Notes On Charlie ~ June 13

Mike’s hens are a’layin’, and a dozen eggs a day sounds lovely and convenient, until you think further and realize it means a dozen eggs one day and another dozen eggs the next day and… that’s eighty four eggs a week. Fortunately, eggs are a popular item around here.

Eli saunters in each morning and demands an egg. His meow is quite clear: “EGG! NOW! please??” Once he sees me heading to the fridge, he begins purring, and sits on command for me as I crack an egg into his little dish. Once I gave him three eggs in a row just to see if he could eat that many and he still wanted more.

Charlie does not demand eggs like Eli does, but when I bring them out, he gets so excited and immediately sits, then goes right into his “fancy sit,” which is like an extreme sit, back on one hip, which he does when he reeeeeallllly wants something. He also does it on command, and I am endlessly entertained by asking Charlie to “sit” and he sits, and then saying “fancy sit” and watching him rock back into the extreme sit. Cheap thrills around here.

Anyway, Charlie loves eggs, and like Eli, who knows how many he would eat if given the opportunity. The most he’s had is five in a row.  That seems a bit excessive, but he still was hoping for more. Other than that splurge, he gets two eggs.

Chloe didn’t dive into the raw egg breakfast bowl like Charlie did; she sniffed it and acted like she was interested, but didn’t like the consistency of raw egg white. She kept trying to only lick up the yolk, but that proved too difficult so she gave up and left her egg for Charlie. (This is why Charlie got five eggs in a row that time; he ate his and Chloe’s, twice). I wanted Chloe to enjoy an egg, so I cracked another in her bowl and whipped it up with a fork. THAT she loved.

The next day, when I cracked an egg into Charlie’s bowl and whipped an egg in Chloe’s, and set them both down, Charlie sniffed around his bowl, disinterested for the first time when an egg was involved, then sat and looked at me like, “stir mine, too, or I won’t eat it.” These animals are so spoiled.

Perhaps the cutest egg-related event is when I happen to be fixing eggs for Charlie and Chloe (fixing = breaking them into two bowls and whipping each with a fork) and one of the cats wanders in and wants some egg, too. When this happens, I just put Charlie’s bowl down, and the cat – whether it’s Eli or Mush or Rue – will sit and lap up the egg, slowly, in no rush, while Charlie looks on, deep in a fancy sit, waiting for The Alpha Cat to finish eating before he goes for whatever is left over.


one year ago: Amigos
two years ago: She Gets Him!
three years ago: Leader Of The Pack
four years ago: Behind A Tree
five years ago: Bug!

33 Responses to “Notes On Charlie ~ June 13”

  1. Patr Says:

    Aw, such a good boy…. I guess all those Eli slaps as a pup made a lasting impression……

  2. pam Says:

    Your life sounds like Heaven to me. & you know I am serious.

    To be away from the ‘rat race” of humanity, the office politics, the congestion, the never ending pace of “hury, hurry”.

    there would be like heaven to me.

    thanks for sharing these little tidbits.

  3. Dawn Says:

    What wonderful egg story!!! And I can’t agree more with Patr about the cats being alpha. HA

  4. Judy Ziegenhorn Says:

    I love it when you write little stories about your animals. I read your book. so much
    fun to read. Keep up the little stories.

  5. Debbie Says:

    This is the first time I’ve commented on your blog even though it’s on my home page and it’s the first thing I see when I open my browser. I love your stories about your animals. They are lucky creatures to have such a loving caretaker. Thanks for sharing them with the rest of us.

  6. Amy Says:

    I love hearing about how your animals interact. And I’m envious of their diet! It’s probably a safe bet that they eat better than 98% of America.

  7. Marg Says:

    Oh dear, Mike has all those eggs and now that you are into the fowls as well I can understand that it would get hard to know what to do with them. It’s kind of like Zucchini ! You can’t give away the extras! Our dear departed Bija was a fan of eggs too and if she was outside when I cracked one into the frying pan she would go into frenzied barking demanding to be let in. She would do the shuffling sit, always sitting but sliding her butt over to be face on with you so you would know that she was there and Hungry. I’d forgotten that about her so thanks for refreshing my memories with your wonderful memoir.

  8. Alexis Says:

    I had a cat who loved “eggie” — when she’d see me take the eggs out of the fridge, she’d sit up on her hind legs until I gave her some. She was a country cat — my suburban kitties, on the other hand, looked at me like I was crazy when I gave them a bowl of eggie.

  9. summerhorse Says:

    Our Molly definitely loves to hear that egg crack! Unlike you though we don’t have that many to share – we are an egg-loving family.

    Your stories are so real and down-to-earth. Thanks as always for sharing.

  10. Karen Says:

    Fancy Sit = priceless

  11. Sea Wolf Says:

    Eggselent story. Would very much like to see a picture of that fancy sit you speak of. You have eggs, you have a cow .. seems to me that this combination speaks loudly for baked custard. Even that divine creation called creme brulee. Custard can be cooked on the stovetop too. You decide the amount of sugar. You can even use honey. You and the fur kids .. and Mike, will probably love it. My custard batches take 18 eggs and about a gallon of milk. With whole milk straight from the cow I think it would be divine.

  12. mj Says:

    Love your word pictures!

  13. Taryn Says:

    My dogs love raw eggs but, whew, it causes them to have the worst sulfur farts! Room clearing for sure!

