Thursday, September 8, 2016

This Badger is moving!

That's right -- after almost 7 years of Blogspot hosting, I finally got around to making a proper website to chronicle my badger adventures.

See you there.

-- Chris

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Food fight

Winter is arguably over, but it is still cold. And Jesse isn't making things any easier.

Let me start from the beginning.

Ever since he developed a taste for high-end deli products a few months ago, I've had to spend a lot more on imported cheeses. Jarlsberg is expensive as it is, but soon he was burning through a pack a day. My budget was left in tatters, reminiscent of most of my clothing.

And as Jesse has grown larger and even more in charge, so has his appetite.

Contents of the butter dish. Bunches of bananas. Entire loaves of bread. I had to completely reorganize the cupboards to give myself more protected food-preparation space, but even then, he learned to muscle his way in, propelling himself to the counter and beyond with his powerful badger legs. Food preparation became, first and foremost, a painful exercise in self-defence, and eventually I grew to avoid it.

As a result, the last few months have been pretty lean.

I realized I had a problem when I started passing out even when I wasn't openly bleeding. Once, I woke up on the kitchen floor to discover Jesse had raided the dry goods cupboard, and was happily snuffling down a package of nutritional yeast. I couldn't blame him. That stuff is delicious.

But something had to be done.

I tried spiking the bread with appetite suppressants, but he just ate around them. I tried buying groceries I knew he wouldn't want, like bok choy, but I hate it too, so it withered in the crisper. In my desperation, I even left the front door open for him to leave my life, once and for all, but he chose to stay, knowing that, soon enough, I'd attempt another lasagna. And with my savings decimated, I couldn't afford the restaurants nearby, not for three meals a day.

Luckily, a type of nutritional slurry appears to have been invented just for me! It's cost-effective, takes no preparation, and this badger has a hell of a time wrestling it away from my hands, even though he tries mercilessly.

Maybe this summer I can get Jesse back to eating livers and giblets, and I can reclaim the kitchen for myself. But until then, I'm done with food.

Though I may still sneak the occasional Jarlsberg slice from Jesse's dinners.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Counter Attacks

It is winter again.

The city hasn't gotten destroyed by snow yet, like last year, but the cold gets in my bones, and I find myself washing dishes recreationally just to soak in the hot water.  Jesse, too, is feeling it, and is spending a lot of time making nests out of my clothes. With sweaters now just a temporary concept, I find myself, on these icy evenings, fondly remembering days of warmth gone by.

This past summer was particularly enjoyable. Although I didn't get out paragliding, I kept busy; I managed to leave the apartment a few times a week, actually finished a book I'd been working on, and together Jesse and I beat the heat with shaved ice, his drizzled with cow blood.

Over those happy months, however, Jesse's palate became a lot more refined. It all started one Sunday morning. While preparing an ambitious brunch for Summer Friends, I failed to properly guard the food, and Jesse helped himself to twenty-five dollars worth of lox. Since then, he's been on the hunt for more delicacies -- goat's cheese, baklava, the prosciutto I bought to celebrate the completion of my book's digital distribution system.  This animal is insatiable for quality; it seems that nothing less than a shrimp ring will satisfy his appetites now. Last time I offered him kidney, I got a claw dangerously close to the jugular.

As such, he's been getting up on the counter a lot.

While previous attempts to set boundaries for this badger have proven fruitless, I knew I had to draw a hard line here. The counter should be, after all, a haven of food safety, and if I allow filthy badger paws near the place where I prepare stews, it'd only be a matter of time before there's fur in the borscht.

So the next time I saw him climbing up the drawer handles, I took a deep breath.

"Off the counter, Jesse," I said, and by the twitch of his ear, I could tell that, even without formal language training, he knew what I meant.

"Off," I repeated, pointing to the floor. Jesse snarled.  Not one to back down in my own kitchen, I approached the simmering badger, prepared to enforce the rule with firm yet gentle authority.

Altitude, however, was in his favour, and Jesse launched himself from the counter. Without a sweater for protection, I proved a soft target, and he stuck to my ribs better than the stew I'd made with the beefheart he hadn't wanted.

I think I went into shock? Everything got a whole lot colder, anyway. Luckily, a Winter Friend dropped by with a delivery of sweaters, and got me all patched up. And some of the sweaters even had hoods, at least for a few days.

Jesse is allowed on the counter now. He also gets a wedge of Camembert at breakfast.