Hemingway's six-toed cats

Apparently there has been quite a furor over whether Hemingway's former home in Florida should be allowed to keep the clan of cats (50+) descended from the author's original six-toed feline companion, Snowball, without a special "animal exhibit" licence. This Guardian article explains it in more detail.

In other news, I am in the midst of the short but remarkably dense (in amount of poetic power per page, not mental acuity) Sleepless Nights by Elizabeth Hardwick, for the Slaves of Golconda (I swear I will actually get around to reviewing this one, unlike Lady Susan! That is why I am giving myself a huge head-start before the deadline.). I am also reading the lengthy but immensely entertaining - if somewhat unsettling in its ability to predict and stereotype human behavior - Watching the English, an anthropological approach to the oddities of English social interactions. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter has had to go on hold after a stunning first chapter until I am done with Sleepless Nights.

Filmwise, D and I just saw the immensely (off-puttingly) odd and diffuse Paprika this weekend, and I must get around to reviewing it one of these days, along with a few other films that have been stacking up. I am in the middle of High Society, which is proving quite grim by comparison to The Philadelphia Story, its original. It does, however, have the distinction (once I finish it, that is) of being the first movie I will have watched in purely digital form (via Netflix's "Watch Now" service). The Burmese Harp and (I brace myself) United 93 both sit in their little red envelopes on top of the TV, telling me they must be attended to.

And then, of course, there is work....

Oh, and I almost forgot! D and I threw a wee dinner party (on our Ikea folding bamboo chairs - instruments of torture disguised as patio furniture, and being used as dining room accoutrements) last night, and it was pride-inducingly tasty! I made my a dish which has recently entered my repertoire (we call it Carol's Summer Soup, after the family friend who gave it to us - it is a cold, gazpachoesque tomato soup with avocado, shrimp, cilantro, cucumber and jalapeno), an old favorite (goat cheese lasagne), and a venture into completely new territory (red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting). The latter was my first attempt at making an entire cake (frosting included) from scratch, and it was fantastically time consuming and fantastically delicious. The recipe came from a cookbook which is winging its way from Amazon to me as we speak - the Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook, winner of this year James Beard award for best cookbook. I can't wait (and how often do I feel this kind of enthusiasm for cooking, really?) to try something else from it.