is a delicious sweet snack for in between meals. If you love Chocolcate, than stay on the look-out for tomorrow’s Advent day 12 post.

 


Hope you had or are still having a lovely weekend.

And, wishing you all a great week ahead!


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Advent Day 10: Decorating the Christmas tree

Decorating the Christmas tree
Decorating the Christmas tree

I think the upcoming Supermoon is getting the best of me. Or all my muses went on holidays without notice.

I’ve been experimenting around on my Wacom in Photoshop trying to come up with THE idea for today’s advent illustration.

You know, ‘THE’ idea. The little masterpiece of masterpieces.

But regardless how much I dug into the creative soup of my inner something, I remained utterly uninspired.

Not even experimenting with various Photoshop tools helped… so, I’m calling it a day and share with you ‘that’ what ‘happened’.

I do not feel ‘that’ it was worth the stiff neck and aching shoulders.

But, it is what it is and, as the French would say: c’est la vie.

I’m off to do some relaxing yoga postures and then straight to bed, tomorrow is another day.


Namaste, Aloha, So Much Love