(What you are about to read is a true story. Names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent.)
“Unbelievable!” I said as I shook my head at what I was witnessing.
The cat who lives with us LOVES tuna. So does her little cat cousin, who was visiting for Thanksgiving. Both had come running when they heard the can opener, but I had been opening something else at the time. However, to avoid disappointing them, I opened two cans of tuna and set one in front of each kitty. (Hey, they’re not spoiled — it was a holiday!)
On regular days, when I make tuna salad, our cat (Tabbie) gets both cans to lick clean. On this day, when she was called upon to share, she amazed me with her behavior. Rather than begin enjoying her treat, she sat perfectly still, watching as her guest (Blackie) eagerly lapped up every morsel as she pushed the can around the floor, trying not to miss a single shred.
Knowing how much Tabbie adores tuna, I was stunned as she continued to stare at Blackie, never so much as even sniffing the can in front of her. I tried to make sense of it all. She couldn’t enjoy her own tuna (which she LOVES) for watching the other cat enjoy hers. What a strange phenomenon.
Was it envy? She had exactly the same thing. Was it sheer resentment at the other cat’s presence? Was she that stubborn and selfish? “How ridiculous,” I thought.
Finally, Tabbie turned and walked away. “Seriously?” I thought. Indeed, she left the kitchen without ever having tasted a single bite of her favorite treat. She had refused to partake, and I was baffled. Then, Blackie ate Tabbie’s tuna. “That serves you right,” I said to Tabbie.
For some reason, the puzzling cat scenario stuck in my mind. A new thought surfaced. Having been accustomed to having a double portion, this stubborn, greedy female could not be satisfied with the one, even though it was still one of her favorite things. The question that followed was somewhat disturbing. Was she actually refusing to enjoy any of the treat she loved simply because on this day — just this one day — she wasn’t having it all?
What a silly woman . . . er, cat . . . I meant to say cat . . . really I did!