  14. Cynthia Says:

    Thanks for another moment of brightness in my day!

  15. Amy Says:

    Heyyy, there, Sea Wolf. Why don’t you come hang out at my house?

  16. Holly Dare Says:

    What a good little coyote you have there! So nice to his kittehs! I was awakened last night to the sound of coyotes killing a kitty in the canal behind my house…took me hours to get that sound out of my head and go back to sleep!

    I know you don’t do requests but…Charlie’s fans really need a pic of “fancy sit!”

    And Sea Wolf is onto something… homemade egg custard pie is to die for! My mom always used at least a dozen eggs in her ice cream…

  17. Maggie Says:

    I love love love you sharing these anecdotes of life with the farmily. If you could capture Charlie in his fancy sit on film, that would be awesome. Neither of my pups do that, but Winnie will sit up like a totem pole, and Grace just puts her ears forward and puts on a cute face when she wants something. Very endearing. Jonah definitely has communicative meows, too. And I can tell him things in a conversational tone, not commands, and he gets it. Animals are amazing!

  18. Amy Says:

    For all those asking for a photo of the fancy sit:

  19. SEMcc Says:

    I loved this story! It was so evocative I can just imagine them all doin their egg things. Thanks for making my day :)

  20. Juli Says:

    Would love love love to see a photo of Charlie’s “regular sit” versus his “fancy sit.” What a cute story!

  21. stacy Says:

    That is so cute. My cat will eat only yolks, warmed, thank you very much!

  22. Felyne Says:

    Just for shites and giggles give Chloe and Charlie a whole unbroken egg and watch them carry it around. I would do that with our dog, give him an egg and watch him carry it around in his mouth without breaking it. You wouldn’t think they could be so careful.

    The cats coats will be super high gloss now.

  23. Holly Says:

    I just love all of your family stories…this one in particular, as my Golden, Caesar, loved an egg in with his raw vegies…to him this was the greatest treat a dog could get….Thank you Shreve, it brings pictures to mind the way you describe them…love them all….And Felyne is right, so good for their coats…

  24. mlaiuppa Says:

    Reading your words I can “see” them. How very amusing.

    Regular sit and fancy sit, huh? I knew Charley was probably smarter than a dog but I wondered how many dog like traits he had picked up. And demanding a scrambled egg after Chloe gets one? How funny.

    I know Charlie defers to Eli as an alpha, but he defers to all of the cats?

    Even with all of them getting daily eggs that can only account for maybe a dozen.

    I agree with the egg custard. If I had dozens of eggs, I would be making plenty of creme brulee. Omelettes, souffles, hard cooked eggs would be added to lots of things. One of my favorites is to poach an egg in red sauce for spaghetti when I have no meatballs. Then there is spinach feta quiche.

    You can take a bath in the extra milk. What about the eggs? Facial scrub? Hair conditioner?

  25. Jenny C Says:

    Lovely story – was right there with you, crackin’ the eggs and scrambling them w/a fork, first for Chloe, then Charlie-I-want-mine-that-way-too. Too dear that he lets the cats take their sweet time while slurpin’ eggs and doesn’t nose his way in. Does he get an extra egg for being so patient? :)

  26. TomT Says:

    This story was so surprising. I never would have guessed stuff like this was going on at the farm. A coyote sitting for raw eggs? Defferring to a cat who he believes is the alpha in his pack?? Actually I knew about that but to see it happen would be incredible. Personally, I would love some video of this breakfast time with the Farmily! :)

  27. Kristan Says:

    Like everyone else, I adore these updates/stories. Thank you for sharing them! And for some reason, I never thought about cats/dogs/coyotes liking eggs. Are eggs good for them? I wonder if I could/should give my dog some eggs…

  28. hello haha harf Says:

    my dogs would do anything for raw eggs, but for some reason i never thought about giving an egg to a cat. then again, i never thought of *not* scrambling before setting down the bowl. my mind is kind of blown on several levels here. so thanks for that. and i’m going for coffee now!

  29. Stacey B. Says:

    Wish I could send you some of our eggs….

  30. Roxie Says:

    I’ll add to Sea Wolf & others’ rec to make crème brûlée. Try infusing the milk with lavender, as they do here in SF at the Crème Brûlée Cart (an amazing food truck operation). Saw a rerun of Jacques Pepin & Julia Child making souffles the other night. They used a boatload of eggs, milk, and cream. You can do a cheese version in a gratin dish so you don’t have to worry about making a ‘collar’ to get it to rise super high, although that version looks impressive. That J&J episode is free on hulu. Bon appetit!

  31. Lisa Says:

    Might want to check with a vet about the critters eating all those raw eggs.

    This site —

    says there is “the presence of the naturally occurring protein avidin in raw egg whites. Occasional consumption is not an issue, but excess avidin interferes with the functioning of biotin in the body. Biotin, more commonly known as vitamin H or B7, is essential for the growth of cells, metabolism of fat, and transference of carbon dioxide, amongst other functions.”

    The problem is nullified by cooking the egg. A vet should know how many raw eggs a day or week is safe.

  32. Nova Says:

    I remember when shortly after this blog first started, some knob insisted that Charlie would kill Eli.

    I wonder what he would think of this latest story!

  33. Julie Says:

    Fancy sit video please!

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