Many house cat owners have found themselves wondering from time to time what their feline friends were thinking as their cats stare at them with a look of vague tolerance. While it’s virtually impossible to know the answer to that question at any given moment, we can be reasonably sure that if we’re holding a hamburger, our furry friend is thinking “Where’s mine?”
Some cats are finicky eaters, yet for others their only dining preference is “often.” Consider the aforementioned scenario with the cat and the hamburger; at what point in evolution did a house cat develop a taste for the red meat from a much bigger bovine creature? The larger cousins of the species such as tigers and lions may be able to catch and feast on beasts of that size, but be assured that if you visit a mixed farming operation and see a cat wearing a bell on its collar, it’s a warning device for the chickens rather than the herd of Angus cattle in the north forty.
As for seafood, it’s imaginable that a domestic cat could visit a pond or stream and craftily skim out a minnow or something of that nature. It’s even possible that cats have caught shrimp by their own efforts, but in that case any primitive preparation would probably be no more involved than peel and eat, if that, which doesn’t explain why Tabby would have a hankering for an entrée such as a shrimp Wellington pastry baked in an Alfredo cream sauce. The raw fish contained in many varieties of sushi would be a natural choice for our feline colleagues. Perhaps our ancestors tried to make their own seafood delicacies less appetizing to their cats by hiding it in wrapped layers of sticky rice and seaweed, smearing it with Wasabi and garnishing with hot ginger slices.
Cat food companies prepare and can entrées for our pets using beef, chicken and seafood complete with complimentary sauces that often rival our own meals for nutrition and presentation. Conspicuously absent from the commercial cat food menu are mice, grasshoppers and sparrows, the cuisine most often acquired by our cats when they’re tending to their own feedings. Cats will sometimes eat greens, accepting the whole back yard as their personal salad bar. This is sometimes combined with a hunting excursion. Even indoor cats may partake of boxed cat grass, and you have to admire the optimism of a twenty-five pound calico who thinks he can stalk you from behind four dozen blades of feline foliage.
This is not to make light of the apparent hunting prowess of even the most modestly sized house cat. Patience while tracking is a valuable skill for hunting; many felines are prepared to wait upwards of half an hour for a laser pointer beam to return from disappearing under the edge of a sofa.