It’s very possible we’ve wronged the cat. He’s certainly behaving as though he’s the victim of a frame up.
The long and the short of it is that, the other day, whilst we were engrossed in some piece of nonsense on facebook whilst the spaghetti Bolognese was cooking (see note), we failed to spot him rise from his comatose slumber on the terrace outside (where he’d been all day), enter the kitchen unseen (this is at least a yellow card offence) and…well that’s where there’s a problem. The evidence against him is circumstantial:

  1. What alerted us to the fact that something was amiss was a thump from the vicinity of the kitchen. A noise that sounded remarkably similar to a cat jumping from the kitchen counter to the floor.
  2. The spoon dish, which should have had traces of Bolognese sauce, seemed cleaner than it should have done.
  3. It seemed to me there was substantially less Bolognese sauce in the pan than when I’d last looked (I don’t even like to think about that one).
  4. When ejected from the house (reluctantly), he sat outside licking his chops the way a cat does when it’s just eaten something particularly scrumptious.

It seemed clear cut, but for two things: When caught doing something he shouldn’t have been, Whiskas takes it on the chin. He’ll leg it out the house pronto before I get the chance to eject him. This time he didn’t want to go and resisted defiantly. He was also visibly annoyed at his verbal telling off…as though he’d been wrongly accused. This is a cat which has a strong sense of right and wrong. May not be one that quite matches ours, but I can generally see where he’s coming from.

It was enough to plant a seed of doubt; we didn’t actually see him licking anything he shouldn’t have been. And that I feel might be the problem. The frantic licking of his face after he’d been shown the door is just too much to ignore; he had eaten something, but I reckon that, in his warped little head, the fact that he wasn’t actually caught in the act was paramount to being innocent of the deed.

That’s my theory anyway. He can sulk all he likes, but in the end he can’t work a can opener and I can.

(NOTE: I always thought of Spaghetti Bolognese as a sort of magnolia type of food until we recently tried what’s supposed to be an authentic Italian recipe: finely chopped carrot, celery, onion, bacon, sausage meat, ground beef, bay leaves, red wine, stock, salt, pepper, olive oil and butter cooked gently for an hour – delicioso)

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