The heat dome over the UK has moved on, thank God. But during it a cat mum asked the mumsnet.com crowd if it was a good idea to cool her cats down by feeding them shrew ice cream. Yes, ice cream made from shrews, a classic prey animal of the domestic cat. A novel idea and one that makes me wince. She asked:
“The cats need a treat on a day like this. My boy cat looks very hot and bothered. Girl cat has brought us 4 shrews already and I found a mouse corpse behind the bin, which smells relatively fresh.
Do you think the cats would like it if I froze them, perhaps mixed with a bit of cream? I know they can’t taste sugar, so I was thinking of boiling cream and leaving the shrews to infuse at that stage, then making a sugar-free traditional custard (albeit shrew flavoured) and putting that in the ice cream maker.
The shrews are already dead so I’m assuming IANBU.”
It must have been that dreaded day when the record was set for the hottest day in the history of the UK (40.3 degrees Celsius). As you can see there was a fresh and decent supply of shrews so there was no cruel human slaughter in mind. The food was there ready and waiting to turn into ice cream.
What I like about the mumsnet.com mums who own cats is that they are very knowledgeable about cats caregiving. This is the power of the internet. Good cat caregivers nowadays are much more switched on than in the past.
But shrew ice cream is a bit of a stretch. My thought is that it would probably work just fine except that adult cats are generally lactose intolerant so feeding them cream is not a great idea.
There is also the issue of very cold cat food. I have seen cats trying to lick ice cream and it has caused a bad reaction because the product was so cold. Sometimes they get brain freeze and pull a shocked face. I am not sure that very cold food is good for cats. They are not programmed to eat frozen foods.
The good thing is that the shrew is a perfectly balanced diet for a domestic cat. It has all the nutrients they need and a nice balance between protein (40%), fat (50%) and carbohydrates (3%).
Although I am not convinced that cats need cooling down internally during extremely hot weather. The domestic cat inherited a tolerance of hot weather from their wild cat ancestor which lives in hot climates. The better course of action is to use a cooling pad of some sort but I don’t think there is a need to do that. A cat will find a coolish spot and rest up.
I think you have to be a fairly unique person to blend shrews with cream. I mean it is pretty gruesome work but the work of a dedicated cat caregiver who’s prepared to go the extra mile to please her cats and cool them down.
The feedback was generally good except some could not quite believe it. For example:
“Heston Blumenthal probably has a recipe.”
“This is not a real question??? ?”
“I don’t think I could use my entire kitchen again after boiling shrew and mouse corpses in it. I’d have to move.”
Yes, there is that gruesome side to this suggestion.
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