Sometimes I wonder if I shouldn't just let the animals sort out their own food. They receive a varied and balanced diet but still cannot resist breaking in wherever they can and helping themselves. Poor Dominie would miss out, of course.
This morning after breakfast they settled down but a short while later I heard a knocking; it sounded as though one of the cats had found his way into a kitchen cupboard and was now trapped and trying unsuccessfully to escape. I had been engrossed in what I was doing but suddenly noticed that three of the dogs and both the cats had disappeared. Time to investigate! On the tiled floor next to the larder cupboard lay a punctured carton of orange juice, leaking its contents in an ever-spreading puddle. Winston was looking puzzled.
In the conservatory a pouch of cat food was being consumed. The meat and juices inside were resisting extraction so a great deal of energetic licking was taking place; in the course of this the vertical blind cords had become entangled and, being covered in delicious food, had been sucked up by Frodo the Faller. I was able to withdraw it from his mouth and throat with no problem but while I was clearing up the remains of the pouch Jenna-the-Labrador surreptitiously swallowed the cord and was rather surprised by the texture of the 'food'. She was as relieved as Frodo had been to have it removed. It was then that I discovered that the pouch had been divided into neat halves and Buddy Liver Spots was busily slurping at the remaining half.
Having tidied and cleaned I realised that Winston and Monty obviously had not eaten enough of their raw chicken wings before Buddy barged in on them at breakfast and Winston had decided to make good the deficit. Normally there would not have been any commercial cat food available but as both the cats had been a little under the weather I had bought some foil packets to try and encourage them to eat, deciding in any case that it would be a good idea to have a stand-by in the cupboard. Ready-prepared cat food smells strongly and my mistake was to leave it within Ocicat reach. Winston yelled at me at full volume until I opened a fresh packet and left him and Monty in peace to eat it.
The rest of the pouches are now on a high shelf where none of the animals, apart from the humans, can reach them. Granddaughter Marnie, take note! She and Nadia were sampling cat food last week – I was pleased to hear that a vet would do this, but as feline medicine is Nadia's particular interest I wasn't overly surprised.