Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Kittens and Rainbows and Croque Monsieurs, Oh My!

And then there were these ...

Yes, halfway into our 10 kilometer canoe adventure down the River Lot, I was decidedly soaked (yes, it had conveniently begun to rain as soon as we pushed off at La Port and because I had to wear my glasses that day - don't ask why - the kind lady at the boat rental office tied my glasses to my life jacket with a piece of string.  A piece of string, people.  I looked like the village idiot) and decidedly hungry, which isn't a great combination.  "Don't worry," John soothed, as the full red mist descended in front of my eyes.  "I know a terrific little cafe around here that we can stop and eat at."  I grumbled from the front and gave up paddling entirely.

Soon we reached this rumored "cafe" he was on about and pulled our boat in.  Sure, there were several chairs outside and copious signs advertising Wall's ice-cream, but they were propped up against the tables.  This place was definitely closed.  Just as I was about to unleash my full rage and fury on John, the doors of the establishment banged open and a man in his early sixties peered out.  "Um, John," I whispered, tugging at his arm.  "There's a man."  "What?  Where - oh hello," John said to him in French.  "Yes?" the man asked, furrowing his brow at our half-wetsuited attire (and probably my glasses on the string which I quickly whipped off now, preferring to go blind).  "Are you open for lunch?" John asked.  The man nodded and produced a small chalk board about the size of a piece of paper, on which was scrawled the words, "Croque Mr. 2.95".  Right now, a "Croque Mr." (or five) was exactly what I needed.  He disappeared into the back of the restaurant (which also, I noted, doubled as a hotel/house).

All of a sudden, three white balls of impossibly tiny fur scampered out.  "KITTTEEEEENNNNSSSS!!!!" I shrieked, as I fell to my knees.  John was bewildered by my sudden mood change.  "OHMYGODOHMYGODKITTTTEEEEENNNSSSS!"  I continued to scream, as the man returned with silverware, clearly disturbed by my high-pitched excitement.  Truth was, I don't think I've ever seen anything cuter in my life.   They frolicked.  They played.  They danced.  They mewed a tiny kitten mew.  They purred.  They sniffed.  They were FREAKIN' ADORABLE!!! 

Like a vision from heaven, to complete the picture, the kindly man brought us two Cokes and our croque monsieurs, perfectly toasted, with a slice of thin ham in the middle and bubbly cheese on the top, accompanied on the side with four slices of tomatoes sprinkled with salt, pepper and herbs.  So simple, yet so effective.  "Are you English?" asked the man and John responded in French.  He continued in English:  "From London?  Did you fly Ryanair?"  He told us that he flew to London often for the theatre in the West End, from Rodez, a mere 40 minutes away from his home here.  We finished our Croque Mr. and sheepishly asked for seconds, which he, after a moment's amusement, quickly complied. 

Soon after, we finished and it came the time to say goodbye to the kittens (THE KITTEENNNNSSSS!!!!), though I would have preferred to stay and play with them for the rest of the afternoon, abandoning our canoe on the shore.   The man had disappeared into the deserted restaurant again, so we left a generous tip and crunched off into the gravel.  As we left, however, a woman's voice called to us from the balcony, "Au revoir!" and we turned to see a friendly smile and wave, which was very kind indeed.

Heartened by our lunch experience, I continued the remainder of our trip in a considerably better mood and warmed by the kindness of rural France (not to mention the KITTTEENENNNNNNSSS!!!).


  1. thIs seems very appropriate herE:

    KITTENS!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtX8nswnUKU

  2. KITTENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! kittens make everything better. and those photos are the cutest things ever.

  3. HAHAHA, that video was simultaneously hilarious and weird.


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