Bilbo and the food puzzleAll right, all right! Before you all start shouting at once, let me explain: I know it’s not always fun, but it can be.

So I put on a little weight over the winter. Who hasn’t? Nothing to worry about if you ask me, but I misjudged a couple of leaps up to the kitchen bench, and of course Mum immediately jumped to conclusions and started reducing my food rations. Denver knows what that feels like: yes, awful! I told Mum it was a very bad idea, and after a couple of restless nights she believed me.

We did some deep thinking and had a few arguments before we hit upon something much, much better: now we play The Food Game!

Bilbo on the dresser looking for foodMy bowl is gone. I will admit that worried me to begin with. But then I found Mum had hidden little bits of food for me in many different places around the house. She did it several times a day and sometimes even at night, when I’m actually the hungriest. I might suddenly stumble across a small bowl of meat in an empty box, and a little ball toy appeared that I had to roll along to make the biscuits come out, one by one. Sometimes the timed feeder unlocked with a snap to reveal a bit of fish, or I’d find something tasty by my bed on top of the dresser, which only I can reach – not Tammy, she’s too old – by climbing up my cat tree.

You might think all this sounds pretty exhausting, and it is at times, but actually I’m really enjoying the challenge. It’s almost as good as hunting outside – better, in fact, when it’s cold and raining. In fine weather I still go out and catch the odd mouse. But according to Mum, who reads an awful lot of random information, I’d need about ten mice per day to stay fit and well. Imagine having to find, stalk and kill ten mice every day! Phew! I’m shattered just thinking about it. I guess it would keep me super fit and lean, but if I have a choice (and, fortunately, I do) I prefer living in a warm, comfy house and having most of my food provided for me, even if I have to look for it all over the place. So I play along with Mum, who enjoys our little game a lot. You have to humour your humans from time to time, to keep them keen.

If I’ve inspired you, then perhaps you’ll give our game a go with the human in your life. You could even try hiding their food for them in tricky places. I hear there’s one or two out there who would benefit from playing the food game…

Happy slimming!




In the Middle of a World...

"In the middle of a world that has always been a bit mad, the cat walks with confidence."

Roseanne Anderson