It is a requirement for caped crusaders to be teetotalers since they are on call twenty-four seven.
However, their mothers are a whole other story.
Therefore a bottle of wine is uncorked for dinner preparation which makes this daily activity a lovely event.
While my sweet Sven is honed in on the the five o'clock news in the living room and Cat Lady is curled up in her heated bed in her cat cave. And Tuxedo Boy is outside reeking havoc on birds nesting under the pines, or mice dining in the heart of the unburned pile or stalking the Stephen King bush, my ever faithful Bark Man is on silence and he is sprawled out wherever he can find a cool piece of kitchen tile that is not covered with a rug that was set there for his own protection.
This is the time of day that Bark Man and I have our best conversations.
We both enjoy cooking as long as we have the necessary ingredients and I have wine and Bark Man has all of his scheduled hot dog pocketed pills under his belt.
You see, we understand that our days together are numbered.
And we know that these times are very special.
That is why I suggested we try Pork Vindaloo.
I found the recipe online the other morning.
Bark Man is a fan of Indian food, so he was all in.
I would like to paint a red dot in the middle of his forehead, but Sven thinks the dot has something to do with women and their marital status, although, here in the black hole outside of Harmony Grove I think he could pull it off, because I doubt he would run into anyone in the woods who would even notice it and he truly appreciates a hot and spicy yet sweet and saucy combination, especially when applied to a pork tenderloin center cut.
Last winter we made a chicken tikka masala that was to die for when we were stuck at home all the time and we had ordered a shit ton of spices we had never heard of that were delivered to our front porch for beaucoup bucks.
"What in the heck are you going to do with all of this?" said Sven.
I think what Bark Man likes the most about complicated Indian recipes, three paragraphs long, is the quality time that we spend together.
And the sampling.
Let us not forget the other two super heroes who live here under the same roof, despite all of Bark Man's protests.
"They are homeless," I told him.
"So what? he'd responded. "They are cats!"
Tuxedo Boy has been in and out the kitchen door several times during our made for tv cooking show.
He however is not impressed with the meat, which, "By the way, Bark Man and I have had marinating since yesterday."
I give him a few cat treats.
Bark Man looks at me in disbelief and scarfs up the little sample that his high-rolling-low-class-brother left on the floor before heading back outside.
Our vindaloo creation is now simmering.
And wow, does it smell good.
"It is supposed to cook for another forty-five minutes."
"Okay," says Sven.
Unfortunately just an occasional stir here and there will not suffice in keeping Bark Man silenced.
His barking hours are now underway and due to today's complicated recipe he is getting a late start and feels the need to make up for lost barks.
But it is nothing that a dingo dyno stick or a busy bone or a buttered flip chip and another glass of wine and a hit of pot cannot fix.
For a couple minutes.
It is so loud now that Sven has resorted to a pre dinner cookie.
Other than heavy breathing, Bark Man is quiet whenever anybody visits the cookie jar.
But cookies don't last forever.
And a little more butter on a flip chip doesn't either.
I put some fresh water in the bowl sitting outside of the bathroom.
As of late it is beneath Bark Man to drink out of the big white bowl on the other side of the door that he used to be so fond of.
The water diversion is short lived.
The bowl is empty, the rug is wet and Bark Man is back to belting out his super power.
"Do you think supper is ready?" yells Sven.
"I don't give a shit," I say.
Bark Man settles into position next to Sven's spot on the couch.
I fill a plate and notice that Tuxedo Boy is hanging from the kitchen screen.
He would like another couple treats.
I join Sven after granting Tuxedo Boy his wish.
Sven is now heading for an intermission cookie.
Bark Man is at his side.
Tuxedo Boy wants out.
I hang the beware of Tux Boy sign on the window and go downstairs to gather up Cat Lady who is waiting for me in her evening attire, ready for her upstairs visit to snooze on the step above the landing on the way to the loft.
Sven is now on his second helping of pork vindaloo.
"It's good," he says, "But, I think the potatoes could be a little more done."
"Yeah. I agree."
Bark Man looks the other way.
Sven is now helping himself to an after dinner cookie.
"Bring one out for me too, please."
I do not want to upset Bark Man.
But cookies, no matter how many you eat or how tiny your bites, do not last forever.
Our only hope at this point is that once Bark Man cleans off our plates he will want to go outside when he hears a biscuit with his name on it hit the front deck.
"He went for it," says Sven.
And so here we are at the sweet spot of our day.
It is all peace and quiet in our living room as we continue to watch a movie in which we have no idea what is happening.
Other than all her sparkles, Cat Lady blends right into the stairs above the tv and we have melted into the couches below.
But Titanic Trios are heroes who are meant to sink your ship.
And Tuxedo Boy is hanging from the screen door, pulling the plug.
I whisk Cat Lady back to her fancy apartment to spend another night in her heated bed.
Sven and Bark Man are busy scooping ice cream when I return and Tuxedo Boy is now hurling himself at the basement door trying to break it down in order to kill the old fur ball on the other side.
This upsets Bark Man.
He is using his super power.
Due to a hearing impairment, Cat Lady is unaware of any danger.
She sets about getting into her pajamas.
Tuxedo Boy loses interest.
"This is it," I say and set a couple treats on the floor. "If you want anything else to eat you will have to resort to your food."
Tuxedo Boy is satisfied with the all commotion he has caused and is now ready to go back outside.
"Last time tonight Tuxy Boy. It is almost eight o'clock."
I open the door.
Cat Lady played by Grandma Meow Moses
Bark Man played by Hunter, AKA King of the Jungle
Tuxedo Boy played by Tuna
For more stories in this crime fighting series, click above on Titanic Trio.