Wednesday, 23 November 2011
Drink your milk, it's good for you
He was once called Pepsi, but after he decided to move a few door down and live with someone else he was renamed Morris.
He has, among other charming habits, a way of bolting his food in ten seconds flat, only to regurgitate it a minute later.
I have known other cats who have this sort of feline bulimia and usually they have been half-starved early in their lives and I suspect, have had to fight to get their share of whatever was on offer.
In addition he is one of the numerous cats who are milk intolerant - or, more precisely - lactose intolerant.
There is a fairly common assumption that all cats love milk. Not so. There are vast numbers who thrive on water (preferably nice and muddy) but who become ill and in extreme cases, even die, if fed milk.
I sympathise. Not so far as I'm aware, lactose intolerant, just a natural hater of milk, I've spent half my life trying to explain what I mean by, "just a tiny drop of - preferably skimmed - milk, in tea and coffee, and none at all in anything else.
My breakfast cereal gets the absolute minimum of skimmed milk, just enough to dampen it, and the smell of full fat milk turn my stomach.
Centuries ago, when in primary school (known as infants school in those days), we were given free milk every morning, and my poor innocent mother who knew her crafty daughter not at all, was pleased to think at least one part of her childrens' diet was taken care of by the new "Welfare State".
I used to sell my bottle for a half-penny or if I had no takers, give it away, And, if that failed, pour it down the drain in the playground.
The vast sums I collected, in the average week about a penny, were spent on carrots from the greengrocer I passed on the way home from school, and added to my mother's vegetables for the week. She never seemed to count her carrots and it was not until she was about 60 that I owned up.
"Oh" she said, "but you always liked rice pudding"
I explained that half a ton of golden syrup, sugar was rationed, plus handfuls of sultanas and grated nutmeg on top compensated adequately for the less acceptable part of said pud.
We often talked, and eventually laughed about it, and my mother's theory was that since she and my father were desperately poor when I was a baby, she breast-fed me until I was ten months old and though I thrived it must have left a life-long impression in my brain that milk was a 2nd rate food.
Whatever the reason it is not only cats who turn up their noses at this most basic of foods.