Here’s a tip for anyone with a cat who is a fussy eater. In other words, all cat owners. Anyone who’s ever owned a cat will have experienced the cat-food stand-off: Tiddles’ takes one mouthful of food, then turns around to give you one of those baleful cat stares that says “I’m not eating this slop”. It’s then a battle of wills: Man against beast; a titanic struggle between you and a bolshie little pest with a seemingly iron resolve to starve to death rather than subject himself to your will. You know full well who will win.
As much as you decide to stick to your guns, as much as you refuse to be bullied into it, you know that eventually you’ll end up chucking away a perfectly decent tin of cat food, all the time cursing yourself for giving in. But, not anymore. I have discovered a secret weapon in this primordial battle between the species. Dashi powder.
Dashi is a kind of clear stock that’s used in a wide variety of Japanese dishes. It has an extremely delicate flavour, reminiscent of seafood but not overtly fishy, if that makes sense. Traditionalists make their own, using konbu seaweed and a dried fish called bonito. But most people use the dried version for convenience.
Basically, if cats could manufacture cat cocaine, I’m sure it would taste something like dashi. The delicate fish flavour really floats their boat; and the effect on the fussy feline diner is dramatic. Dashi sprinkled onto the cheapest cat food instantly transforms it into feline haute cuisine, sending Tiddles into culinary raptures and saving you a fortune in the process. Dashi can be purchased from any Asian food store. Try it next time Tiddles throws a Michael Winner-style wobbler over the catering arrangements in your house.