Tuna is a six year old tabby cat that was found in the streets of a very small city called Douliou. While he looks very typical for a Taiwanese street cat, his markings are a bit more striking than usual. Enough so, that I asked a vet if maybe he was a Bengal or some other exotic breed, to which the vet kind of laughed and shook his head. Well OK then. Either way, he’s special to me.
As a kitten he was extremely lucky to have been taken in by a kind-hearted English guy who happened to see him while walking home from school. He was a tiny little thing and probably wouldn’t have survived much longer on his own. The kitten was cleaned, fed, dewormed, given vaccinations and declared a girl. Oddly enough, the Englishman had assumed (and rightly so) that the kitten was a boy and proudly named him Cambridge. This was then changed to Cammy.
Unfortunately, the well-meaning adoptive father was having his own problems adjusting to life in Taiwan and having a cat didn’t help matters much. It also didn’t help that the cat was a bit of a terror. After a bottle or two of spilled cooking oil and quite a few sleepless nights due to near constant wailing, the kitty needed to find a more suitable home. I had been viewing the adorable pictures on Facebook. I had also been reading the lengthy posts describing what sounded like a fuzzy little banshee. It’s just a kitten though… right?
Well, only a few days later I would find out just what kind of chaos a small cat could cause. After her arrival, it was discovered that ‘she’ was actually a he. It was also discovered that he was OBSESSED with food, especially canned tuna. The name was very quickly changed to Tunahead, which then became Tunaface, and then just Tuna. However, it wasn’t just tuna that set him off. Any food, period, would cause a crazed frenzy of activity with the only goal being to get the item. No matter what. Meals got a lot more exciting at my house around this time.
There was much Googling, water guns, and fly paper which definitely helped with counter problems. Unfortunately, Tuna figured out how to open the smaller refrigerators and ovens that are more common here in Taiwan. Prepping food became a game of “Wait where’s the cat?!” and bringing take-out home after work sometimes meant carrying it with me while I did my usual routine of showering and changing. Eventually, after a lot of trial and error we were able to co-exist without too much conflict and stolen food. Most of this was solved with duct tape and child proof locks though…
Foods that might attract a Tuna and so must be kept out of reach.
- Costco rotisserie chicken
- all kinds of bread (including pizza, pop-tarts, and cereal)
- ji pai (fried chicken)
- zhong zi (rice dumplings)
- sweet potato fries
Fortunately, when Tuna and I move back to the US the refrigerator will probably be too large for him to open (USA! USA!). Might have issues with cabinets, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. Despite all this, Tuna has become a much loved family member and a favorite little misfit for visitors and roommates to fawn over. He’s developed a bit of a diva attitude over the years though. He definitely knows how to work a crowd.