“It can take Ollie up to an hour to eat his food now.”  My client tapped the ceramic bowl that held the barely touched meat and stared at the elderly tabby and white cat sadly. “He’s used to eating up on the work top, just make a fuss of him and don’t let the others steal his food.”  Tiger-Tim and Lily, Ollie’s brother and sister,  were already winding around our legs in anticipation of extra helpings!

Every morning would start with me putting a tablespoon of wet food in Ollie’s bowl and then trying to encourage him to eat it.  If he hadn’t been so thin I don’t think we would have been quite as worried about Ollie’s lack of focus when it came to meal times.

My client had suggested I brush the ancient moggy to get him eating and for a while it worked.  So did giving all the cats the same diet, this bit of reverse phycology had Ollie fooled into thinking he was having something that he shouldn’t as he sneaked a few mouthfuls from Tiger-Tim and Lily’s plates!  However, Ollie still wasn’t consuming enough and it would take all day before he’d finish a sachet of food.

The Meaty Meat song was born out of my frustration.  By tapping Ollie’s bowl and pushing its contents about with a fork I managed to attract my charge’s attention.  When I began to sing “Yummy! Yummy! Yummy! Yummy!  He’s got meaty meat in his tummy,” as well, Ollie started to scoff his nosh!  I was amazed, especially as my singing is awful.  It didn’t work every single time but Ollie did seem to associate my little ditty with eating and thankfully began putting on some weight.  Perhaps I’ll give it a go for other fussy eaters.  I wonder if it would work with toddlers and broccoli/!