Barking Kitten

Fiction, musings on literature, food writing, and the occasional Friday cat blog. For lovers of serious literature, cooking, and eating.


Close to forty. Not cool. Politically left. Atheist. Happily married. No kids.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Update (Still Alive)

Hockeyman here - Barking Kitten, aka Diane Leach, can be found primarily at Popmatters. Her fiction is also available for download or order here.

Be sure to check out Popmatters main page also - lotsa neat stuff there.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


After much agonizing, I have decided to take a hiatus from blogging. Not that I don't love it. I do. But like most bloggers, I have a necessary day job that leaves little time for writing. And I want to give fiction one more shot before declaring myself a failed novelist.

Thank you for reading. With all luck, I'll be back soon.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Fear of dessert

In "Waiting for Dessert," Laurie Colwin writes: "It often seems that the world divides (evenly or unevenly) into those who are waiting for dessert and those who have to produce it." (119)

To which I would add: and those able to produce it.

Nigella, Tamasin, Julia, and Alice aside, few are the lay cooks able to move from pie to pork chop with equal dexterity. Many of the cooks I know shun dessert preparation; there's all that measuring and weighing and careful stirring lest the egg white collapse or the cream overbeat. Then the confection goes into the oven, and you, the baker, may only peer through inadequate stove window, hoping for the best. No opening the oven to eyeball your creation--maintaining temperature is critical in baking--no quick taste to determine salt level. No checking for doneness: real bakers use oven timers. As for the toothpick test, I can tell you that a steaming hot cake, moments from the oven, will produce a clean tester. Cool that same cake, and an hour later you might end up with something akin to Play-Doh.

This has happened to me many, many times. Either my oven is hopelessly off or I just can't get the hang of cakes. Further, baking requires a great deal of equipment: pans of specific sizes and/or shapes, scales, a flour sifter. Serious bakers invest in cooling racks and those little turntables that permit smooth frosting action. Oh, and then there's pastry bags and tips, cookie cutters, and molds. Marble slabs for pastry, offset spatulas, mixers. A kitchen large enough to hold all this gear is helpful.

I can bake quick breads, muffins, some cookies, and really good brownies. But cakes, pies, confections, or anything calling for egg whites are out. Egg whites scare me.

Fortunately, I am married to a man who is largely indifferent to sweets. Hockeyman likes pies and doughnuts, but not on a regular basis. I doubt I will ever muster the courage to prepare a pie crust, and I take a firm stand against deep frying anything in my kitchen. Combine boiling oil with Barking Kitten and your only result will be a Darwin award.

I know two people able to move from mixer to oven with equal skill. Both are trained pastry chefs whose interests shifted toward the savory. More personally, my grandmother, a fantastic cook (at her funeral, all people were able to talk about was her food), was a talented baker who once prepared a yeasted coffee cake dough before taking a nap. When she woke, the dough had overflowed the bowl and was making its way down the hall. By the time I came along, butterhorns and coffeecakes had given way to poppy seed cookies and a chocolate cake with a confectioner's sugar glaze. I have no idea how she made that cake or what went into it, apart from lots of chocolate. One snowy Saturday afternoon when I was seven, we went to visit my grandparents. My grandmother had baked us the cake (that's what we called it: "the cake") to take home. Carefully snugged into wax paper and tinfoil, it had an alluring heft.

"Don't fall on the ice," My grandmother warned.

I promised I would not, made it down the steps and nearly to the car before going flying. In an act of preservation, I stuck cake out in front of me. It landed in the snow. So did I. I looked up to the second floor window, hoping against hope my gaffe had gone uneen. But there in the window stood my grandmother.

The cake was in pieces. This did not stop my family from scarfing it as usual.


I had a friend in college who was an amazingly talented cook. I learned a lot from Cecilia (not her real name): how to make risotto, the uses of lemons and garlic, the absolute need for olive oil, which I first tasted in her home. She lent me Mollie Katzen's The Enchanted Broccoli Forest and shared her subscription to Gourmet. She once decided to make some sandwiches that appeared on the magazine's cover. Without benefit of a food stylist, photo studio, or perfect ingredients, she made the recipe look exactly like the cover shot. I begged her to open a restaurant, offering my services as kitchen slave. "We'll make a fortune!" I cried.

