Sarah Pratt

"Bubbles? Are you home, darling?"

Oh, thank heavens—you're finally home. I'm starving.

"How are you doing my Bubbly-wubbley-woo?"

Actually it's Dame Bubbles the First thank you very much. And I've already answered that question—I'm completely and utterly starving. Do you know what that feels like? Picture yourself stranded on a desert island, baking in the unrelenting sun, standing hopelessly on the beach as you watch tempting fish jump in and out of the water, reminding you that a meal is but a stone's throw away. That is nothing compared to what I have been through today.

"Oh no, didn't Daddy feed you?"

Your man friend, who I will never call Daddy, has completely neglected me. I have a faint memory of eating once, hours or perhaps even days ago and your man friend simply stood there and watched me suffer in agony.

"Yeah, I fed her when I got home."

"Oh, when was that?"

Hours, no, days ago, although it feels like years. I'm not going to be so dramatic as to say decades, but we're certainly getting there.

"About three hours ago."

Exactly. Three whole hours. Lifetimes, really. Did you know that there are bugs that only live for what you humans view as one day? Imagine if one of those bugs had to wait three hours to eat! Imagine if they spent three hours of their only day alive starving, hoping, praying that someone will take mercy on them and finally present them with some nice, cold rabbit. We can't afford to waste any more time, so hurry up and feed me!

"Well, she seems pretty hungry. I think we should feed her again."

"Are you sure? She's going to get even fatter if we spoil her."

Fat? FAT? Who is calling who fat, Mr. Chubs? The refined layer of blubber around my belly is a vital tool in my never-ending struggle for survival. You know when you leave for work, Mr. Chubs, and you ruthlessly throw me out of my own home for hours upon hours, sometimes into the pouring and relentless rain, only letting me return when you yourself have re-entered the premises? It is during those long, wintry hours that I need this layer of fat, as you so carelessly called it, while I shiver under bushes and slowly waste away to nothing.

"Oh, we'll just give her one can."

Finally, we are getting somewhere.

Oh, good, there is the can. Yes, it is one that needs the can opener, well done.

No, you idiot, the can opener is in the third draw down on the left. Why we have to go through this every time is beyond me. Don't you remember? Two months ago you and Mr. Chubs decided that the knives and forks and, I quote, "other more useful items" should be further up the stack of drawers, meaning the can opener was degraded to the status of a third draw item. I almost shed a tear that day.

"Wow, you're very vocal today, aren't you, Bubby?"

Wouldn't you be if it had been three hours since you were last fed? Why do I seem to be the only one getting this?

"Okay, there you go, spoilty-puss."

Finally, here we go! Come on, how long does it take to put a tray of food onto the floor? Your personal trainer keeps telling you to do squats and this is the perfect opportunity! Come on, almost there... Just a little further...

Oh, thank you kind human you're so — I'm sorry, what is this?

Is this Budget brand cat food? As in, cat food for plebeians and criminals? No wait, they serve better food than this at the pound.

This coming from the girl who just the other day said that she only drinks Coke and that Mr. Chubs better be willing to drink the Pepsi he accidentally bought because she isn't going near it. Hypocritical.

Is this chicken liver? You know I don't eat chicken liver. It's heart or nothing. Ideally, lamb heart but if all you can scrounge up is some chicken heart then I will accept it for one meal. But liver? Really? Did you get fired today? Because I really can't see a reason why we would stoop to such levels otherwise.

"Oh dear, she doesn't like this one either."

Did I not make myself clear? Heart or nothing.

"Well, we're out of the one she does like. I gave the rest to her earlier."

"But we had half a container left!"

"Yeah, she was hungry."

Half a container? I doubt it. I had to lick the dregs off a spoon earlier just to get any sustenance at all. Look! You can almost see my ribs when I lie on the ground like this. Skinny as a broom or rake or whatever your mother used to say.

Excuse me! Don't try to rub my belly, that was not an invitation.

You know what I think? I think Mr. Chubs ate the heart. Look at him — I wouldn't put it past him. He knows how amazing lamb heart is and he wanted it all to himself. There is no way that the tiny portion of lamb heart that I had three hours ago was anywhere near half a container's worth of food.

"Well, I'm sorry sweetheart but that's it. That's all we've got. I'll get you some more of the other stuff tomorrow."

Wait, you're giving up? Just like that? Wow, I really thought you were a better person than that.

Well, I'll be damned if I'm eating this garbage. I will not set a precedent that such treatment is acceptable. I'd rather starve to death and clearly you would rather I did too.

No, don't try to make this better with cuddles. You think I can be swayed with your fake display of affection? Never. This queen of the feline world has had enough of your fake sincerity. I'm off to the safety and warmth of the fire.

Ah, perfect, there is the new bed they bought for the dog. That will do nicely.