As our population continues to expand, conscientious citizens should maintain and develop an appreciation for how our behaviors and environments affect other creatures. One creature in particular, which could at one time have truly been called wild, has now become so accustomed to humans that inter-species conflicts are almost routine. This animal, once it has developed a taste for human food, will seek it out at every opportunity, increasing an already tense relationship between man and beast.
I speak, of course, of Felis catus, the domestic house cat.
There was a time when my cat was content to eat little nuggets of fish-flavored whatever-the-hell from a bag. He would sit patiently and await, night after night, the ensuing precipitation of crunchy morsels. This is the food upon which he was raised, a perfect blend of nutrition, flavor, and consumer advertising for his inactive feline lifestyle.
Then, one day, he happened upon a plate, thoughtlessly left atop a kitchen counter by a human whose actions can only be described as careless and/or non-negligibly inebriated. Who knows what it may have held. A congealed fleck of mozzarella? The neglected detritus of a tuna sandwich? One of those little crunchy bits that are from time to time discovered within breakfast sausages (the white pearls of the processed meat kingdom)?
We may never know what first gave him the taste for people food. All we know is that he is now obsessed. And surprisingly epicurean. The list of foods for which my cat now begs includes—but is not limited to—cultured butter, yogurt (both Greek and affordable), yellow curry, tomatoes, baked potato, olive oil, and Camembert. He comes running at the slightest clink of cutlery against crockery. Even the sound of Wellbutrin tablets falling from pill jar onto counter now arouses his attention. (Every cat owner uses Wellbutrin at least recreationally, I promise you).
So I beg you. Clean your dishes with haste. Close the butter dish. Conceal the cruets. Do it for yourself. Do it for the cats.