But Cecilia only shrugged. She wanted to get married and have babies. In short order, she did.

I hope she doesn't bake her babies their birthday cakes, for wonderful as her pasta en brodo was, her desserts were inedible. Cecilia loved salty desserts, and always increased the salt in dessert recipes. The bottoms of her chocolate-chip cookes glistened with salt crystals; I remember a fruit pie so awful that I brought it to my campus job, reasoning that starving students would eat anything. They wouldn't.

Granted, Cecilia is an extreme example. I do not oversalt my cookies and have the good sense not to bake cakes. But once in a while, I attempt dessert.


A few weeks ago we invited friends to dinner. They were entrusted with dessert. A tasty chocolate mousse was presented. It was dense, incredibly rich, and a bit chalky. My friend had used the wrong kind of chocolate--I forget which--dark when it was supposed to be milk, I think. I felt the textural issue was minor: the mousses tasted deeply and compellingly of chocolate, which goes a long way in my book.


As Laurie Colwin once said about dinner parties, when you invite people over, they invite you back, and pretty soon what you have is called social life. So it was these friends invited us to dinner last night. This time I was the bringer of dessert. I drove to Andronico's and bought a lovely mixed berry pie. I carried it upstairs, in a hurry, as usual, carrying too much, as usual, and my inner-seven-year old emerged. There being no ice in my kitchen, I did not fall, but the pie did.

After some choice words I inspected the damage. The packaging was intact; a bit of the pie's crimped edge leaked a pretty purple juice, proof, I reasoned, that this was a berry pie. I tucked it into the fridge. This was Wednesday. On Thursday, one of my neighbors appeared with two pints of strawberries. She was going on vacation. Would I please take them?

I cleaned the berries, froze them, then leafed through a few cookbooks. I landed on Mollie Katzen's fresh Strawberry Mousse, from Enchanted. I thought this might be nice to bring with the slightly dented pie.

Provided you have a mixer, a food processor, and time, strawberry mousse is easy to make. Somehow, though, I decided to begin preparations at five p.m. yesterday. Dinner was at seven. What was I thinking? I don't know. I wasn't thinking. Prep--cooking down the berries, stirring together cornstarch, sugar, and fresh lemon juice, combining this with the berries--was simple. So is chilling, when you have four hours. One is then supposed to fold the berry mix into the whipped cream and serve.

Whipped cream is a fragile substance akin to a soufflé: both are all about air. Left to its own devices, whipped cream tends to weep, demanding renewed whisking. It does not take well to being folded with a warmish fruit mixture, then being put into a car for a drive. In fact, both actions cause air loss. Never mind. I spooned the "mousse" into a chilled bowl, wrapped it in ice packs, and stuffed it into a bag.


The result was very pink and overly sweet, with a consistency resembling yogurt. Hockeyman and our friends said it tasted fine; they spooned it over the pie, which even I couldn't destroy, and lapped it all up. We agreed that a true mousse is somewhere between the chalky chocolate and strawberry soup. I leave it to the experts.


Some desserts even I can make:

Berry Clafouti
This recipe comes from a cooking class I took years ago. The teacher did not say where the recipe came from.

1/2 cup milk (low fat, part skim, or full are all fine)
1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese (I use full fat)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar (I use a scant 1/2 cup to good effect; consider the sweetness of your berries)
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp vanilla extract (my vanilla is a bean soaking in a bottle of brandy, and I'm generous with my teaspoon)
2 cups or approximately 12 ounces of berries, fresh or frozen.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Combine milk, ricotta, eggs, sugar, flour, and vanilla. The recipe calls for a mixer, but you can do this easily with a whisk.
Mix or whisk until you have a smooth batter.

Using an ovenproof 8-10 inch pie dish, spread the berries evenly over the bottom. Pour the batter over.

Bake about thirty minutes. The clafoutis will appear puffed and golden brown.

Note: having no pie plate, I use a pyrex baking dish with great results.

Chocolate Raspberry Bars
From Gourmet Magazine.

