I have no idea how this happened.
He is far jumpier and wimpier than Tail. When we got them both, he was smaller than her, too. I can only think Tail didn't want to be boss.
Being Top Cat means that Mouth starts eating his dinner first, and he gets to lick out Tail's bowl when she's finished. The bowl lick is strictly symbolic - Tail wouldn't dream of leaving any scraps.
Last week, however, a strange thing happened.
We've always fed both cats in the hallway, which has a nice wipeable laminate floor. Tail's bowl is at the end of the hall near the lounge, and Mouth's bowl goes by the kitchen door, like this.
This has never been a problem.
But last week, at dinnertime, I heard an odd growly noise.
It was no ordinary Oi, Tiddles, get out of my garden growl. It wasn't even the lesser-spotted THERE IS A NOISE AND I DON'T LIKE IT growl. This growl was deafening. There are no windows in my hallway, but I pictured neighbours clutching their children and adjusting their picture frames. Extreme weather warnings would soon start appearing on TV.
Mouth was bolting his food and growling. It was the most absurd thing I have ever seen a cat doing, and I have seen cats do some extremely absurd things. (My parents' cat once woke itself up by sleep-miaowing.)
"Oh dear, Mouth," I said. I knew this day would come. Life is a continuous struggle for a creature of Mouth's simplicity, and he had finally broken himself.
I tried picking the bowl up and putting it down again. The growling resumed with renewed vigour.
I tried moving it along the hallway. No change.
Tail had abandoned her portion of whitefish and was watching with interest.
There was nothing I could do but spectate as Mouth inhaled the remainder of his dinner, then moved onto Tail's.
Tail looked up at me, stricken.
"No, Mouth," I said, shooing him away from Tail's bowl, but Tail didn't want it anymore. It was evidently besmirched with boy germs.
Washing up both bowls, I had a think. I'd read a few books on cat psychology, but Mouth was a law unto himself. Perhaps he had spontaneously decided that the hallway was a terrifying place.
To be on the safe side, for their next meal, I shut Mouth in the downstairs loo. It was a warm, quiet room where he could eat undisturbed.
It meant Tail could get on with her dinner in the hallway, uninterrupted by tabby-shaped hoovers.
With painstaking care, I knelt down and peered under the door at Mouth.
The growling continued, but it lacked conviction.
As I'd hoped, it dwindled as the meal progressed.
Eventually, it was replaced by the happy lip-smacking grunts of a feline polishing off his final few mouthfuls of Whiskas.
When the grunts had given way to a noise that could only mean Mouth was cleaning his bottom, and Tail had devoured every last morsel of her rabbit-flavoured supper, I opened the door to the downstairs loo.
A newly refreshed, confident Mouth strolled out, fully recovered from his growly episode and ready to take on the world.
He seemed none the worse for it, but ever since then he has expected to eat his dinner in the downstairs loo.
I don't question it. I just put his food in there, and do my best to remember to let him out afterwards.
Tail accepts this state of affairs.
I love Mouth dearly, but I don't pretend to understand him.