My family gets home later than usual tonight. I decided to use the time to make room in the vegetable bin by cooking a bunch of vegetables. My original plan was to serve all of them with the main entree tonight (Italian chicken sausages). I roasted cauliflower and semi circles of delicata squash with a drizzle of olive oil and a little salt. I also sauteed some chard with shallots.

I still have the chard with shallots. They are untouched. The rest of the vegetables are in my stomach. It started by my looking at one of those little cooked crescents of squash. My massage therapist, Jann grew it and gave it to me. Heaven, every crescent of it. Then I thought, “That cauliflower looks pretty good. It was a small head and I’m really the only one in the family who likes it anyway.” So I ate that.

Now I’m a little full but I still have 45 minutes to get hungry again for a sausage and some chard. Somehow I think I will work up an adequate appetite.

Also ravenous, but not just today, is my cat, Ollie. He has hyperthyroidism and we are still trying to get it treated successfully. This gives him a large appetite and also makes him run around the house at times, in a seemingly manic state. This morning, he climbed into bed with me. He was sweet and snuggly. I gave him a lot of attention. Then he put his paw on my breast and put out his claws slightly, like he does when he wants to play. I thought, “I wonder if he could get through my nightgown, my skin, and the plastic tissue expander? I thought that he probably couldn’t but was not entirely thrilled with the idea of springing a leak in the expander. So I shifted my weight a little and remonstrated, “Kitty!”

You will not believe what he did next. He took a playful bite at my breast, not just once but twice! He’s never done that before in the 11 years he’s lived with us. I wondered why this was the first time. Maybe this is crazy, but I think when he reached out his paw, he was confused by how hard my temporary breast is. It’s a bag full of saltwater, under my skin, after all. Maybe he thought it was my elbow or something.

Now Ollie’s eating greenery from a vase of flowers on the table. Now that’s something he’s done many times before. But a fake breast? Maybe he has another illness. With humans, habitually eating items that are not food is called, “pica.” Maybe he has pica. I’d leave you on this note, but I have a funny pica story.

When I was on internship (a one year clinical position that was required to finish my Ph.D. in clinical psychology), we had a morning meeting one day to assign cases to the interns. This was a normal thing that we did every time we had clinic duty. The referral questions were written down on a phone message by the clinic secretary, along with the patient’s name and age. There was a 4 year-old coming in for an evaluation. The supervising psychologist read the secretary’s notes aloud, “Eats couch.”  I said, “I’ll take the couch eater!” No one else in the group liked preschool aged children like I do, so my preference was uncontested. Yes, it was my first and only pica case.

Chew on that.