Spoil your cats!

How to get rid of leftovers

Portrait of our first two catsWhen you've made stock, don't forget to fish out the soup bones and pick the meat off them. As long as no salt was added, soup meat is perfect for cats. Cut the meat in small pieces, and steep a slice of whole wheat bread in a few tablespoons broth. Mash the bread with a fork and mix with the meat. Or use some leftover cooked rice. Cats love it when their food is still lukewarm. If you have prepared chicken stock, you can also use the chicken skin. That is fat, but once in a while won't harm your cat. Just one thing, always check the meat carefully and remove any small bones or gristle.
Some cats like very strange food. Meat, fish and dairy products are to be expected, but the cat of a friend of my daughter loves broccoli, and I had one that nibbled brussels sprouts! And speaking of strange tastes: I once discovered the layer of a mouse in an unused closet where the occupant had collected a large amount of cat food, straight from the feeding bowls of my cats.
And this is new for me: Hiro and Micah spurn canned cat food, they only eat dry food. Willingly. Except when they happen to see City devouring his canned food, then they suddenly want it too.

A begging cat is not born, but made

A tip: if you ever feed your cats 'human food', NEVER give it straight from the table. Always present the food at their usual feeding spot, preferably at a fixed moment. Not when cats ask for it. Unless ofcourse it happens to be their feeding time.  Our senior cat can tell the time perfectly, from a quarter to six in the evening he makes you trip over him wherever you go until his dinner is served.

My daughter once asked me why SHE is not mentioned on this page. Well, she may occasionally act like a cat, but as long as she doesn't eat catfood she won't have her picture on this page! (but she is mentioned now)

Below a little video I made on April 16, 2013 of City and Micah playing or fighting for dominance, I'm not sure which. They do not use their claws, so I think it's alright!

The Coquinaria Cats

While visiting this site you may have encountered pictures of food with cats. These are my cats, At the moment I have about two and a half cat. One male, a cypers ginger-and-white castrated tomcat who keeps dissapearing, and two younger tomcats.
Cats are just like humans: no two alike. They are very decisive in their likes and hates of foodstuff (and people). Everybody thinks his or her own cat (or dog) is unique, and I am no exception. So therefore I present you with descruiptions of all the Coquinaria Cats.

City loves soup chickenCity
City (1996-2015) the tomcat is a real gourmet, and eats everything cat or man can eat, given the chance. When I am preparing a Japanese meal (one of my favorite cuisines) he follows my doings with almost religious attention. It has happened that he jumped right on the dinner table during a Japanese meal, he couldn't resist the sashimi.
City is also the hunter of the family. At night, around three a.m., he shows his affection by delivering living mice to my bedroom. He lets go of the mouse under my bed, and expects us to 'play' together with the unfortunate mouse. I catch the mouse by throwing a towel over it, and then I let the poor little thing loose in the garden. I love to cook and eat all kinds of food, but mice ... 
City eats everything, including the food of the other cats. His favourite food: chicken meat, cheese (preferably old Gouda cheese or Parmesan) and tuna, raw or canned.
He was not pleased with our move to Kortenhoef in 2007. For more than three years he kept walking back to our old city (a walk of several kilometers thourgh woodland and across at least two very busy roads). Each time I collect him there, at least a hundred times by now. We have tried everything, pheromones, an animal behaviourist, but nothing helped. But now (summer 2011), it seems that he has accepted his new home at last, the last time he took off was months ago. I think his age has caught up with him. City and Hiro have a hearty dislike to each other, but Micah is tolerated.
On 9 February 2015 City died, after a long life filled with adventures and love. We buried him next to Poesjenel in the garden of our old home in Hilversum.

