Smile a While: Cat Laps up Tuna Water

Orange tabby cat perches on top of kitchen cabinets
Hobbes, our notorious mooch of a housecat, and former stray, can smell a tuna can opening from any level of our home.

Drinking Tuna Water? It’s Meow-valous

Every dog has his day, so they say.

And around our bustling household, that goes for cats, too.

Or should I say, cat. (Thank God we just have the one.)

Something to hopefully tickle your fancy today as the world continues with our hunker-down approach to the spreading corona virus: treat time for our ever-curious orange tabby, Hobbes.

We adopted Hobbesy from the local animal shelter not quite two years ago. And he quickly enmeshed himself within our lively cogwork of personalities.

While our golden retriever of 9 years, Macallan, is playful, and submissive, and cuddly, Hobbes, like other cats we’ve known and some we’ve called our own, sets his own agenda.

Among the things Hobbes loves best:

  • darting around after a laser pointer
  • batting wayward Legos from the top story of our house to whatever corner they get stuck in, typically a story or two below
  • headbutting and pawing at any door closed to him, and the carpet beneath it
  • pouncing on any unfortunate stuffed animal that falls (or is thrown by us) into his path, aping an alligator with his menacing, open mouth
  • making like Elusivo the Great and bolting for any open outside door; then, in the event he’s made his escape, yowling and freaking out about what he’s gotten himself into
  • Oh yes, and mooching and begging for food any chance he gets

We can’t really hold this last trait against him, although it’s the one that most annoys the big beast of the household (me). Hobbes was, by any account, a stray for the better part of 2 or 3 years. And considering that he’ll comb the floor for every last crumb, and meow endlessly outside our doors, and wind like a trippy missile between our feet at feeding time, I suppose he fits in very well the rest of the time.

We tend to shut him away during our own mealtimes. And otherwise ignore his begging, until he gets particularly irksome and hops on the sink to go after the crumbs the disposal didn’t catch, or the pots or griddles temporarily stacked there. Then he’s got to contend with our clapping hands and pounding feet, and sometimes the spray bottle.

But there is a particularly fine indulgence we treat him to: namely, tuna water. The finest canned juices from the Chicken of the Sea.

I’ve devoted space here, before, to my undying love for the jalapeno, and how it fits in just fine with a toasted tuna sandwich, or pulled barbecue pork. Hobbesy’s shadow won’t darken those dishes, as long as I’ve got feet to stomp and bottles to spray. But the moment I crank open a can of tuna fish, I’ve got a little dish set right beside it, for him. And no matter where he might be lounging or marauding in our house, Hobbes can smell that tuna fish anywhere, and is there, meowing, in an eyeblink.

He’s practically dancing and somersaulting as I press down on the lid and squeeze the water and juices and the odd chunk of tuna into the dish. And then, from the moment we set the treat down to his last, frenzied sandpaper tongue licks on the bowl is merely a minute or two, max.

I tend to particularly enjoy his satisfied grunts and mini meows between rasping licks. And like any treat, it’s soon gone.

So, while we all hope we can say the same thing, and soon, about Covid 19, and our closer-than-usual-proximity to house pets and kids and spouses without some healthy time about town, here’s a glimpse of this charming little ritual.

Have a smile! And let your face take a rest.


Orange tabby cat naps curled up in kitty stand by back patio door
His work on lapping up all excess tuna water done, Hobbes lounges in one of his favorite spots by the back patio door.


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