10 Things Cats Do Not Eat.

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Cats do not eat lettuce.

This is what I tell my kitten, as he attempts furtively to bear off a crisp green leaf without being intercepted.

But I intercept him just the same. I have that litter tray to think of.

Cats do not eat baubles, or guitar strings, or the live end of the Apple laptop charger. They do not drink tea, or coffee, both of which render my kitten spiral eyed and as Baloo once said – the Disney Baloo, not Kipling’s – “gone. man, solid gone.”

Cats should not eat toast. Or shortbread. Or dog food. Jumping up on tables to scrounge broccoli or peas, in a cat, is just plain weird.

And slowly, reluctantly, I am coming to the conclusion that Montgomery Shrewdsay, ginger Siamese tom-of-all-trades, saunters to the beat of his own drum, shimmies up the great Christmas tree of life in his own, idiosyncratic way.

Perhaps this is what cats do. They begin with a kittening beginning, and mewl their way onto the internet with impossible gorgeousness, and then – bam – their personalities kick into gear, and lurch forward, engines revving.

I had an old witch cat for 18 years, and her personality grew into ours like two tree trunks of different species intertwining. She was as opinionated a person as Margaret Thatcher. I had a Siamese stray cat whose chief talent was love – agape, the greek love without self-interest. For a brief time I had a sleek black adventurer, a tuxedoed cat-of-mystery, though he adventured somewhere else last Summer in the warmth of a June evening.

And is now, once again, a mystery.

And I spotted a small lion cub in a cage in his ninth week on this earth. Should I be surprised that hunting and foraging is his favourite activity, despite the full food bowl which sits out of the dogs reach waiting for his attention?ย He has the gait of a Chinese guard-cat and the colouring of the African Savannah. He has extreme youth and yet he approaches humans with the confidence of an emperor.

And he does eat lettuce, and dog food. And my watch And this morning, I hastily removed the apple charger from its designation as breakfast. He was not happy to relinquish it.

“Cats,” I told him sternly, “do not eat Apple laptop chargers. Especially not those.”

He gazed at me levelly. Cats do not feel remorse. They voraciously devour the moment.

Cats eat life. Whole. For breakfast.

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34 thoughts on “10 Things Cats Do Not Eat.

  1. Kate, that is a brilliant description! Pippy Long stocking seems to prefer human food to cat food!

    Are you aware of the cult cartoon ‘Simon’s Cat’?

    You may lie to see this one

  2. Cats don’t eat expensive cat food from the vet’s office. Nor do they like toys that you buy. They prefer to “annex” your things and “adjust” them to their liking. What on earth would we do without them?

  3. Indeed, they do eat life for breakfast, Kate.
    We had a cat, Zoe, a wedding gift she was. She ate odd things. Greek Kalamata olives. Ben Gay (an ointment for aches and pains). The most egregious thing she ate was my angora sweater, brand new.

  4. Cats eat … whatever they care to! And most appropriately, not always what you give them. They do however demand to be fed on their own schedule, regardless of yours.

    That is one of the things I love about cat – their independence. It is also what makes me want to fling them across the room at 4 in the morning when they decide the best place to sleep is on my face.

  5. Kate, Elby, That Cat! sends you a big hug and a kiss for ‘splaining his world to me. He loves any type of wire, curtain cord, or light plug he can find. His recent favorite is Q-Tips… I had a small crystal bowl of them – he began taking one at a time and trotting around the house with it in his mouth, batting it to hell and gone like the great hunter he is. I put the bowl away. Two minutes later, he found the ones in the trash basket…

  6. Apologies for not being here in ages, Kate. You’re hard to keep up with, being as prolific as you are!

    My cats eat odd things too. One of them likes Indian food. Fortunately she doesn’t suffer any ill effects. I’m glad your kitten is keeping up the time-honored tradition of eating non-kitty foods.

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