Poesjenel dives into the can with leftover creamPoesjenel
Poesjenel looking adorableMy calico she-cat is named Poesjenel (1997-2005). Her mother was a wild stray cat that was caught to be sterilized, but she was already pregnant. Poesjenel is a real diary cat, and loves butter, cheese, cream, yoghurt. She'll have a nibble of freshly cooked meat or fish, but given a choice, she prefers canned catfood. Poesjenel is named after a pussycat from a Dutch children's verse. She loves to play with small beads and rubber bands (preferably pink, a real girl, and I am NOT making this up!). When she is finished playing with them she deposits them very tidily in her tray with dry cat food. She then eats around them.
She is very affectionate to those she knows, but easily scared. I think that is because the first six weeks of her life were spent with her wild mother in a cage at the vet's. The mother was released after her kittens were weaned, she was too wild to be domesticated. One of her great charms is that she talks. She always answers back when you address her, and has a whole repertoire of meows and mewls to convey her meaning on things.
To our infinite sadness Poesjenel has died suddenly on November 14, 2005. She was only eight years old. We will never forget her.

This is Betje.Betje
From a culinary point of view Betje (1985-2006) is not very interesting. When she came to live with us, she was already twenty years old. She has deficient kidneys, drinks a lot of water, and eats diet food. The vet has advised against giving her fresh meat, too much protein is bad for her. But she eats her diet food and senior cat food well. 
Once in a while Betje is treated to a small spoonful of liver paté. The vet had told me a trick to make sure she swallowed the antibiotics she needed when she was ill: roll two little balls (size: teaspoon) of the liver paté. In one them you hide the pill. First you offer the ball without the pill, then the other. That worked excellently. She is off antibiotics now, but she sttill gets her  little spoonful of liver paté occasionally.
Betje has been outside her whole life. But now that she is twenty years old and finally has her own cushion in a warm home she has decided to never, ever set a paw outside again. Sometimes, when the weather is good, I try to lure her out into the sunshine. When she is awake she aften follows me around when I am on the groundfloor. So I just walk through the kitchendoor or the frontdoor, and Betje follows me step by hesitating step, until she reaches the threshold. She stops, glints suspiciously at the green grass, and resolutely turns around. She really has had it with outdoor life.
Betje has passed away peacefully on April 5, 2006. See this LJ-Post.

Clio (2005-2008) arrived at our home a few weeks after Poesjenel died. She was almost nine weeks old when we took her in, and after two days of adjusting everything a kitten should be: lively, curious, naughty, affectionate, playful. It is hard to say yet how her food preferences will turn out. I have given her some poached white fish and some roast beef. She obviously liked that a lot. For daily food she gets "junior" dried food and canned food. I can understand the reason behind special junior dried food: the chunks are smaller and not as crunchy as those for big cats, but with regards to canned junior catfood I wonder whether I am  not just buying a clever marketing trick. Fact is that not only Clio loves her juniorfood, City and Betje love it too. To prevent Betje from eating Clio's food it is enough to put it somewhere a lttle higher, because Betje can't climb or jump anymore. But I really have to keep an eye on hog City. 
Clio is the most relaxed cat I know. If you lift her she remains completely limp, and when you put her on your lap, she just drapes herself as if she were a silk handkerchief.
Clio and her litterNow (2007) Clio is two years old. She was in heat during the last week of August (see post on LJ), and two months later she became the proud mother of three kittens, all male. The fathers (because a female cat can be impregnated by more than one male at the same time) are cool tomcats from Kortenhoef.
Clio has turned into a svelte, elegant cat, and a very good huntress. She is also a very patient mother. The kitten that we have kept was still allowed to drink when it was ten months old. But that came to an abrupt end when Clio was hit by a car, two weeks before her third birthday. I am grateful to the person who took the trouble to call the animal ambulance ('dierenambulance', the equivalent of 'animal rescue team'?). At least we know what happened to her.

