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The Postscript “What Cats Like”

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“I’ve been reading about cats,” my husband, Peter, tells me. Peter has never had a cat before.
“Oh, yeah?”
“Salt is not good for their kidneys. We have to give Felix unsalted fish.”
Felix is our adopted street cat here in Mexico. He is coming back to the U.S. with us in a fancy backpack carrier I found online. It has mesh on either side, with one big plexiglass bubble in the back, so Felix can watch his fellow passengers in comfort. He hasn’t flown yet, but our trips to and from the veterinarian were uneventful, so I think he will adapt to it rather well.
Felix is adapting to everything rather well, especially considering he is not the five-month-old kitten we thought he was, but fully two years old. I learned this at the vet when he got his first vaccination.
“I don’t know how old he is,” I told them, explaining that he was a rescued street cat.
The vet tech was nonchalant. She peeled back Felix’s lips and examined his teeth. “One or two years,” she declared.
“Really?”
“I think so.”
Then a second veterinarian’s assistant came in. “How old is he?” she asked.
I told her again that I didn’t know. (I figured it was good to get a second opinion.) Felix suffered the indignity of having his lips peeled back a second time in five minutes.
“At least two years old,” she said.
“Two years?” I asked—for clarification. (I have misunderstood numbers in Spanish more often than I care to admit.)
“Yes,” the vet tech said with certainty. “He is at least two years old.” They recorded his date of birth as 2022, and Felix suddenly went from being a scrappy kitten to a remarkably playful and adaptable adult cat.
But he is very thin, and unlike a lot of rescued animals, he does not seem to be especially interested in food. The woman who fostered him said she had dry cat food available for him all the time, so that’s what we did as well. But Felix was not eating much.
I bought an overpriced package of soft chicken cat food. It smelled awful. Felix tried it. He was unimpressed. The food hardened in his bowl, and he was still not putting on any weight.
“Maybe he’d like a scrambled egg,” Peter suggested. “Do cats like eggs?”
I’ve had several cats but, as far as I can remember, I had never made breakfast for any of them. Peter scrambled up an egg and gave Felix part of it. Felix loved the scrambled egg. Then Peter got reading up on what else cats like.
“They can have fish, but they should eat all the bones for better nutrition,” Peter informed me. I believed him. Peter brought home a can of mackerel. The mackerel was a huge hit. Peter kept reading.
“It says here that cats like peas. Maybe we could give him some garbanzo beans.”
At this point, Peter was miles ahead of me in his study of cat nutrition. We gave Felix three garbanzo beans. Felix ate them immediately and demanded more.
Now Peter is looking for canned fish—whole fish—complete with bones that we can give Felix for a bedtime snack. “I can get a case of salt-free canned sardines for a good price!” he announced. “Do you think Felix would like sardines?”
I looked at Felix lying contentedly in his furry bed. I don’t know nearly as much about cats as I thought I did. But I’m willing to bet Felix will like sardines very much indeed.

Till next time,

Carrie

To see photos, check out CarrieClassonAuthor on Facebook or visit CarrieClasson.com.

Carrie Classon

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