A post should appear every Sunday
Sunday February 12th 2023
So, again I fry mince for Isis. This should be enough to last her for four meals. Unsurprisingly, I have no delusions that she’ll be thrilled with the meal. I pour a little hot water over the mince, mix it well, add a pinch of PlaqueOff powder, as I do every evening, and add her usual kibbles. Then I retire to the front room, expecting the little malcontent to join me in a few seconds.
But she doesn’t. When I inspect her dish, it’s empty; in fact, it is better than empty – it’s polished.
Either she’s eaten it all with huge enthusiasm, or she’s tipped it out behind a cupboard and set to work with a Brillo pad.
I stare at the gleaming bowl in disbelief while she lies in her dog bed playing with Squeaky Squirrel. She plays in her bed like this when she is particularly contented.
Oh, wonderful! She’s eating mince again. Dog knows why, but never mind, she’s not about to go back on hunger strike, is she?
At breakfast next morning, she eats all the mince, but leaves about a third of the kibbles. It’s not a big deal as I can simply add the left over kibble to her evening meal.
So, at six o’clock, I serve her the same sized helpings of mince and kibble as usual, plus the handful she left from her last meal.
There’s a distinct lack of merry chomping coming from the kitchen.
Of course, she may just be eating very quietly.
The bowl is just as I left it. She’s not even picked out any of the curls of mince. Oh ISIS!
I ignore her, and cook myself two pieces of fish. Hairy One’s nose appears round the kitchen door, twitching and whiffling. The rest of her follows. Her tongue flicks up to her nose. She begins to pace up and down.
Hmmm. No subtlety there then. I cut the smaller fish in half, drop a piece into a clean dish and add eighty grams of kibbles.
She clears her dish.
The following day, I give her exactly the same for breakfast.
She leaves most of it.
The next day I scramble an egg to accompany her kibbles. She turns her head away.
There’s obviously nothing ailing her, I decide, as she leaps energetically up and down in the porch while I struggle to put her into her harnesss. And she enjoys her walk, while the Highbury crows enjoy moist kibble, scrambled egg, cold fish and mince. They don’t leave a scrap.
I wonder if I should swop Isis for a crow.
Dim Human ponders. And ponders. She turns over in her mind all the different foods which she has given Isis over the last few months.
Why does her dog eat something the first time she’s given it, then lose interest in it? Take mince: she never refuses the first portion of mince which is cooked for her, in fact, she seems desperate for it, but then she is at best half-hearted about the next, and refuses any further portions.
Poing! At last the proverbial light bulb flashes in dim Human’s brain. Ah, maybe it’s not mince, but freshly fried mince which Isis finds so delicious.
Or, on the other hand, perhaps it won’t make a scrap of difference.
In the evening, I fry a pat of fresh mince for her, stir in a little hot water, and add the kibble. She sits tense as a wound spring as she waits for the ‘eat it’ signal. She is still licking her lips when she comes to find me.
The smell of meat cooking is even less thrilling to me in the morning as it was last night, but I force myself to do it. (Hope springs eternal, as the optimists say.)
She is just as pleased with her freshly fried mince this morning as she was last night, and just as pleased with it in the evening, and the next day, and the next, and the next.
Day after day she savours the piquant smells arising from the pan, comes into the kitchen for anticipatory sniffs, and waits by her dish like an Olympic athlete poised for the starting pistol.
What a relief.
Isis came from Aeza cat and dog rescue in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about adopting an animal from the centre, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or go to http://www.dogwatch.co.uk.