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Duncan's increasingly sophisticated palate

Duncan dining on Tuesday

Duncan dining on Tuesday

If I were to be reincarnated, I might consider coming back as a housecat, if it weren’t for the diet. Every morning, Duncan eats some cold stinky canned meat by-products. Throughout the day he snacks on crunchy pellets made of dry meat by-products and filler. All he ever drinks is water. No wine, no coffee, just water. For variety, sometimes I serve it to him hot and we pretend it’s tea. He likes that.

When GC first came into our lives, I liked him immediately but Duncan wasn’t so sure. Remember the first time GC slept over, and Duncan peed on his shorts? Remember the time he peed directly on GC? (And on me too, at the same time – we were entangled together in bed one morning and Duncan climbed right up on top of us and peed.) Actually, you probably don’t remember that one because I was so mortified I didn’t even blog about it. I worried people wouldn’t like Duncan anymore if they knew.

We blamed ourselves, of course. Duncan’s dish was almost empty and his litterbox hadn’t been scooped for 36 hours. And there we were, lollygagging about in bed, lavishing so much attention on one another and none on him. Sometimes a cat has a point to make, and humans respond so well to being peed upon. They stop whatever they’re doing and turn their full attention to the cat.

Anyway, it took Duncan a little time to accept that GC, with a little training, might be a good addition to the cozy twosome we’d been enjoying.

Face in bowl

Face in bowl

GC was a dog person and knew nothing about cats. First of all, Duncan taught him how to stroke, massage and cuddle a cat. You don’t just thump ‘em on the side like you do a dog; There’s some finesse involved. Once GC had mastered this, Duncan appointed him to the very responsible position of morning staff person. That meant that GC was to rise at whatever hour Duncan deemed appropriate, go downstairs, wash Duncan’s dishes and replenish his food.

He also taught GC to beg. I explained to GC once that cats say “I love you” by touching your nose with their nose. So GC begs Duncan every night, before we fall asleep, for a nose touch: “Touch my nose Duncan, touch my nose.” Sometimes Duncan complies; Other times he turns his back and pretends he’s above nose-touching. Occasionally he ignores GC altogether and touches my nose instead.

Because GC wanted Duncan to love him enough to touch his nose every single time, he started looking for ways to make Duncan’s life even better than it already was. This wasn’t easy, because Duncan’s an enormously satisfied cat.

The Tuesday Bowl

The Tuesday Bowl

Here are some of the things GC does for Duncan: He brings him good presents, like fresh catnip mice. He reads to him. And a few months ago he bought him a special bowl and started a tradition called Tuna Fish Tuesday. Every Tuesday he brings a can of tuna fish over, and he and Duncan share it. GC’s portion goes in a sandwich, and Duncan’s portion goes in his Tuesday bowl. Duncan stands on his hind legs and meows when he sees GC bringing the Tuesday bowl out.

Lip-smacking goodness

Lip-smacking goodness

Lately, GC’s been a little concerned that Tuna Fish Tuesday might be getting stale. So a few weeks ago he brought over some tilapia, and they had Tilapia Tuesday instead. And yesterday they had Sardine Tuesday. Duncan LOVED sardine Tuesday. He loved it with his big head and his big fat paw jammed into the Tuesday bowl. He licked his lips for an hour afterward.

I wouldn’t let either one of them kiss me til they didn’t stink of sardines anymore, but Duncan thought GC smelled delicious.

16 comments to Duncan’s increasingly sophisticated palate

  • Lucy

    Oh, my god, Duncan is huge. Seeing him standing on 2 legs makes me realize just how big he is! He can reach the kitchen counter. He is the height of a toddler.
    Haha! I used to do that for my boyfriend’s cat; I would give her treats like chicken, canned fish, etc, to break the monotony of boring dry catfood.

  • Ditto on the hugeness. Any dog person would be a quick study on cats if the cat was as big as Duncan!

    – RG>

  • I used to have a orange cat just like Duncan..The Tuesday
    idea is great.. I also take the liquid from the Tuna/salmon
    etc. and break bread in the bowl first,then pour the liquid over it. The cat thinks the bread is meat.
    Kipper snacks are great too. I sit on the floor with the cat & we split the can.
    Great bonding!!!

  • Julia

    So sweet! The way to a cat’s heart is obviously through the stomach.

  • This was exactly what I needed to read today. Thank you.

  • Duncan is glorious! His coat is so beautiful, I am sure the lucky boy gets many brushes, which I bet he loves, too.

    That’s how my husband sucks up to our oldest cat, Mina. She usually can’t stand anyone but me, but if he talks soft and has a brush in hand, she might just allow him to worship her, and she might just purr a little in enjoyment.

    All love is lost the minute he stops brushing her, though.

  • Deb

    still waiting for a hair picture.

  • It’s funny. Today I was thinking, “Why don’t we read about Duncan anymore? Is he passé?” Apologies for thinking that Duncan.

  • Arden

    GC sure knows how to spoil a cat rotten! That’s wonderful!

    What lovely pictures too! I too am always struck by how gigantic he is. I often think my dogcat is big, but he’s just a big regular housecat, he’s no Norwegian Forest cat!

  • This is a great story – so typically CAT! I love it!

  • Oma

    All those photos of Duncan’s orange hair … and none of Zoom’s … PLEASE!

  • We used to do sardines as a Christmas treat for our cats growing up. It was always a big hit.

    Another cat “I love you.” is the slow blink. My boyos do that more frequently then the nose touching. My elder statescat we lost last year wanted head kisses – he would come up to you and bump his head until you gave him a kiss.

  • Lucy, he’s a big cat but he has relatively short stumpy legs.

    Grouchy, yeah, when you’re that big they call you Mister.

    Rita, I can see you doing that. Did you re-friend your cat after the bus strike that way?

    Julia, you can also get to a cat’s heart with affection. Duncan’s a great big suck.

    Laurie – you’re welcome. I’m glad I could return the favour, because I read exactly what I needed to read on YOUR blog yesterday.

    Susan – there’s nothing like a cat who plays hard to get.

    Deb – the problem is my hair is hard to photograph. You know how it’s hard to photograph a black dog? I’m like that.

    Woodsy – maybe you send a psychic suggestion my way and I was sensitive enough to intercept it? We should experiment.

    Arden – he spoils both of us. It’s lovely.

    WC – typically cat – exactly!

    Oma – what I said to Deb. When I get a decent picture, I’ll post it.

    Elizabeth – I’m going to watch for that slow blink – I’m not familiar with it. Do you think it’s universal?

  • I think you should take Duncan to audition for a movie. His size alone should make him a shoo-in, but it’s his personality that will win them over.

  • I love cats and I loved this post! It made me laugh out loud and immediately go looking for Gabby and Izzy (presently hiding from the trauma of the trick or treaters) to get my own nose kisses!

    Duncan is one handsome kitty.

  • [...]  On Sundays, Bazel gets a special treat. I get him the small cans of Snappy Tom  tuna or tuna with salmon dinners. He gets one of those in the morning and one in the evening. Each can is $1.69. They’re yummy because they look like actual chunks of fish, not all pasty like the usual cat food. (Zoom’s cat, Duncan, gets his special treat on Tuesdays) [...]