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Thursday, May 12, 2016

To Serve Cat By Donal Mahoney

The famed English satirist, Jonathan Swift, would have been a true Outsider contributor were he alive today.

But one of Swift's most famous pieces, “A Modest Proposal,” he wrote in prose.

His approach would be difficult to write in verse so Donal Mahoney thought he would submit his takeoff on Swift in prose.

If published, Mahoney may be slain by PETA unless they’re familiar with Swift’s work. 

Perhaps PETA will give him a pass if they realize he’s been feeding one or more feral cats at about 4 every morning for years without one meow of thanks. 

It’s not that he’s fond of felines but his wife is and the cats would starve to death by the time she gets up.

The cat he is currently feeding, pictured in the accompanying photo, likes to take a nap after getting his Fancy Feast for the day and chasing down robins.

He appears to be a pure-bred Maine Coon cat that Planned Parenthood or someone else at some point in life chose to neuter.



An Immodest Proposal

with apologies to Jonathan Swift

The other day I was talking to a neighbor who said he has found a way to help the poor and improve our environment simultaneously. It’s no secret, he said, that we have a dire food shortage among the chronically poor. It’s also no secret, he pointed out, that many of our cities are overrun with feral cats.

Organizations already exist, he said, that trap and neuter feral cats and then let them loose again. These cats, he said, turn up on our porches, tails up, looking for food. 

My neighbor is a wild game hunter who has hunted on many continents. The heads of many of his prey are mounted on his walls. He says he should not be the only one hunting feral cats in an urban environment, something he does when he is not overseas hunting bigger animals. He sees feral cats as a viable food source not only for the poor but for anyone who likes wild game.

He’s partial to a dish called “Feral Cat and Dumplings,” a recipe he shared with me after I talked with him in our alley early one morning while taking out the garbage. He had a lumpy canvas bag over his shoulder and said he had had a good night hunting. (He didn’t say anything when I told him I thought I saw one lump wiggling.)

Here is his most popular recipe for feral cat, the seasoning for which, he said, can be adapted to taste:

Feral Cat and Dumplings

Skin and cut up your cat as you would a young rabbit. Season the cat with salt, pepper, garlic, and diced onion and then pressure-cook the pieces until the meat falls off the bone. Remove the meat from the bone and save the broth. 

Dumpling Ingredients:

1 egg (preferably from a free-range hen until she plumps up enough for a future meal)
1/2 cup cooled cat broth
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Mix ingredients with enough flour to make a firm dough. Turn dough out onto a board and knead in the flour until dough is stiff. Roll the dough out thin and let it stand for an hour. (If cooking outside in warm weather after shooting the cat, stand near the dough to wave away flies and other insects.) Slice the dough into diamond and/or noodle shapes and drop into boiling cat broth. 

Water may be added to the broth if so desired. This is recommended if entertaining guests who have never dined on cat before. Then drop the boned cat meat into the broth and simmer over low heat for at least 10 to 20 minutes before serving. It’s fine to withhold the dough and use the cat meat alone to make Curried Cat or Cat Tacos should cultural tastes make one of those more appealing.

There is a movement under way, my friend told me, to print out this recipe and post it in food pantries and local shelters throughout the world so interested parties can copy it, trap or shoot their own feral cat and then make a nice inexpensive meal at home. 

My friend isn’t certain if the recipe is online yet since he’s not into computers but he said getting the recipe out to the public, here and abroad, is what’s important. He sees it as a step in the right direction for feeding the poor and ridding our environment of feral cats. 

Eating feral cats, he said, is a lot cheaper than trapping and neutering them or aborting captured females, something proposed by a new organization that he says is called Planned Cathood. He says he’ll give me a brochure on Planned Cathood later on. 


                 I like tuna. I like liver. Meow Mix Meow Mix, please deliver.


I asked him if he thought one might grind up feral cat meat and make quarter-pounders with cheese, tomato and Bermuda onion on a toasted sesame seed bun. Children, I mentioned, often love burgers.

He said he thought one of the cats in his bag was just the right size and probably marbled enough to whip up some thick burgers for his family that night. 

My neighbor is proof that there is no end to the inventiveness of man when it comes to helping the poor and at the same time cleaning up our environment.


Donal Mahoney

What happens when a Shadmock whistles? I'll let you look that one up yourself.

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