Oliver, the Bread ThiefNovember 18, 2009
Posted by DaddyBird
The other day, while out and about in our area of town, Deira, I passed a small bakery. This was an old style bakery that produces large flatbreads, the bakers sitting on top of the tile-covered oven that took up the front room of the bakery and reaching down into the oven through a round hole in the top to place the pads of dough and remove the finished pieces of bread. You can buy large rounds of bread that have literally come ‘straight out of the oven’ right there from the bakers for 1 dirham each. They smell and taste wonderful, of course. (There are few of these bakeries around. I’ll try to do a blog post about them soon.)
I bought several pieces and headed home to include them in that night’s dinner. They were so hot that I thought that they might melt the plastic bag that they were put in before they were handed to me. Even after walking the several blocks back to our apartment the bread was still very warm and fragrant. I set it on the counter while I quickly cooked some mildly spiced chicken to pair with it.
Our cats, Oliver and Bert, lingered in the kitchen while I worked, which was not at all unusual. They like to be close and watch what I’m up to most of the time anyway, but food preparation is even more interesting than average, of course, especially when chicken is involved. So their intense interest in the process was no surprise. A surprise was still in store for me though.
I had turned away from my task for a few moment to do something else, when there was a noise from the cooking area. This wasn’t overly unusual either, as the cats- Oliver in particular- will sometimes try go where they are not allowed if left unsupervised. I turned back just in time to see Oliver making his escape, not with a piece of chicken, but with a whole flatbread dangling from his mouth. He had managed to grab it in the middle so it folded in half, which was lucky for him as it would otherwise have been to large for him to not end up stepping on as he retreated.
He bolted into the other room and promptly dropped the bread on the floor and started tearing off little pieces of it to eat. And to play with as well, of course. Children may be told not to play with their food, but there’s certainly no telling that to a cat with any result. I’m sure that food must taste better to a cat after it’s been properly subdued.
The bread was a bit too soiled by this point to consider repossessing, and the incident was so humorous that I thought Oliver deserved his ill-gotten gain, so I left it to him. Bert seemed to be enjoying it as well, so it was bread for the whole family that night. It was much too large for a cat, or even two, to eat all of, so it remained on object of both play and snacking for the rest of the evening. Later on I got some video of this, which is cute enough to share.
So, even Oliver agrees: that is some great bread!