My big boy, Renn, has never eaten much. He has, nonetheless, maintained his size and strength through much of his life with me. As he’s aged, however, he’s shrunk. There are now bigger boys than Renn. But, while his coordination isn’t quite what it was, his kidneys continue to fail and he suffers a chronic but mild respiratory affliction, he nonetheless is largely enjoying his later years.
Part of this is attributable to his continued appetite. But it is not easy to keep Renn fed; it never has been. His intake of soft-food is, most of the time, negligible. Even when he eats, he will spend ten minutes over a bowl and end up consuming almost nothing. Fortunately, he drinks an adequate amount of water. Even so, his hard-food is very important.
For a couple of years now, his preferred varieties have not included the high-quality food that was once the staple in the household. Instead, he likes two other kinds, another good and expensive brand, and a second, even more expensive brand, a type of food meant for diabetics (Neville also receives that.)
Recently, though, he had a taste of the food I have been giving to the outsider-cats. It is a very good brand, but I obtained a number of bags that were near their expiry dates; the cost was lower and the food still good. Now, however, Renn seems to like this variety. But he also likes the others - besides which, I have a large supply of them to get rid of, even if he prefers the latest sort. So Renn has his buffet.
Furthermore, he likes to have it set out for him whenever he asks. He could go to the food-bowls on the floor in the corridor. He would receive the same selection. But he doesn’t. And because he would rather starve than not be served, I acquiesce to his demands. And the demands are now made in a low whine that doesn’t end except when his mouth is in a food-bowl.
For all this, Renn is a pretty undemanding sort. He reminds me of the man in the old folks’ home who is easy-going and friendly, but always wants the same chair at the same table by the same window at every meal, and if he doesn’t get it, well, then he’ll skip dinner tonight, thank you - no, no, that’s all right; he wasn’t hungry, anyway - and he’ll see you at breakfast tomorrow.
I can’t have that, so Renn has his buffet.