Wednesday, May 30, 2007

What PET HATES author Josh said.... (wine)

Could a fictional big cat drink wine?

Josh said...

Wine bad for cats? Depends on how the owners behave after having imbibed it! Surely you don't mean to give your cat alcohol? Cats' livers are very poor at detoxifying chemicals as they are obligate carnivores and so have not evolved to cope with the array of chemicals that plants contain.

I am so glad I asked!
Fortunately for me, I write about Alien cat-like creatures (the black, saber-toothed Tigers of Tigron) and they are not the apex predator. Maybe I can find an evolutionary loophole.

I suppose it would be plausible for animals on an Earth-like moon of a gas giant to evolve differently, especially if the world had large arid areas. Perhaps they have to get their water by chewing succulents, like cactii.

Would that work, Josh?

I've seen dogs and cats chew on, and swallow grass, so I'm sure the behavior could evolve under the right conditions.

You'll say, perhaps, that the blood of their prey ought to provide all the liquid a predator needs. I wonder how I get around that one. Is blood salty? Might too much of it interfere with a creature's sanity?

Another possible loophole would be your comment about "the array of chemicals".

What chemicals are in plants? Are all the problematic chemicals in plants natural, or are some of them the result of farming methods? Or of mankind's pollution?

Rowena Cherry,
Insufficient Mating Material


Deborah Macgillivray said...


you write about creatures that have evolved, changed. Since this a "fantasy" then you set the perimeters. You decided what happens. So big cats drink wine? Just make comment with the story, that small cats, don't and this is a trail of the "big" change.

My cats love Pepsi and 7-UP, love green tea. I had one that loved to list the edge of beer cans for the taste.

Kitty's eat grass for chlorophyll. This sweetens sour stomachs. The grass also is roughage, helps break up hairballs. I have had kitties eat watermelon, corn on the cob (a fav of theirs), sautéed mushrooms, pork 'n beans and potatoes. They can also be seen poking around fireplaces or outside grills munching tiny bits of charcoal. Again, this is very good for sour stomachs, and absorbing toxins.

Rowena Cherry said...

I've heard of people taking charcoal pills, too... never tried it myself, of course!

How fascinating! Isn't charcoal supposed to have a similar function as Gas-X or Beano?

I might be mistaken. Charcoal might simply have deodorizing properties. I've heard of charcoal filters.

Would a cat perceive intermittent malodorous gas as a problem? That would require quite sophisticated thinking!