Cats ‘n’ Fish

We were delighted to read David Miskelly’s article in the Christmas edition of Papyrus – The Abyssinian Cat Club Magazine. It is nice to read a professional review of cats dietary requirements and we were relieved that we do give ours everything that they require. We have never really seen such a document before and since we now keep our cats within the confines of the house and outdoor enclosure they no longer have access to wildlife.

When Jade the little Burmese girl lived with us although she shared the cat food that the two boys ate, she certainly cleared up a number of rabbits every day (especially the young ones) along with mice, rats, weasels, pigeons, songbirds and once even a mole. We drew the line at the dead grey squirrel that we had seen lying stiff at the foot of an ash tree in the hedge the day before. Surprising to us, after she had been neutered she would always bring in more wild kill whenever our grandchildren were visiting. One thing we do not miss is having to dose the indoor cats to rid them of parasites.

I notice that a friend of ours who is a farmer now does Faecal examination using a microscope and only gives a worming drench when the count is beginning to rise. Is it possible to do this for cats, after all at one of the places where I worked we did a similar procedure in debris analysis of oil samples from all he machines and gearboxes that we used, only sending out for a replacement unit when the debris trend started to rise. Thankfully metal debris does not wriggle!

We like to feed the two boys and Florence with the pouched cat food as they have a pouch shared between three dishes so it is quickly eaten. There is always a large sharing dish of all in one food for them.

I am still a bit old fashioned about them having treats, so when we have a roast we always cut a slice which we cut up to give to the cats whilst we are eating. I also buy one of those cheap chickens from the supermarket, which we roast and then cut up into four quarters and then halve each of the pieces so there are eight portions. We freeze them separately and every few days we defrost one and cut it up and divide in their dishes in lieu of a pouch meal, which they enjoy so much that they are trying to help me cut it up.

One of our favourite meals is to buy a pack of assorted pieces of fish and poach it in milk together with some prawns and herbs etc., then put it in a casserole dish with a pastry cover to make a fish pie. Izzy and Florence go absolutely mad whilst we are making this and have to be locked out of the kitchen whilst work is in progress, not just a closed door as Izzy has the skill to open all the doors. When we serve it to eat they drive us mad until we share some of it with them and Florence. This brings me to the point of this tale, how do cats get hold of fish in the wild, they certainly do not relish swimming, nor do they really like getting their legs wet, even more how do they catch prawns? Of more interest is how in the wild did they manage to cook the fish, as they show much more interest in poached or grilled fish than they ever do in cold raw fish?

Richard & Ann Barker