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The secret of unCATegorizing

Remus - a double portrait

My cat Remus,  isn’t a pedigree, he’s a cheerful moggie and was virtually feral when I plucked him kicking and screaming from the farm he was living at as a tiny kitten. Since then he has taken to domesticity with the usual acceptance that cats have that you will feed them when they demand it and he has no expectations of anything other than lying on the bed in the warmest room during the day, and sitting on the warmest lap when the telly is on.

I know what he likes, and I know what he doesn’t like.

I know he doesn’t like the smell of oranges, or hand cream, or soap. But he does like the smell of bleach. Strange creatures, cats.

Looking after his best interests, some time ago I had a chicken carcass left over from a roast dinner, and after boiling it up stripped the choice pieces of meat off it for me to make soup with and  I offered the rest of the bits of skin to him, but after a cursory sniff he turned his nose up and walked out of the room – with a *You don’t expect me to eat that do you?* flick of the tail.

I have also tried to tempt him with the thick white fat from some choice pieces of ham that I had had in a sandwich, and again, he wasn’t interested.

I have noticed that sometimes he sniffs around if there is cheese in the offering, but know that he won’t eat that either if offered it, since I have tried, and failed with that one as well.

It’s actually a good thing that he doesn’t eat human food, because I know that if I have some chicken breasts, or pork chops, or beef mince sitting on the draining board, thawing out from being in the freezer for that nights dinner, he won’t touch it, because he doesn’t like human food.

Well, actually, the only thing I know he does like, is to lick out a tin of tuna when I’ve emptied it, he loves that! Infact the second I have opened a tin, he appears, and bearing in mind that I live in a three storey house and he can be in any of the rooms on any of the floors, the second that aroma hits his nostrils, he’s there, looking appealingly at me from my feet, and urging me to pass the tin over to him for a final lick with his little sandpapery pink tongue. Of course, he doesn’t clear the tin away after he’s licked it across the floor, that’s for me to do, as his dutiful slave. And he walks off, licking his lips, his fill of tuna obviously satiated for the time being.

And strangely, well, I think it is, although he loves tuna, he doesn’t have the same opinion about a tin of salmon. Either pink or red. I will open it, my mouth watering at the smell, like it does for tuna, and wait for him to appear. Eventaully, he might just deign to walk in, and I will smile and put down the empty tin of salmon with a few choice bits of bones and skin in the bottom, he will look at it, look at me, and say “And………….?” as if I’ve gone mad offering it to him, take a cursory lick then wander off, leaving the tasty morsels (I think, but he obviously doesn’t) for me to clear away.

So, I know my cat well enough, I’ve had him seven years, since he was six weeks old, and know what he will eat (cat food) and what he won’t (human food). Simple!

So, imagine my astounded surprise when I was standing in the kitchen earlier eating something, whilst I waited for the kettle to boil for a cup of tea. And he walked in, sat by his bowl briefly, and came over to me, purposefully and said “Meooow” whilst he looked up at me. “What?” I said out loud to him, thinking that his bowl must be empty, but no, there was fresh food (choice cat variety of course) in it, and fresh water in his other bowl. “What?” I said again in answer to the next meow. (Humans are so thick sometimes, he was thinking) And then I looked at what I was eating, and said “What? You want some of THIS?” and bent down the the empty container to see his reaction when he sniffed it, and to my amazement, he started licking it. I couldn’t believe it, and just to make sure opened another one, to give him a larger portion, and lo and behold, he ate all I gave him.

And do you know what it is that I was eating, no of course you don’t.

It was a yogurt.

Rhubarb crumble flavour.

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