No, this post isn’t about siopao or any other dish involving our feline friends.
I’ve always been a dog person. I adopted my first cat back in 2002, if I remember correctly, largely because our house that time needed a solution to a rat problem. It helped that Bec-Bec, who was given to me by my mother’s cousin, was unlike any cat I knew. She wasn’t aloof at all and she allowed me to stroke the top of her head the first time we met so I was hooked on her right away. However, I wasn’t really ready to take care of her like I would a dog because I was relying on the fact that cats were basically low maintenance pets. So we fed her scraps and let her in the house only when she had exterminating duties. Over the years she would come home pregnant and after giving birth my mother would usually give (or throw) away the kittens.
When I returned from Cambodia I noticed that like me, Bec-Bec had grown old. Her orange coat was getting mangy, like a rug that’s becoming threadbare. Her rat killing days seem to be over too because she’s not as fast as she used to be. I decided to better take care of her so I tried to “elevate” the scraps I was feeding her, much to the chagrin of my mother who saw her now as a nuisance because of the other stray cats that she brings into our yard. A few months ago a kitten started coming with Bec-Bec in her forays in our backyard. She had a mixed orange and white coat and because Bec-Bec was always grooming her, I deduced that this was her offspring.
But she was skittish around me, running away whenever I approached, even if I had food. But one day, I offered my hand and like her mother before her, she touched it with the top of her head and allowed me to stroke it. I decided to call her Roni. I named them after my favorite character in the Archie Comics: Veronica Lodge. So from then on I have been feeding them with better food that I could find around the house. They have a field day when we have fish for lunch or dinner. If not, they would have to fend for themselves.
This was really bothering me. I wanted to buy them cat food but I’m concerned that they wouldn’t like it because they’ve been used to eating scraps. I didn’t want the cat food to go to waste if left uneaten. But yesterday at the supermarket, I decided to get some cat food because I’ll never find out unless I try. I got something for kittens because I thought, being the younger, Roni might be more receptive to cat food than her mother Bec-Bec.
Yesterday I took an old and unused bowl, put in about a tablespoon of cat food, and gave it to them. To my surprise, Bec-Bec seemed to enjoy it more than Roni. But they ate all of it! I was very glad. In this morning’s feeding, both of them consumed the cat food quickly and even licked the bowl clean. I failed to capture the moment because I was taking my morning coffee while watching them feed. I only have the photo of the empty bowl.
Now I don’t have to worry about feeding my cats. They can be fed on time and benefit from the nutrients that is severely lacking in the scraps that I was feeding them. More importantly, cat food is not expensive.