6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
12 tablespoons (1 and a half sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
4 eggs
2 cups sugar (I use a scant two cups)
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350 dgrees.
Line a 13x9 inch baking pan with foil. Butter the foil.

Combine chocolate, butter, and jam in a medium saucepan. Stir contantly over low heat until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.

Whisk eggs in a large bowl until foamy. Add sugar, vanilla, and salt. Whisk to incorporate. Stir in chocolate mixture. Add flour, mixing just to incorporate. Don't overmix.

Spread the batter in pan. Bake thirty minutes, until springy to touch. Tester will not come out clean.

Note: again, I use a Pyrex baking dish. It's 13x9 inches and does the job beautifully.

This recipe comes with a topping calling for whipping cream, raspberries, butter, and chocolate. The brownies themselves are rich and velvety; the jam adds a subtle fruit note and a unctuous texture. I think the topping would push this dessert into the inedibly rich zone.

Alice Waters' Lemon Clove Cookies
From The Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook.

1/2 pound unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 tablespoon lemon zest
pinch salt
2 and 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, or to taste (I've gone up to 1/2 tsp, but be careful--clove can overwhelm the lemon)

Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer at medium speed. Add vanilla, egg, and lemon zest. Change to low speed, gradually adding the salt, flour, and cloves.

The dough will be soft. Divide it into two pieces, rolling each into a cylinder. Wrap cylinders in plastic wrap, then foil. Chill 2-12 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove wrapping from dough. Slice into 1/4 inch thick rounds. Place them on a cookie sheet and bake 8-10 minutes.

Notes: If Meyer lemons are available in your area, use them.
I freeze the dough, making it easier to work with. I also line the baking sheet with baking parchment.

These cookies freeze well if you actually have any left over.


Laurie Colwin: More Home Cooking: "Waiting for Dessert." New York, Harper Perennial, 1995. 119.

Alice Waters: The Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook. New York: Random House, 1982. 79.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

We are only interested in the upheavals

The above quote belongs to writer Irène Némirovsky. In its entirety:

"Contrary to what is believed, what is general passes, the whole remains, collective destiny is shorter than the destiny of the simple individual (that's not exactly right. It's a different timescale: we are only interested in the upheavals; the upheavals, either they kill us, or we last longer than them)." (Suite Française, 355)

As we know, the upheavals killed Némirovsky, her husband, and numerous family members; this comes to English readers courtesy of Suite Française, a book translated from the French in 2006. The remarkable story of the manuscript, what it documents, and its singular quality shot it to fame, leading to translations of other works: Fire in the Blood will appear next month, while David Golder, The Ball, Snow in Autumn, and The Courilof Affair will be published in January 2008. These novels, with their caricatures of Jews, are certain to cause to a stir.

Amid all the Némirovsky hoopla, Professor Jonathan Weiss has penned a small, brief critical biography. At 173 pages, Irène Némirovksy: her life and works is less an examination of the individual life than of her struggle to reconcile her Jewishness with an acquired French Catholic identity. To this end, Weiss, a Professor of French at Colby College, examined Némirovsky's works carefully, arriving at some forgiving conclusions.

Irène Némirovsky was born to wealthy Russian Jewish parents. Her mother, Fanny, was a beauty interested in jewels and young lovers; when her orphaned granddaughters appeared on her doorstep after the war, she slammed the door in their faces. Léon Némirovsky was a banker. Their only child was raised with governesses, a private education, and seaside vacations. French was spoken in the home; when the Revolution forced them to flee to Paris, Irène was overjoyed, and rapidly threw herself into wealthy French social life, a milieu that largely excluded Jews. The Némirovsky family was not religious; indeed, they shunned their brethren. Despite this, Némirovsky married a Russian Jew, banker Michel Epstein. At age 26, Némirovsky published David Golder, a sensation adapted both to screen and stage. The novel presents a scathing view of Jewish businessmen.

