The Tuna Fish Debate

Nera was a slightly voluptuous cat with long black fur, usually using her gifts to persuade others, but it just did not always work, especially with the human species. One evening she made her entrance as usual, flashing her yellow eyes and waving her long black furry tail to and fro to show that madam was not very pleased. Her sister Tabby knew that there was something in the air.

“Nera do you have a problem? You do not look very happy.”

“Tabby, just do not ask such a silly question, you are a member of the feline race and should be as insulted as I am.”

“Perhaps I missed something?” asked Tabby, although she knew her sister was usually the cat that made the main decisions.

Tabby always felt slightly inferior to Nera, although they were litter sisters, but there the resemblance seemed to end. Nera was always the special one with her long silky fur, and she had a certain star allure. Tabby was just an average tabby cat with short fur, although she did have a wide black stripe on her back to the tip of her short slim tail. Her main pride was the red fur on her tummy which she was sure she had inherited from her father. Nera and Tabby were sisters, but perhaps only half way, Tabby thought.

“You definitely did miss something Tabby. We have been insulted.”

“We” answered Tabby “I must have been sleeping.”

The answer came sharply like a claw from a cat’s paw “Tabby you sleep nearly all day and most of the night, but that is not the problem.”

“Am I missing something Nera, Tabby? I heard Nera shouting. What has happened?” and Fluffy the third cat in the group arrived on the scene. Basically Nera and Tabby only really just tolerated Fluffy as he did not belong to the family, but realising that Fluffy was there to stay, they tried to ignore him most of the time. Luckily Fluffy did not notice this; he was too interested in his own feline life.

Nera did not mind this time, she needed an audience for her problem.

“Fluffy not too near to me, I do not want strains of your white curly coat mixed with my wonderful black fur. Ok cats here is the problem.” And she began.

“Listen to this, I just do not understand those two legged humans sometimes. It is most annoying. Yesterday was Wednesday and every self respecting cat knows that Wednesday is tuna fish day. In the evening each of us are given a dish of tuna fish.”

Tabby picked her ears up, the situation was serious. “I know what you mean Nera. Yesterday evening we had no fish, just the usual dry stuff which is supposed to be full of cat vitamins, the problem being you have to wash it down with a dish of water to make sure you can swallow it properly.”

“But cats” said Fluffy “I think Mr. and Mrs. Human were invited to dinner yesterday evening they just didn’t have time to make anything special for us.”

Nera snorted, one of her important snorts. “Typical Fluffy, Humans must always have to have time for us, that is the reason why we train them with our miaow and pawing exercises.”

Tabby added “not forgetting a bite and scratch now and again.”

“Yes, but they did return yesterday evening” said Fluffy.

“Fluffy I just do not know why you always have to speak up for those Humans. Of course, they came back, they wanted to have a good night’s sleep so they returned to their beds, the only problem being that they made no effort to serve up our normal dish of Wednesday tuna fish” and with that Nera stamped her paw on the ground.

“Most disappointing Nera” Tabby realised she should say something to appease her black furred sister. She continued “we really made a mistake in our human training programme. What do you suggest Nera?”

“I decided to ignore them today” was Nera’s answer.

Fluffy intervened “but Nera you were sleeping all day today as usual. I don’t think Mr. and Mrs. Human noticed you were ignoring them.”

“It’s the principal that counts. Tabby, Fluffy, just get one thing straight. You have to treat humans as if they do not exist. They have some sort of feeling that we cats like to be near them.”

“I like to be near them” said Fluffy “they feed us and look after our needs.”

“Of course there is a certain truth in that statement. We hang around to make sure we don’t have to rely on mouse hunting or bird catching for our regular meals. Humans are a sort of tool that we need now and again, similar to humans that need a tin opener to give us our tuna fish once a week.”

Tabby followed Nera’s brilliant statement and added “once a week on Wednesday evening.”

“Yes, but we did get our tuna fish this evening” said Fluffy trying to calm Nera’s nerves, although Nera could not be calmed and was ready with her answer.

“This evening is Thursday and not Wednesday.”

“Does that make a difference” and Fluffy took three paces away from Nera to avoid a swipe of a heavy black paw. Tabby decided to answer as Nera was still choking on Fluffy’s last words, annoyed that Fluffy had avoided his punishment for uttering such words.

“Of course it makes a difference. We are cats and have our tuna on Wednesday, not Thursday. It is a fact of life.”

Fluffy was thinking it over and answered “but you and Nera ate it all the same. You could have left it and not touched it, as well as being all the more for me, you would have shown the humans that you were annoyed because they went out yesterday and did not give us our usual tuna.”

“Are you mad, Fluffy?” which was more a statement than a question. Nera continued “a plate of tuna is not to be ignored at any time.”

Tabby supported Nera “Fluffy, if someone put a plate of tuna in front of you on Sunday morning would you eat it, although it isn’t Wednesday?”

“Of course I would” answered Fluffy.

“Good” said Nera “then you have understood the basic fact of feline life. Take what you can and when you can, but do it with dignity.”

“OK, I understand., but now a small question.” Fluffy was not impressed with Nera. “You and Tabby have not eaten all your tuna fish and there is some left in your dishes. Do you want it?”

Tabby and Nera answered together: “We have had enough, you have to leave a respectable remainder to prove that you are not slaves of tuna.”

And Fluffy had the last word “In that case this tuna slave is going to eat the fish that you two cats left.”

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