Tag: Thanksgiving

OK Seriously, What’s With All The Turkey?

You may have noticed that turkey is a frequent topic of conversation on this blog, and since we’ve had new readers join us it’s a good time to explain just what the hell is going on with my cat’s fowl obsession.

It’s simple: Buddy really loves turkey.

I first noticed it when he was about 10 weeks old. Like most cats he enjoys all kinds of food, but when I fed him turkey one day, he scarfed every last bit of it down, licking his bowl clean.

When he was finished he looked like the happiest kitten in the world, sitting there licking his lips enthusiastically, sopping up every stray morsel before letting loose a tiny, satisfied belch.

Buddy Drooling At Turkey
“The turkey!”

Before adopting Bud, I’d read enough cautionary stories about finicky cats who’ll only eat a certain kind of meat, in only one texture, from a particular cat food company.

Not only does food become perfunctory for those cats, but if the cat food company discontinues the product, both cat and owner are in for frustration that could stretch for weeks of trial and error. Finding an acceptable alternative is usually an expensive, wasteful process as kitty repeatedly turns his or her nose up at substitutes.

Heeding the cautionary advice of those devoted cat servants, I fed as much variety as was possible from the very beginning. Bud eats salmon, chicken, beef, tuna, shrimp and duck, among other varieties when available.

He genuinely enjoys his meals thanks to the variety, and I’d recommend the same strategy for anyone else bringing a new kitten home. Get ’em started early and you won’t have a picky cat.

But for Bud, nothing compares to turkey. No other food prompts such meows of pure joy, or the urgency with which he leads me to his dining nook when he knows his bowl is filled with yummy turkey goodness, frequently looking over his shoulder to make sure I’m just a step behind him with his beloved turkey.

It’s been that way since he was a baby, and in more than six years it hasn’t changed.

So for Buddy, life’s finest things are turkey, catnip, napping, napping on top of his Big Buddy, and turkey.

The Cat Who Ate The Turkey

Buddy has a new hero.

Heather Ziegler, a columnist for a local newspaper in West Virginia, recalls a Thanksgiving from her teenage years made memorable by her cat helping himself to the turkey:

My mother had taken the huge frozen turkey and placed it on top of the [freezer] to begin the thawing process several days before Thanksgiving. By the grace of God, we all survived this process over the years.

However, this particular year was a first for our family. A day or so before Thanksgiving, my mother went to retrieve the turkey. A scream was heard, peppered with a few harmless curse words. At some point, the family cat had discovered the turkey and had begun to enjoy a pre-Thanksgiving meal. The turkey was ruined and it was too late to thaw another bird.

The story has a happy ending of sorts: Heather’s mom and dad took all twelve (!) of their children out to dinner, where they were joined by their young cousins, whose police officer father had been shot a few days earlier and remained hospitalized. Thanks to the crafty cat, those kids had the comfort of their extended family on a difficult holiday.

Since then, Ziegler writes, The Turkey Incident has become a fondly-remembered bit of family lore.

As regular readers of Pain In The Bud know, turkey is Buddy’s favorite food in the universe.

Why turkey, and why not chicken, beef, salmon, duck or tuna? Who knows? He’s loved it since kittenhood and would eat turkey all the time if he could.

Thankfully he won’t be putting a damper on Thanksgiving: I don’t eat meat, and my aunt hosts Thanksgiving in her house. But maybe it’s time for a special turkey treat for the good boy in the form of Thanksgiving leftovers.

Cat and Turkey!
This silver tabby (not Buddy) can’t wait to get his paws on leftover turkey. Photo credit: Nick Strate