"I don't want to see you parading your face of discontent any more. So, I'm going to cheat you, my dear," I told Qif, my kitty.

I used to give her <Savory Salmon Feast>. But one day I couldn't find it and got a case of <Salmon & Ocean Whitefish Feast>. It was the closest thing. But this was in flakes rather than stirred into paté. She didn't mind the change so far as I could tell, for a while, anyway. The canned food is only a supplement to the dried food, her staple. Some time later I found Savory Salmon, got a case of that, and decided to alternate with the flaky kind every two or three days. Once she tasted the paté again she didn't like the flakes, however, and would sniff at it and then turn her nose, her sour face, as cats do, and nag at me. "What's the idea. You manage without canned food supplement when I am away in New York four or five days," I tell her. I see what she means, of course, but I'd ignore her, and then she would go back and eat up the flakes anyway.

Then, I got the idea of mixing the two at each feeding, half and half. When I offered her the cocktail, I said: "This is called adulteration. I bet you don't know the word and what it means, and you won't know the difference."

She didn't. But that was only for a day. For two meals, in the morning and at dinnertime, she didn't complain, but after that she would refuse without even putting her nose close to the dish. She knew. She would walk to the dish and turn around and nag, and nag insistently, meowing and nibbling at my ankle. Only when I sit down for my dinner she would give up the protest and eat but, oh, making crystal clear that she is less than happy. Disappointment arises from frustrated anticipation; she remembers even from days back the taste of whatever she liked better.

When she gets Savory Salmon she licks the dish up spotlessly clean. Then, she goes away to sleep out of sight somewhere in the house. After eating her less-than-favorite meal, she sits in my field of vision so that I will see her, hoping for a slight chance that I might recant in bad conscience and produce at least a spoonful of the good stuff. No such chance, baby.

But I got rid of a few remaining cans of the flaky Salmon & Ocean Whitefish. She won.


T. Kaori Kitao, 05.12.02



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