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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Mime Eschews Her Owner's Chinese Fare in Order to Dine with the Queen's Corgis at Windsor Castle

"Mime's part of the furniture. Everyone looks forward to her visits."
-- Windsor Castle spokesperson

Most cats would be delighted to dine on Chinese food but not Mime. She instead prefers the fare served up at Windsor Castle.

Every day the black and white moggy strolls fifty yards or so across the cobblestones that separate the Chinese restaurant where she lives from Queen Elizabeth II's medieval digs in order to have lunch alongside the royal corgis at the queen's apartments. (See photos above and below.)

"She won't eat any of our leftovers," Mime's sixty-nine-year-old owner, Kevin Lam, told The Sun on November 17th. (See "Meet the Royal Cat Burglar.") "She's been going for about four years."

At first, her presence was resented by the dogs but after a considerable amount of barking and hissing an uneasy truce was agreed upon by both sides and it appears to be holding. The Sun woefully neglects to inform its readers what she is fed but it obviously suits her refined palate far better than Lam's leftovers.

Perhaps even more astonishing than her grudging acceptance by the corgis is the manner in which her presence is tolerated by officials at the castle. "Mime's part of the furniture," a spokesperson told The Sun. "Everyone looks forward to her visits."

This could be because the queen seldom stays at her Berkshire retreat. In addition to her extensive foreign travels, she also has residences at Buckingham Palace in London, Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, Sandringham House in Norfolk, and Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire. That is just as well since she is known to prefer dogs and horses to cats.

Even on occasions when the guards lock the Henry VIII gates, such as on the celebration of the Queen's birthday each June, they obligingly unlock them for Mime. Once she has had her repast she leisurely strolls back to the restaurant where she promptly goes to sleep by the fire.

Of course, it is nothing new for cats to hobnob with the high and mighty. Not only have they been doing it for thousands of years but in ancient Egypt they were even worshiped as gods.

Some of their detractors attribute what they perceive to be a haughty attitude to the divine treatment that they have received in the past. This is most likely an incorrect assumption, however.

Cats are far too egalitarian to care on whit about either royalty or gods. Mime's conduct is more likely explained by an old English proverb which maintains that "in a cat's eye, all things belong to cats."

To put it succinctly, Mime simply does not see any good reason why all of that high-brow royal chow should go, well, to the dogs.

Photos: The Sun.