Feeding The Finicky

Darth Jingles with Ritz in plastic bag

Meals in our house are tenuous affairs. First, The Girl: she’ll eat most things, but only two bites. Then an hour later, she may eat something else. The Boy doesn’t want whatever is presented, but neither does he want to participate in the choosing of meals. Hubby waffles between preparing comfort food and experimenting with gourmet food, sometimes he tries a hybrid of the two. Occasionally this doesn’t go well. No matter what the kids aren’t in the mood for, I have a talent for picking that exact thing to make when I prepare a meal. I’m not sure how that works. At least I can count on The Girl to eat two bites.

Now the cat is another matter. First, let me just say up front, Jingles is an idiot. She’s never figured out meat is edible. Hamburger, chicken, pork – no, it’s not food. Salmon? No. Tuna? That’s complicated. Tuna is edible, but only if it’s drinkable. She enjoys her tuna beverage. The fewer solids the betters. She doesn’t want to chew her tuna fish. Jingles doesn’t like moist cat food either, it’s dry and crunchy all the way for her. Although she’s particular about brand and occasionally changes her mind. Usually after we find big bags of her preferred cat food on sale and stock up. Foolish humans.

Okay, now that we have that behind us, let’s talk about what else she considers food. Our cat loves her carbs. She won’t chew meat, but she will snarf down Cheerios. Oh yeah, loves those Cheerios. And pretzels, the crunchy not the soft ones. And Ritz crackers, but one is enough for her, usually. Hubby lets her lick curry off his finger, which I keep telling him is a bad idea and he’s going to pay for it, but she hasn’t proven me right yet. Some day.

So the cat isn’t very cat-like, but some things aren’t far off, just a bizarre twist on nature. Sort of. She took off on us for a week and lived off the land, and demonstrated once that she knows how to eat a mouse, so she is a cat. It’s good to know.

Did you know you can get Twinkies with Minion costume stickers to apply to the Twinky itself to dress it up? Hubby bought a box because A) the kids love Twinkies and B) Minions freak out The Girl. He dressed one up and offered her a treat. She flipped. The cat was intrigued and came to investigate. Hubby offered Jingles a Twinky dressed in a little jumper, smile and eyes. She glanced at it. He wiggled it. She gave it a closer look.

Let’s look at this from a feline point of view: it’s prey-sized, it has eyes, it moved, it isn’t aggressive, it’s now motionless – clearly frozen in fear. This is prey. Fast forward ten seconds to her next discovery: this is easy prey. Fast forward again another five seconds: this is edible. Again ten second: this white stuff on the inside is good. And again another five seconds: this white stuff on the inside is sticky.

I plan on checking to see if Jingles has learned anything from her first encounter with a Twinky. Anything like: it’s still prey even if it doesn’t have eyes and is dressed in little stick on pants, how to handle the white stuff without getting it everywhere, and how to get it out of the wrapper or box on her own. I’m not really keen for her to learn that last bit.

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Filed under Cats, Teenagers

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