My remaining cat, Charlie, is about 15 years old. Since his brother went to the vet last year and didn’t come back, Charlie has undergone a personality change. I wasn’ expecting this, to be honest: I had always said that Charlie would be very happy as an only cat. In fact he’s got lonely and clingy, and has lost of lot of his confidence. Comes of not having another cat to boss around, I suppose.
The latest change is that he’s become very picky about food. When he had another cat to compete with for food, he was like a feline vacuum cleaner. I actually had to put him on a diet at one point, which was difficult because if I fed them less, it was Percy who lost weight.
First he stopped eating the jelly off tinned food in jelly so I bought him food in gravy, and lots of different flavours of food. This worked for a while, but for the past week the pickiness has become acute. I always thought people who complained their cat wouldn’t eat this and wouldn’t eat that were simply spoiling the cat. No more. Yesterday, I opened a tin of Whiskas with chicken and ducky in gravy, which used to be a favourite, and he got within a foot of it, sniffed, backed off, and crouched there, waiting for a miracle. It was clearly not a tooth problem: he didn’t actually set a tooth in it. He just smelled what was on offer and acted as though I’d put a salad in his bowl.
I let him get on with it. I spent most of the day fending off cat nags for food, and in the evening chucked out the uneaten food (I think he’d had some of it) and replaced it with fresh from the same tin.
Charlie kept nagging for more food.
I picked him up, carried him into the kitchen and put him down next to the bowl. ‘Fish!’ I said helpfully (this is our word for wet food, his favourite. Dried food is ‘yummies’. Look, it works for us, OK?).
He looked at me with loathing, reached over and took one mouthful.
I left him to it, went back in the sitting-room, sat down on the sofa and Charlie jumped up next to me.
I screamed faintly and chased him into the kitchen again.
That was last night.
This morning I put fresh food (same tin) in his bowl. He continued to pester to be fed. I had my bath got out, dressed and went in the sitting-room.
Someone had upchucked on the sofa. Well it wasn’t me, so guess who?
Went out to the kitchen and in the hallway was another pool of vomit.
Sighing I perused the cat food stock and chose a tin of lamb in jelly, which he doesn’t like much at the best of times. Put this into a second bowl and stood back. He did like the dog in the advert, sniffed the first bowl, pulled a face, moved to the second bowl and started to eat. I haven’t looked to see how much he’s eaten, but he has eaten.
If he continues not to eat his usual food, I am going to have to move upmarket to very expensive ‘gourmet’ cat foods.
I wonder who told him that?
Cats always win.