Mr H and the cat are currently locked in a battle of wills.
A few months ago, the cat developed a urinary tract infection. The vet gave her a shot of antibiotics, and recommended that we switch her from dry to wet food. Because I love my pet very much indeed, I immediately dashed off to the supermarket and bought the tastiest-sounding wet food I could find. It is conveniently packaged in individually portioned pouches (so no more wrestling with unruly tin openers) and comes in a whole range of gourmet flavours, including such delights as 'flakes of ocean fish with whole prawns in jelly' and 'succulent duck and turkey in a rich meaty gravy', all of which the cat absolutely adores.
The brand in question is advertised on television by a large Persian cat, a fact which may play a role in the current face-off: Mr H distrusts all Persian cats on principle, as he is convinced that they are all secretly plotting world domination. He feels that 007 made a fatal error in not recognising that the cat, rather than Blofeld, was in fact the real brains behind S.P.E.C.T.R.E.
Unfortunately for the cat, I can no longer stomach the smell of her food (the sickness has really kicked in this week), and so Mr H has had to take over on that front. He returned home the other evening bearing a box of supermarket own-label premium cuts in jelly. 'Look at these,' he exclaimed, 'they're half the price of those bloody gourmet things you insist on buying.'
Gone are the flakes of ocean fish, the recognisable prawns, the succulent duck and the rich meaty gravy. Instead, Mr H has served the cat a range of rather more prosaic (and far smellier) options - 'beef', 'lamb' or the generic 'poultry' - all of which she has so far refused to eat. She is digging her paws in; Mr H is digging his heels in. Both of them appeal to me: the cat cries piteously, while Mr H presents me with detailed costings showing exactly how much we could save over the course of the next six months, if only the cat could be persuaded to eat the premium cuts in jelly.
Though I have made it clear to them both that I do not wish to get involved in their dispute, I'm secretly convinced that the cat may prevail - she is capable of exhibiting, if not dogged, then perhaps catted, levels of persistence, particularly when there are gourmet pouches involved!