What on earth is a chicken?

Dear Orlando,

My totally unimaginative human feeds me tinned chicken literally every day and I’m utterly sick of it. 

Don’t get me wrong – I’m pawsitively grateful to be fed as I’m far too lazy to hunt these days and it’s slim pickings round where I live anyway. There are too many other cats in the neighbourhood for my liking and I can’t be bothered duking it out with them. One of them is called Conan for goodness’ sake. Conan! Talk about nominative determinism. He’s an absolute beast.

Anyway, I’d appreciate any tips you can give me. 

Also, what on earth is chicken anyway?

Yours, in dietary desperation, 

Cuddlypops, aged 63, Ecclefechan.

Dear Cuddlypops,

Good lord. That name is quite the opposite of Conan. Are you very . . . fluffy?

Firstly, why on earth don’t you know what chicken is? You must have chased a few birds in your time, and a chicken is a plump and tasty bird, albeit one that doesn’t fly very well – which is rather to our advantage. It sounds as though you have been eating a less recognisable version of it.

Secondly, most cats rather enjoy eating chicken. It’s quite a delicacy and some cats would be envious of you, but I do agree it’s a bit much being fed this every single day. Variety is the spice of life and all that. Try ignoring your food bowl to make your humans worry enough to take you to the vet. I know the vet isn’t an enticing prospect, but once they’ve checked you over and declared you otherwise fit and healthy, they’ll tell your human how fussy we are and recommend a change in diet. Bingo!

Failing that, there are other tricks. Try being sick on their favourite rug after eating your food, or you could resort to Howl Number 17 – the plaintive cry that sounds like you’re at death’s door, with a heart-wrenching note of melancholy at the end. I find that works in quite a lot of situations. You could also try meal-swapping with a willing neighbourhood cat who’d like some chicken to balance out their tuna or duck. It helps if you both have a cat-flap or some easy means of entry.

I hope that helps. If not, you’ll have to run the gauntlet of Conan, who sounds strangely familiar . . .

Yours Purrfully,

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