Have I mentioned before that my older sister Tammy is pretty scary? Well – she is. And I mean really scary! Here’s what she did recently:


Bilbo and TammyShe decided to go on a hunger strike. Just like that. She didn’t bother mentioning her plan to me or anything; just stopped eating one day. This didn’t bother me a great deal, because more for me to polish off on my way past. And as I left her bowl so scrupulously clean, it took Mum a while to work out who was eating Tammy’s food. But goodness did she make a fuss when she realized! She tried every trick in the book to get Tammy to eat: she pureed her wet food, soaked her dry food, offered her man food from the big white box, stroked her, sang to her, carried her around the house, all to no avail. Tammy kept her lips shut tight, ate nothing and grew thinner by the day. It was scary to watch.

The fact that I, meanwhile, was diligently eating all my food and even licking my bowl clean went unnoticed. I might have been invisible for all the attention I was getting, because everything revolved around Tammy. Even Dad, generally the level-headed one around here, started fussing over her. The only times Mum or Dad noticed me was when I tried to get at Tammy’s leftovers, and then only to remove her bowl to the very top of the big white box, where even I can’t get to it. Eventually, I had to resort to supplementing my meagre portions with rodents from the field next door. They did notice that, but only because I left the occasional head or stomach under the kitchen table for them. That’s how kind I am, even in the face of total neglect.

Tammy and DadA few days into Tammy’s hunger strike when all else had failed, Mum took her off to the vet in her luxury girly carrier with the pink trim. Please let me never have to go in that carrier; I’d die of shame! The first time they went, Tammy returned with a large shaved patch on her neck that made her look like a turkey. The second time they shaved off some of the hair on her leg. The third time she was gone all day. I will confess here, because I know I’m among friends, that I harboured the secret hope of possibly never seeing her again and becoming the SOLE CAT IN THE HOUSE.

It was not to be. Tammy returned, looking a bit drowsy and very thin indeed, but still refusing her food. I could sense Mum was very upset, and that made me sad, too, because I like her, in spite of her obvious unfairness. With a heavy heart, I abandoned my February contribution to TDM and we sat down together to decide what else we could do about Tammy. I suggested Mum could get me some really, really irresistible new food, which I would munch loudly, purring if need be, to attract Tammy’s attention. Then, when she became jealous and wanted some, we would tell her she couldn’t have it, which would make her even keener, and before she knew it, she’d eat again.

Mum thought my idea was ingenious and went off to the shops, returning with an assortment of little pouches that smelt divine, even before they were opened. I was really looking forward to our little plan.

And now here’s the really scary bit: I never got to try the wonderful new food at all, even though it was all my idea, because as soon as Mum spooned the contents of the first pouch into my bowl, Tammy appeared from nowhere, pushed me out of the way and gobbled it all up. Ever since then, she’s been eating like there’s no tomorrow, has put all her weight back on and never leaves any for me. And I have to put up with the old, inferior food. How is that fair?

Readers: am I being unreasonable, or is this the outrage I think it is? 

See you next time



A Cats Purr

"Cats make one of the most satisfying sounds in the world: they purr ...

A purring cat is a form of high praise, like a gold star on a test paper. It is reinforcement of something we would all like to believe about ourselves - that we are nice."

Roger A Caras