Yes, this is a cat post. But it is cat post with metaphor.
The joke about cats being finicky, and the legendary snottiness of cats when confronted with food they do not like, is old and well worn. I used to believe that cat finickiness was actually a weakness in humans; if the cat is hungry enough it will eat whatever you put in front of it. If you give in to cat attitude the cat has won and that is the end of you. After living with cats for some time now, however, I understand now that the cat is eventually going to win anyhow. If not now than at 3AM in some other devious and destructive way. They will win because they are cats. You might as well give them what they want.
Of my two cats George is the more accommodating, food-wise. George will eat anything you put in front of him. In fact he will eat his food, go off and take Fierce Cat’s food away from her, eat any other food he happens to see lying around, and then whine pitifully and pretend that he hasn’t eaten at all in order to cadge another meal just in case. George likes all kinds of food. He is also quite partial to plastic, house flies, and rug fuzz.
Fierce Cat in general likes kibble. This is fine. She will accept canned food for breakfast but only if the following Rules are followed:
- Canned food must be brought to her first thing in the morning in bed. (Fierce Cat likes to sleep in).
- The plate of food must be placed directly in front on her on the bed.
- She does not like to be watched while eating.
- She will not eat if George is in the room, because George likes to steal her food (proving, once again, that Fierce Cat is very badly named). Because George is very sneaky about getting in to steal Fierce Cat’s food after Fierce Cat is fed in the morning George must be distracted while she eats (often with plastic, house flies, or rug fuzz).
I should point out that regularly Fierce Cat brings home rabbits she has caught in the yard and eats them on the back porch, starting from the ears and working down, and leaving nothing behind but the feet and the green wobbly bit on the mat. I have occasionally been forced to leave the room, as while she eats she makes uncomfortable enthusiastic crunching noises. And yet she expresses horror and disgust if I serve her food on the wrong plate. Go figure.
This brings us to the Trout Feast.
Fierce Cat doesn’t like the healthy cat food and there are some brands and flavors of cheap cat food she doesn’t like either. There are flavors of cat food she only likes if they are fresh from the can. And there are flavors that she’ll really like one time and then not like at all the next time. Every meal is an adventure. But there is definitely one variety of food that is at the bottom of the list and that is Trout Feast. I only fed her Trout Feast once but it made an impression.
Trout feast is apparently so disgusting that Fierce Cat will not even smell it to see if it is edible. All she has to do is look at a plate of trout feast to know that I have insulted her yet again. She actually sighs and turns away with an expression that says you must take me for some kind of desperate whore of a sewer cat to eat this, what kind of miserable living conditions are these anyhow that you would serve me this, THIS…that is not even FOOD on that plate. Take it back this instant and have the chef beaten with sticks. No, no, do not talk to me, do not touch me, I have to leave this house right now and a find a rabbit if I am going to eat anything at all today. You pathetic scum.
Trout Feast is apparently the uni, the durian, the tripe, the natto of cat food. George has no problem with it. Of course, George eats flies.
I’ve begun to think of trout feast in kind of a more general way. Trout feast as metaphor for bad things. Trapped in an airplane security line and they’ve just stolen your toothpaste? Trout feast. Internet connection down for two days? Trout feast. General status of political stability in Iraq? Major trout feast.
I think this concept has legs (metaphorically speaking; trout don’t have legs). If I can get four million or so bloggers to pick it up like the Snakes on a Plane thing then I’ll have it made.