Sunday, August 14, 2016

Nom, Nom, Nom

For years, I've had a theory that highly intelligent cats are more willing to try a variety of human foods than the average cats. I don't have a large enough sample to test this; I've also never met an average cat.

Possum tells me it's a stupid theory because the smartest cats are also the most skeptical of their humans' activities and least likely to eat things just to make us happy. He also claims that intellectual cats are more likely to eat things like vegetables if they are given large quantities of roasted chicken beforehand. He says my observational and critical-thinking skills need work. What I've failed to notice, according to him, is that some cats are just more feckless, greedy, and willing to settle for second-rate food than others. Mental acumen has nothing to do with it.

He may be right; I have no idea. All I know is that, when I offer a new cheese or vegetable to our five, four of them will sniff at it like I'm offering them a piece of cardboard and walk away with confused, disappointed expressions. But Lion will try almost anything, including strong cheeses and vegetables. He enjoys broccoli, greens, beans, and sweet potatoes, in very small amounts. He is anxious about many things but adventurous about food.

I realize that cats are pure carnivores, so he won't be getting a salad and wedge of Brie with his meaty breakfasts and suppers. But I enjoy watching him discover new tastes. So for the past three nights I've coached him on eating corn-on-the-cob. My grandmothers' clan of half-wild, outdoor cats ate it, so I knew it was possible.

You may as well know that a cat or two often joins us at the dinner table, keeping a polite distance and being companionable. Even Wendy will sit a foot or two from me, silently willing me to give her chicken, regardless of whether we are having any. If this custom of ours offends your sensibilities, please read no further and refuse our dinner invitations.

Lion's three-session tutorial began with my letting him try some kernels from my fingers and more on a napkin. He loved them. The second night, when I was nearly finished with my cob, I loosened some of the remaining kernels for him and held it so he could find them:

He quickly figured out that more kernels were harder to get but gettable, and did pretty well at that.

The third night, I left more corn on my cob and let him explore it by himself. He did very well again. I helped him rotate the cob but he figured out how to push and roll it himself:

I made a little movie but it would take hours to load here with our terrible wifi. (The one I posted of Harris took half a day.) 

I have to say that there is nothing like the sound of a happy cat chomping on a corn cob:

I make sure the cats never get into anything I make with avocados, which are toxic to cats, or anything made with onions or garlic. And I don't give Lion fruit; we are vigilant about keeping grapes and raisins far from the cats since those are toxic, too. He might get a wild Maine blueberry or two, however, one of these days.


  1. I'd never heard avocado was toxic to cats, so I went looking..
    Looks like it is as much of an issue as a poinsettia..

    I'm pretty sure I've seen it in cat foods before *shrug* not saying you should or not.. just wanted to learn

  2. Kashmir is a fan of pizza, sanwiches, cheese, and peanut butter. I'll have to offer her some corn next time I make it!


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