Friday, November 1, 2013

For His Dining Pleasure

Bear-Bear is doing well. He is taking his medicine, which will determine whether he has an auto-immune deficiency, or cancer. Readers of this blog have helpfully made other suggestions, which I will be discussing with the rescue-group responsible for the BB.

In the meantime, he must keep up his strength. He’s not just a fussy eater, he’s idiosyncratic. He loves a certain kind of food. What that certain kind is, changes from time to time, usually immediately following my purchase of a large quantity of tins of his previous favourite. He enjoys Fancy Feast; originally, it was cod/shrimp/sole flavour. Then, it was ‘chunky’ chicken. Moving on, he discovered the joys of the ‘gravy’ varieties.

The flavours with sauce or ‘gravy’ have a lot gluten in them, but beyond that, Bear-Bear does not always eat the food itself. He will lick off the sauce, then demand more, leaving most of my cat-food budget uneaten in his dish. The other cats, who will sometimes eat left-overs, will not eat sauce-less grilled Fancy Feast. This, I believe, is a common problem with other households. However, considering the BB’s condition, and his possible fate, I am loathe to deny him what he enjoys. He does have plenty of hard food to fall back on.

Now and then, I can coax Bear-Bear to try something else, which he then usually finds that he enjoys. Bear-Bear himself may call this coaxing intimidation. I try not to be heavy-handed about it. He will stand at his full food-dish, his head hung dejectedly, and not moving, while I urge him to eat.

“Try it, Bear-Bear. Go on. It’s good. Go on. Go on. Give it a try.” And so on.

Sometimes it works. Sometimes he nibbles just to satisfy my demands. As I mentioned, he does taste it and frequently goes on, not only to eat it, but to insist on more. Until the next meal-time. He polished off a tin of Fancy Feast chicken flavour the other day. But the following morning, I could not get him to eat anything until I relented and provided him with some chicken with ‘gravy’. And then he consumed the whole thing.

Feeding Bear-Bear has the certainty of a throw of dice.

But he does entertain me, as well. A talkative fellow, he doesn’t meow. I’m beginning to wonder if any cat does. No, his preferred word is ‘raa’ (pronounced with a sound between ‘raw’ and the short, abrupt vowel in ‘ran’.)

“Raa,” he says, repeatedly, when he wants food, varied by slipping in a ‘rao’ now and then. And when I am bringing his dish of food to the food-mat, he gets under my feet and generally in my way with a nearly endless series of ‘nnggg’. And then he falls morosely silent if the dish doesn’t contain this hour’s preferred variety of nourishment.

Bear-Bear’s dining pleasure is often a purgatory for me. I hope I have him around to subject me to it for a very long time.


  1. Oh, they learn quickly how to manipulate us. :-)

    But of course I, too, hope he's around a long, long time to do this to you!

  2. Here's hoping Bear-Bear's health will stabilize - he's such a sweet looking little boy.

  3. Oh the joys of feeding a picky eater! Flynn will only eat gravy varieties. If I try to give him pate or jelly he sniffs it and looks at me in disgust. He also is forever changing his mind on what variety he likes. If he eats 3 tins of the same variety I think, "Wonderful, he likes it!" and buy 24 tins. The next tin I give him he looks at me as if I am trying to poison him! Sometimes he will eat if I keep petting him, but the minute I stop he walks off.
    I hope Bear Bear continues to do well.

  4. Sasha has begun to be a little more discerning about his food, and sometimes needs to be coaxed to eat. Most times I have to my son, as Sasha listens to him more readily than I.
    I hope Bear-Bear continues to eat well, and take his meds, so that you will have him with you for much longer!

  5. My Jessie is now very picky with old age and health problems. I now buy a variety of brands and flavours because, like Bear Bear she changes her preferences just as I buy a case of one brand. I mix a little warm water in the wet food to make a little gravy and find she more readily eats her meals. I hope all the best for dear Bear Bear.

  6. That was a great description! I can hear him at the dish now
    We are purring for this good looking Man Cat that things will go to the good