The young HiroHiro
The only cat born into our household is Hiro (2007). According to the vet, he is the son of a Norwegian Forest Cat. Mother Clio has been carousing in good circles! He was the firstborn of the litter, and was stuck for almost four hours in the birth channel. And he has something strange: after seven weeks the whiskers just dissappeared, and we never found out why. Luckily they are growing back, because a whiskerless cat is slightly handicapped.
Hiro is extremely interested in our food, so he has to be taught to only eat from his OWN plate. He's the first cat that is also interested in anything we happen to drink. When he gets the chance he dives into any glass or cup to take a sniff and a taste, often emerging spitting and snorting. But his own water supply is a playground for him. He likes to stand with his two front paws in the water and splash it around.
Hiro was named after the Japanese hero from the American action series Heroes. My daughter thought she saw a resemblance between Hiro Nakamura and the newborn kitten. Another picture of Hiro.
Hiro is a hunter, like is mother. But our new environment has different prey. In April and May he dragged maybugs through the catflap, to play football with them. I saved the dizzy insects and put them back outside. After the maybugs, he concentrated on frogs. At first I thought he had killed them, but these clammy animals just 'played dead' so that he would lose interest. These I picked up and threw back in the garden pond, where they swam to the bottom as quickly as possible.
Hiro keeps challenging our oldest cat City. I don't think they will ever be friends. But he´s great buddies with Micah.

The three sons of ClioMortje and Manje
The brothers of Hiro are Mortje and Manje (2007). When they were nine weeks old they moved in with a friend of mine. They love their new home and human. She lives at the edge of Hilversum, with lots of meadows behind the house that provide a great hunting-ground for them. And they love to hunt! I get regular updates on the latest prey they've dragged inside the house (anything from doves to a big crayfish). Occasionally I catsit them, when my friend is away on holiday.
In the picture the kittens were nine weeks old. To the left are Mortje and Manje, Hiro is on the right side. Manje resembles his mother. Hiro and Mortje are clearly brothers, but Mortje has four white socks and a white pointed tail

Micah loves to playMicah
Micah (2008) came to us a few weeks after Clio's death, ten weeks old. Naturally we love to have a new kitten in the house, but it's for Hiro we did it! The little cat was offered us as a female, but when we were so impolite to glance under its tail after a few days, 'she' appeared to be a 'he'. The vet agreed with us, and told us he had eastern ancestry (Siamese). Our kitten would grow into a bloody-minded, pig-headed, but affectionate and communicative cat. It took only a week for Micah and Hiro to become friends. And he even managed to strike up a cautious friendship with City.
Micah seems to copy his 'big brother' Hiro in matters of food: he loves yoghurt. He has almost doubled in weight in four weeks' time, and is very, very active.
Now he is an adult, Micah has developed into a beautiful, friendly but assertive cat. Whenever our other cats just look at feline visitors from a distance, he walks up to them with a swagger. And ... the other cats walk away. Micah is Topcat.

Strange visitors
When I lived in Hilversum I hardly saw any, but in Kortenhoef we get a lot of feline visitors. The cat flap is in the kitchen door to the garden. There is a beautiful red tomcat that is very assertive and even gets angry when I put him out of our house. There is also a very smart and funny black-and-white cat we call Felix, who knows how to open the cat flap even when it is locked for incoming visitors, and there is a very cute grey cross-eyed cat. My cats are not happy with these intruders. Sometimes they just look with amazement from a distance at how a strange cat dares to gobble up their catfood, even Micah. But sometimes they engage in battle complete with flying cat fur and evict the intruders noisily.

More pictures and stories of the Coquinaria Cats

More cat pictures on this: Poesjenel eats icecream, Poesjenel samples fish, Poesjenel cleans up spilled milk, City loves salmon, City also loves salmon trout, Clio samples Japanese cuisine, Hiro tries a medieval dish with crayfish, Hiro inspects a hedgehog, City finds stockfish interesting.

More stories about my cats on my LJblog : Inscrutable Felines, First Mouse, My Brave Cats, Shameless Cats and Magpies, My biggest fan ..., Refugee Cat, Family Extension, Update on Betje, My cat Poesjenel, Pleased to meet you, my name is Clio ..., Cats and Brussels Sprouts, My new keyboard extension, Goodbye Betje, Kittens?, Kittens and Cookies, Portet van Hiro, Sad cat post, again ..., New recipe (and new cat), Micah loves Sushi Day, Hiro loves paella, Vertical and horizontal cats, The most pigheaded cat ever, Scary Cat!, Dogged, Cats and doves, Finally!.