ROMEO’s fine dining experience

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When it comes to eating habit, feline fellows seldom overeat. They are born balanced eaters. Let me share how I come to know about this first hand from my two-year-old tabby cat Romeo.
 
If you read my story in the last issue of Cats & Kittens, you must have understood how Romeo came into our family. He was a hungry stray kitten whom we found on our rooftop terrace. Since my daughters, Jo and Mae, welcomed him to join our small family, I have been assigned on duty of his daily food and treat supply. I feed him twice a day, with some small munchies in between. Early morning he would purr like an alarm clock if I’m little behind the daily timing, whereas his dinner at eight in the evening is always a cool affair.
 
Fully controlled eating
Romeo after a bath
Sometimes I often come across stories of cats being obese, particularly among those staying in apartments with little or no activities at all. But my experience with Romeo, who was earlier a barn feline and now an apartment kitty, is a different story. He is quite an active and smart kitty, not a couch potato. He plays well, never overeats even when a heap of treats is put beside him. It’s said that pet parents must carefully measure and supervise the amount of food given to their apartment cats, as it must be much lower than that their outdoor counterparts consume. This must be the rule, but it doesn’t hold true with Romeo’s food regime. Give him any quantity larger than his daily dose, by intention or mistake, he chooses only the right amount to his requirement, then the rest at dinner if it’s dry food that can be kept till then. It is Romeo himself who decides the quantity of his daily food intake, not me.
 
Four-footed thief
Yes you hear it right. ‘Four-footed thief’—this is Romeo’s second name he received from my daughters. There is nothing wrong in it. Cats are predators by nature who love to hunt for food in form of stealing. Romeo engages in this job mostly when he is alone at home. Occasionally, we all in the family, except him, go out all day long either for shopping or some social events. Such is the timing Romeo incarnates himself into a new avatar, geared up fully for stealing. This doesn’t mean he would over eat the stolen stuff. He just enjoys taking some bites and leaves the rest in a dismantled state. The most recent food theft took place on the very next day of Diwali while we were at a friend’s place for dinner, leaving Romeo alone. That day, when we returned home late at night, the four-footed thief greeted us at the front doorstep with a sweet bariton purring. While he was busy rubbing his sides on my legs, Jo caught something going wrong on his nose, which turned from the usual pink to black. What happened? Everybody wondered! I lifted him, his hind legs swinging in the air. It was the smoked fish that smeared his nose, which he slurped with a little trace of panic on his face. Then we found a crime scene at the overhead kitchen cupboard.
 
Dustbin checker
What it makes Romeo’s eyes wider than normal is when we marinate fish in the kitchen. The moment the enticing aroma of fish in the air passes in front of his nose he would animate, start purring breathlessly showing his inability to resist for a bite. In fish affair, what it attracts Romeo includes the dustbin of the Malayali family above our floor. Whenever he goes to the rooftop terrace, either with Jo or Mae, he never fails to lean into the dustbin that emits fish aroma, but contains nothing inside.
Picture Purrfect
Yashika with Meow

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