Némirovsky went on to publish numerous novels and short stories in this vein, most, remarkably, appearing in serial form in a variety of politically right publications boasting anti-semitic views. She counted amongst her friends Horace de Carbuccia, Jacques Chardonne, and Paul Morand, powerful writers who openly hated Jews. Her work appeared in their newspapers and anthologies; they paid her handsomely. As a modern-day reader, it is difficult to grasp Némirovsky's thinking: Weiss feels she struggled with her identity as a Jew, her fervent wish to be "French," with its pre-war implications of motherhood, conjugal fidelity, and nationalist feeling, and finally arrived at a sort of acceptance. That is, her earlier works, with their rapacious, hook-nosed characters, give way to broader thinking. All races are capable of greed and generousity, while the very best of us are less interested in acquisition than we are in love.

Nemirovsky never attempted to hide her Jewishness. As the Vichy government made it increasingly impossible to survive, Nemirovksy and her family left Paris for the village of Issey-L'Évêque, where Nemirovsky wrote part of Suite Française, made sketches for the rest of it, and wrote publisher André Sabatier:

"Reading is the only distraction possible. I have written a lot lately. I suppose they will be posthumous works, but at least they make the time pass." (Weiss, 153-4)

Before writing the above quote, Némirovsky and her husband seemed unaware of the gravity of their situation. They were certain their ties to right-wing aristocrats would save them: when Irène was arrested, Michel wrote numerous letters to various French and German officals, including the German ambassador to Paris. Incredibly, these letters survive, and are reprinted in Suite Française, a pathetic collection worsened by our realization that Michel continued pleading for his wife's freedom well after her death in Auschwitz. Evidently it never occurred to either of them that they might attempt hiding or even leaving the country. Instead they applied--in vain--to become French citizens and even converted to Catholicism. From our vantage point, they were shockingly naive. But Weiss takes pains to note that few people realized that the "work camps" were actually death camps and that reports of well-fed inmates who were "treated properly" were propaganda.


Weiss writes "Irène Némirovsky's tragic end has obscured any real criticism of her work, as it has masked any real analysis of her attitude towards Jews." (169) While I cannot help but think Weiss saw a critical publication opportunity in writing about Némirovsky's life and work, his assertions are indisputable and ultimately disappointing. For Suite Française is a deeply moving work, managing to capture the complexity of lives caught up in hideous actions seemingly beyond individual recourse. It is difficult to separate Némirovsky's experience while writing the text from the book itself; nor is it possible to read the book without considering its remarkable survival, unread in a suitcase for decades, lugged about by Némirovsky's daughters, who could not bring themselves to read it for years afterward.

Weiss feels Némirovsky's views changed, that she became more accepting of her Jewishness as a part of herself, and thus moved away from caricature as a topic. This is an appealing conclusion that Weiss argues adeptly, one we would all like to accept. Whether we will be able to hold on to this view after her other books appear in English is another matter. Perhaps, though, it is best to forgive Némirovsky, acting as she was in a an era long past. Yet we are simultaneously well advised to hold her confusion over religion, self, identity, and country in mind. Our current circumstances, after all, while different, are sadly analogous.

Irène Némirovsky: Suite Française. Translated by Sandra Smith. New York: Knopf. 2006.

Jonathan Weiss: Irène Némirovsky: her life and works. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 2007.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Middle-aged tailgating

Last night Hockeyman and I went to see Rush at the Concord Pavillion, now known as the Sleep Train Pavillion.

It never fails to amaze me how dramatically the demographic changes simply driving a few miles out. From our place to the freeway, through the Caldecott Tunnel into the East Bay hinterlands, and lo, suddenly everyone was driving a pickup truck. Bright red acrylic nails flashed on steering wheels; large, ungainly diamond rings caught the fading summer sunlight. Those not in pickups or SUVs were astride Harleys. Never Hondas or Yamahas. Harleys. Oh, yeah, and we were all whiter than lilies.

Having realized that we lacked both the inclination and digestion to tolerate the burnt offerings passing as stadium food, we packed a cooler. Thus our hero and heroine tailgated, middle-aged style. That is, our party involved capers instead of chips, a discreet flask of scotch in lieu of Bud. We ate and sweltered and watched our fellow attendees march past us into the venue. They did not make cheering dining scenery. Then again, they weren't there to entertain us, but to be entertained.

