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The Cat Who Came to (Thanksgiving) Dinner

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I try not to give my gray-and-white tabby cat, Lucy, any so-called “people food.” But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t spend long days and nights devising ways to get some. In fact, I’m pretty sure she has Thanksgiving marked on her calendar with a giant, red paw print, along with all the major holidays where scraps of food may accidentally make their way to the floor.

Last year, after what must have been an agonizing wait for the long-suffering and starving Lucy, the greatly anticipated Thanksgiving Day finally arrived. We humans were assembled around the dining room table oblivious to my cat lurking at a distance, surveying the scene.

With great pride, and to a chorus of oohs and aahs, I brought my perfectly cooked turkey and trimmings to the table on its special platter. This was my triumph after spending hours preparing, seasoning, and lovingly basting it. But just as we were about to start the ceremonial slicing, Lucy pounced on the dining room table with all the force her back paws could muster. It was a perfect landing right next to the turkey. Victory was hers as she licked the length of the turkey with her long pink tongue, biting off little pieces as she went. Lucy’s signature teeth marks were clearly visible along the top of my once prized bird. Stunned, my guests and I sat there in silence, before finally bursting into laughter.

Not content with only eating the main course, Lucy opted for dessert as well, quickly working her way down the table to the centerpiece filled with seasonal flowers. She began gnawing on the arrangement without coming up for air. That’s where her reign of terror ended. I scooped her up, pulled the flower remnants from her mouth, and put her back on the floor. Satisfied with her audacious feat, Lucy looked up at me, her yellow eyes wide with innocence, as she licked her lips and broke into a full body cleaning before ignoring me completely.

Needless to say, no one was very hungry for turkey after that. Still, we managed to salvage half of the turkey that had not been ravaged by Lucy’s tongue. After dinner, Lucy casually made her way over to her now empty food bowl. She uttered a pathetic meow at me as if she had been shipwrecked for days without sustenance. Choosing to believe she was sorry (but knowing she wasn’t), I dutifully cleaned and cut up chunks of the remaining turkey covered with her slobber and fed it to her, resigned to the fact that I had been outsmarted once again by my furry friend. I reasoned it was, after all, Thanksgiving Day for her, too. Human: 0, Cat: 1.

Just wait until Lucy finds out we’re having a turkey-free Thanksgiving this year!

Human: 1, Cat: 1.

About the Author:

Allison C. Witty is a lifelong animal lover and freelance writer living in New York City. She is proud to say she has met and pet nearly all the dogs in her neighborhood, but regrettably, has yet to win over any of the cats. 

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Just when this dog-eat-dog world has handed you all the poop you can take, it's time to walk the dog. Or wash the dog. Or feed the dog. You get the idea. So welcome to the world of easy-to-care-for cats. Entertainment comes bundled in a furry, huggable, self-cleaning cat who won't beg for your food. In his eyes, you don't eat well enough anyway. Just keep a laser pen handy, sit back and wait for the fun to begin! Cats...ya gotta love 'em.

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