The day I had been dreading for the longest time finally came. We had to say goodbye to JoeBoo last month.
It was probably the hardest day of my life. People who have never loved a dog or cat like family will not understand this. JoeBoo had started to deteriorate and even though I knew it was time, I felt so guilty. Losing my best buddy was heart breaking.
JoeBoo was my first cat. I had grown up a huge dog person and didn’t really “get” the appeal to cats until my first year of vet school, when I met little JoeBoo. I was working at a vet clinic as a student. Someone found a little 4 month old kitten wandering the neighbourhood and brought him in to us. He was very skittish and shy and clearly hadn’t had a lot of socialization in his young life. I was immediately drawn to him and began to try to get him to come “out of his shell”. Every day on my lunch break, I would take him to the lunch room with me. We played and hung out and I shared my tuna sandwiches with him 🙂
In a few days we were buddies and since nobody had claimed him and he had no ID tattoo or microchip I decided he needed to come him with me. Sean and I named him JoeBoo.
Over the years, we came to realize just what a unique cat we had fallen in love with. He was an adventurous little kitten that liked to climb to the top of our balcony screen door, sometimes falling on his head in the process. He was an agoraphobic adult cat who peed on me every time I took him out of the house. In fact, during many road trips between Minneapolis and Winnipeg, JoeBoo would pee, poop and puke within 5 minutes of getting into the car. I scooped poop many times from our car litterbox, throwing it out of our moving vehicle on the highway! Not something I’d recommend doing, but it seemed appropriate at the time!
JoeBoo would give high fives for treats and do his patented move, the “shamoo”, when he wanted us to pet him. He loved a good belly rub and would go crazy for salted ripple chips. He would come running every time Sean opened a bag of chips – and then be disappointed if it was just Doritos.
JoeBoo loved to hide under blankets and was such a good hider that we even thought we had lost him one time! He would often meow at me until I made him an appropriate little cave of blankets to hide in. It had to be of a certain standard, of course 🙂
For a pampered house cat, he was one great mouser too! The one time we had mice in our house, he caught both, and paraded them around like trophies. He was so proud and excited that he forgot to actually kill the mice! I was at work when this happened, but you can ask Sean about how he had to “euthanize” one poor mouse with his shoe…
JoeBoo also liked to play jokes on us – he once wiped some poop onto Sean’s cell phone during a road trip. He loved to wake Sean up in the morning with his “chomping” or a few gentle pats on the head; Just a reminder that it was time to wake up and feed him 🙂
JoeBoo slept beside me every night from the first day I brought him home. I still tear up when I think about him and I will miss him everyday for the rest of my life. He single-handedly turned me into a crazy cat lady and I will be a cat person for life now. Though there will never be another cat like him, because of JoeBoo , I will never be without a feline companion for the rest of my life.
Guinny misses his buddy a lot too.
Did I mention that JoeBoo was my baking buddy? He was always right there “helping” me, a.k.a trying to lick the butter. This cake was the last thing that we baked together.
Here is a picture of a few of the key ingredients:
The cake turned out chocolately, moist and absolutely delicious. The buttercream is fluffy and sweet with just a hint of Bailey’s for a unique flavour. I grated some Lindt dark chocolate and sprinkled the shavings all over the cake for an even richer cholocate taste. The original recipe called for Guinness Stout, but I decided to use a chocolate stout. I will definitely make this cake again. It’s a great option for a “grown-up” tasting chocolate cake. However, my nephews and Ruby both approved of the taste.
Dark Chocolate Stout Cake with Bailey’s Buttercream
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup Guinness Extra Stout or any Stout beer
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbsp Bailey’s
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
In a small saucepan, melt butter. Remove from heat and whisk in stout, vanilla extract, and cocoa. Set aside to cool.
Butter and flour two 8 inch cake pans. Whisk together the dry ingredients (sugar, flour, baking soda). Pour the stout mixture onto the dry ingredients, then whisk in the 2 eggs. Pour evenly into two prepared cake pans.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Meanwhile, whip together the softened butter and sugar in a standing mixer for the buttercream, adding in just enough Bailey’s to get it loose and fluffy. Whip for 5-10 minutes, or until fluffy and light.
Once the cakes are done baking, cool completely. First, add the frosting for the middle layer. I used about 1/3 of the buttercream. Top with second layer. Coat top and sides with another 1/3 of the frosting mixture. Spread it all over, nice and thin. Refrigerate to set it. At this point, you can refrigerate the cake overnight. Once that layer is firm to the touch, add the final 1/3 of the frosting to the cake – top first, then sides. Spreading it around evenly.
Serve at room temp. ENJOY!