So we munched our ciabattas with cheddar and proscuitto, swilled down the Johnnie W, and ate our potato salad, potatoes courtesy of Full Belly Farm. The very act of eating artisanal, locavore foods at a rock concert made us feel old, staid, and slightly silly. We were, however, no sillier than the braless ladies poured into halter tops or the gentlemen whose foreheads had long eclipsed their skulls, leaving long, straggling ponytails behind.

As for the band, they were great, very gracious and politely Canadian and all that. None of them looked young, the crowd didn't look young (Save for a few kids. How's that for hard rock? People brought their kids!), which led me to the undeniable conclusion that H-man and I must not be looking so youthful ourselves.

An Over-the-Hill Picnic for two, with attendant expensive foods kids don't care about:

(Amounts dependent on appetite and weight concerns due to slowing metabolism)

1. The sandwiches

One loaf country bread or 2 smaller rolls

Niman Ranch Ham

Proscuitto, preferably Parma

Sharp cheese of your choice



Olive Oil

Slice the bread lengthwise, leaving one side intact. Hollow out the loaf by pulling some of the bread out.

Spread butter and mustard on the bottom half of the bread.

Layer in the cheese, then ham, then the prosciutto.

Close the sandwhich and gently press down, channeling your inner panini maker.

Pour a little olive oil over the bread, then wrap tightly in foil.

Note: this sandwich has endless variations--turkey, vegetables like lettuce, tomato, onions, sprouts, ect, ect. You can add mayonnaise or get really fancy (and middle-aged) with chutney. This is purely a matter of taste, which age affords.

2. The Potato Salad

This recipe is adapted from the San Francisco Chronicle Cookbook'sInsalata di Patate con le Capperi e Olive Neri, created by Carlo Middione.

One pound French fingerling potatoes from the fancy farm stand of your choice.

One half cup boiling water from the potatoes

3-4 garlic cloves, chopped

One quarter cup white wine vinegar

Scant one third cup Bariani Olive oil. If you can't get Bariani, substitute with the expensive artisanal oil of your choice.

Capers (I used about two teaspoons)

Olives, sliced. (I used around a tablespoon)

If the potatoes are organic there's no need to peel them. Slice into eatable pieces and boil until tender in salted water.

Meanwhile, blend the garlic, white wine vinegar, olive oil, capers, and olives in a heat-proof bowl.

When the potatoes are done, drain them, remembering to reserve the half cup water. Add the potatoes and water to the bowl. Stir gently to combine. It will look very watery. Don't worry. Allow it to sit for at least thirty minutes: as Fergus Henderson would say, it will find itself. Serve at room (or picnic, or tailgate) temperature.

3. Booze

Now that you're middle-aged and responsible, you would never, ever dream of drinking and driving. Instead, you have a flask. Fill this with the liquor of your choice, remembering all the while that you are now officially middle-aged. Your booze of choice should reflect this dismaying fact. Think Johnnie Walker, Stoli, even Ketel One. If you are a hedge fund manager really slumming it, fill your flask with Glenmorangie.

Pack your meal into a cooler. It's damned hot in Concord, and the last thing you want is a dose of food poisoning.

4. Earplugs

No, these are not for dessert. Haven't you done enough damage to your hearing with loud music?

Drive to the show, observing the speed limit. Park. Eat. Drink. Congratulate yourself on avoiding the horrors of stadium garlic fries.

5. Enjoy the show.

Final note: if the above doesn't appeal, you can always try what the guy in front of us did. Let's call him...Psychotic. Early in the show Psychotic produced two boxes of pork-flavored ramen noodes. He climbed over us and vanished, returning with two plastic beer cups filled with water. His buddy protested. Didn't the water need to be hot?

Nah, it'll work. You just gotta give it half an hour.

Psychotic dumped the noodles into the cups. Then, using his palm as a lid, he shook each vigorously and placed them on the concrete. Half an hour later, he handed one to his friend and slurped down the other.

Middle age is what you make of it.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Thursday Friday Cat Blogging

[We're early this week. Boshko was irrepressible (as you can see). - HM]


Omnivorous, Fat, n' Friendly

Like all good American girls, I am known to fret about my weight.

