Guest post by Madolline Gourley, traveling cat sitter from Brisbane, Australia.
I had the pleasure of looking after Henry and his adoptive sister, Josie, for about a month during the recent summer holidays. The cats’ Toronto-based owners warned me about Henry’s fondness for human food, but I didn’t realise this meant he’d want to try anything and everything I brought home.
They told me about an evening where Henry, their two-year-old ginger kitty, snuck a slice of pizza out of the pizza box while they slept. While funny, I’ve known a few cheese-loving cats over the years so I didn’t think anything more of it. That is, until I brought my first piece of cake back to the apartment the first afternoon I was in town.
I unboxed the coffee cake and left it on the dining room table while I went to the kitchen to get a fork. I was gone for less than 30 seconds, during which time Henry appeared out of nowhere and was helping himself to the Mascarpone crème. I know cats shouldn’t eat some of the ingredients in the cake, so I was quick to take it off the table. Henry wasn’t very happy about this and began to gently paw at the cake’s packaging as I held (and ate) it in my hands.
Henry continued to show a keen interest in other snacks I’d bring home each day — this included things like a birthday cake-inspired protein bar, salted caramel and pretzel donut, and pecan praline cheesecake — and would always have a go at getting some of it for himself.
You might be starting to think Henry only liked baked goods and sweet treats, but he liked savoury snacks just as much as he enjoyed eyeing-off my almond croissant. He tried to stick his head in the bag of ketchup-flavoured rice cakes and was transfixed by the Twigz’s buttery herb and garlic pretzels packet. He also tried to get his way into a container of BBQ-flavoured nuts I picked up.
Henry even had a crack at the cherries I brought home from St Lawrence Market and, on one occasion, thought he was more monkey than cat when he spotted my banana. There were times when my dinner wasn’t safe, either. One night, I caught both cats getting a whiff of the meat-free pad Thai I had delivered.
Just to be clear: Henry isn’t underfed. He’s curious. I think his food curiosity stems from his time as a rescue cat when meals weren’t a constant in his life. I don’t know a whole lot about his past — or how long he was living on the streets – but I do know he’s living his best life now. That includes being showered with love, cat toys and creamy treats.