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Day 7 -Paris, France

Well, it was a no nonsense, peanut flight to Paris, France from Zaragoza, Spain. All Ziggy wanted to do was see the Eiffel Tower so thats where we went. I told her to stick by me and don't wander off. I really get annoyed when she wanders off and I have to look for her. But, that's exactly what happened. I turned my back for a few seconds and she was gone. I looked everywhere for her. I even went up in the tower itself looking around for that nut.

However, I really started getting worried. I pulled this picture of her out of my wallet and showed it around to tons of people for hours. But nobody had seen her. I mean, all kinds of things were going through my mind. I saw a French policeman, a Gendarme, and showed him the picture.

Much to my surprise and relief, he recognized her. He spoke a bit of English and told me he and some other officers had to arrest her and take her to jail. It took 5 French cops to subdue her.

I felt relief that she was ok, but I was also upset that she got arrested. But for what? He took me to the police headquarters where Ziggy was. On the way, I started really feeling bad for Ziggy. I asked the officer what she did that they had to arrest her.

He replied that he thought it was better if I heard it from the Judge myself. He told me Ziggy was on the docket to go in front of the Judge in about 30 minutes.

"My God," I thought to myself. "Poor Ziggy . But I'm so glad I ran into this Gendarme. I'm just going to make it too."

I walked into the courtroom just as Ziggy was being led in. She was so glad to see me. I was so glad to see her. Relieved is more like it.

I requested a translator and they obliged me. I was asked if I was Ziggys' guardian and I laughed. I told the Judge that she was 20 years old. I lost my guardianship when she turned 16. The Judge replied that that was a shame because the offense she was charged with would then be a serious one and the punishment severe.

Because Ziggy is 20, she still has her sweet youthful looks. Plus, you can't tell how old a cat is anyway. ISo I told the judge she was only five and I was just kidding. I asked the Judge what it was that Ziggy was being charged with anyway.

He replied, "Le chat épuisent dans le Tour Eiffel qui est un endroit public."

Which means.. "Cat Pooping in The Eiffel Tower which is a public place."

You see, Ziggy couldn't find a litter box plain and simple so she went in a corner.

I threw myself on the mercy of the court and the Judge was lienient because Ziggy was only 5 and therefore still a minor. He sentenced Ziggy to 15 minutes on a bidet.

Now, for those of you who do not know what a bidet is, there's a picture below. Water shoots up from it.

Ziggy was very uncomfortable as they sat her on the bidet and she screamed like a banshee in the beginning but soon found that she really did enjoy the experience afterall. She told me later it made her feel cool and refreshed. Go figure.

Here she is posing by the bidet and the Gendarm who ran her in. She insisted I get a snapshot for her photo album.

We were both hungry so we went to get something to eat. I didn't say too much after Ziggy finished her punishment. She was feeling bad enough but refreshed. But I knew what would pick her right up. Some good old Classic French Onion Soup. Heck, we're in France so let's do it. I spoke to the cook and she was gracious enough to give me the recipe. Here it is.

Classic French Onion Soup

(servings 8 -12 people)

1 stick butter (8 Tablespoons)
8 cups onions, thinly sliced
3 Tablespoons flour
3 quarts beef stock
1 Tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 cup brandy
grated Gruyere cheese
grated Parmesan cheese
French bread
olive oil

Melt the butter in a Dutch oven and add the onions, stirring constantly. cook for 5-7 minutes, until soft.

In the meantime, cut slices of French bread into 1/2 inch pieces and toast them at 350 degrees in the oven for about 15 minutes--until they are dry crusts.

When the onions are soft, sprinkle them with flour, stir, then add 2 cups of beef stock and stir until the mixture is thickened. Add the remaining stock, stir into 1 Tablespoon of salt, the pepper, and the brandy. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 1/2 hour to an hour. Add the meat glaze and taste for seasoning.

When you're ready to serve, ladle the soup into individual bowls and cover each with a thick handful of Gruyere cheese. Top each with a piece of the toasted bread, which has been drizzled with olive oil. Sprinkle it with the Parmesan, then run them under a broiler for a few minutes and carry out to the table.

Make sure you serve this along with some good think slices of crusty French bread.

Buon appetito!

We both agreed that France wasn't for us and we need to get the heck out of dodge as soon as we could. We flagged a cab down and I told the cab driver we wanted to get out of Paris right now. I told him we wanted to leave and make it seem like we had never been in Paris, France at all.

So the cab driver drove backwards all the way to the airport. I could say that the French must have a sense of humor too, but he was Ethiopian I think.

We got the first flight out of Paris headed to Cairo and Ziggy took the window seat as usual. I sat there looking at Ziggy while she slept and thought how lucky I was to have such a pal.

We arrived in Cairo, Egypt, later that night and since neither one of us was in the mood to site see, we checked in the hotel and got some rest. Ziggy and I have watched dozens of specials on the Discovery and History Channels on the pyramids and couldn't wait to see them in person in the morning. I told Ziggy in the room before we went to bed that if she didn't stay with me from now on and stay right next to me at all times, I was going to put a leash on her. Did she listen to me? What do you think?

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