No, let me be honest: at times I drive gentle, kindly Hockeyman insane with my weight-related wails.

Skinny Bitch may well be the first (alas, not the last) chick-lit diet book. In coarse, it's-just-us-girls language, we gals are warned off soda, coffee, fats, refined sugars, dairy, meat, and eggs.

In other words, this is a vegan diet book sheathed in swearing and girl talk.

Authors Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, Los Angeles denizens, are, respectively, an ex-model booker and an ex-model. They are thus eminently qualified to weigh in on food fads, extreme dieting, and the anorexic female ideal. We are supposed to be reassured by "Amy Joy Lanou, senior nutrition scientist for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, an advocacy and research group that promotes a diet free of animal products...Ms. Lanou said she made a few suggestions about citations and nuance in their claims."

Thank goodness. I just want to be sure skinny bitchdom is healthy before embarking on my end-of-summer regime.

Even more importantly, Posh Spice, aka Mrs. Beckham, was photographed carrying the book in a Los Angeles boutique. In said photo, Ms. Posh, looking all of eighty pounds, holds the book rather like a handbag. But she isn't reading it:

"Whether Ms. Beckham actually read “Skinny Bitch” is unclear; her agent and her publicist did not return calls or e-mail messages seeking comment. In a 2005 interview with the Spanish magazine Chic, she admitted to having never read a book in her life."

Oh. Well, maybe I should check the Atkins diet out instead.


I think it's safe to say all but the most uneducated Americans--whose economic problems are arguably more worrisome than their diets--are pretty much up on nutrition basics. Like, fast food is really bad, soda ain't great, and, if you are at all able, you might check out the organic aisle. For those so inclined, moderation in all things is also a helpful consideration in contemplating your next mouthful.

Further, veganism, vegetarianism, and meat-eating are all choices. Veganism, with its heavy dependence on soy products for protein, may not offer the most balanced diet. If you are in an ecomomic bracket where you're able to worry about your weight, a free-range, organic egg is a pretty good deal: high in healthy fats, low in calories (a whopping seventy), cheaper than a chunk of grass-fed cow. Vegetarianism, in its less extreme forms, at least allows this much--along with butter and cheese--sources of fats necessary for human function. Otherwise you are left to combine legumes, seeds, nuts, avocados, and soy-based products with your fruits and veggies and hope for the best.

You don't have to take my untrained word for it. Former vegetarian Jessica Prentice makes an informed argument for humanely-raised animal foods in Full Moon Feast. Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is also an excellent resource with helpful sidebars from Kingsolver's husband, Steven Hopp. Mr. Hopp, regrettably, is not an ex-model, ex-model booker, or former momentary top forty sensation. He is a biologist.

But forget a moment about getting a "sweet ass." Put aside your all-consuming desire to resemble a woman who publicly admits she has never read a book.

Stand up.

Now look down. Admire what a fine job your fat, varicose-veined (ahem...) legs are doing holding you up. God, isn't that amazing?

Sit back down. Grab your mouse and scroll down a bit. Your hand did exactly what you asked it to! Whoa!

And your eyes! Yeah, they're imperfect. You need contact lenses, or, like me, trifocals. Still, you're reading my screed. I mean, here were are. We aren't starving in Darfur, or getting shot at in Iraq, or losing our young limbs in a dirty oil war. We aren't--poor souls--at the bottom in of Mississippi River. We're busy worrying about the size of our asses, a body part unseen by us without dint of two mirrors and much neck craning.

We're more fortunate than we realize.

Our bodies, for the most part, are not what we'd like them to be. The media has seen to that nicely. But with $14.99 in hand, you have a choice. You can buy Skinny Bitch, on sale at your nearest Walmart (If you buy in Mexico, remember to tip the bagger on your way out), or you can get yourself a nice hunk of beef. Or an organic chicken. Or some really gorgeous produce, with a runny French cheese for dessert. Now make yourself a lovely dinner, and as you saw through your steak, feel sorry for those poor skinny bitches, whose I.Q.'s are decreasing due to malnutrition.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Annie Dillard: The Maytrees

Reviewed by Barking Kitten in January Magazine