My Father's Daughter

Feeding the cats


Every morning I feed my cats a generous spoonful of canned cat food. They have dry food throughout the day and they aren’t starving, but the canned, “wet” food is treated with a certain glee. Usually around 4:00 or 4:30am, Mason gets restless and wanders around meowing for his daily treat. When I finally give in because I have to pee anyway, or Phil’s alarm has gone off and I’m up for the day anyway, the kittens run to the kitchen. When I open the fridge to retrieve a can they both try to climb in and I have to push them out with my foot (while accusing them of trying to be “cool cats”). I can’t seem to get it through their little heads (cats being deaf to any and all reason) that getting into the fridge is counterproductive to their ultimate goal – the food. I don’t know if they are convinced there must be something better in the fridge, if they are momentarily distracted (“oh, look, shelves to climb on”), or if they think that it would be more expedient to climb to the top shelf and rip into the can themselves. Once I’ve fed them, they attack their food like Survivors who’ve won an elaborate meal in this weeks Thursday night challenge. But, then, EVERY MORNING, Mason doesn’t finish his bowl. He seems to be content to have a few bites and then he walks away (Annie, on the other hand, will sometimes eat so much so fast that she throws up).

Now, before you judge my cats too harshly, has there ever been a time where you got in your own way? Have you ever derailed, or held up your ultimate goal because you thought you saw something better, or you were distracted (“oh, look, something shiny”), or you thought you knew a faster way? Or, have you ever gotten what you wanted and then realized it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and not finished it? Cats behave out of instinct — they have no other motives, they are incapable of understanding consequences, they don’t categorize behaviour as “good” or “bad”. What’s your excuse?


3 thoughts on “Feeding the cats

  1. I don’t know about the consequences bit in this piece… I mean, you should try letting the cats in to the fridge and shut the door… just for thirty seconds or so, then let them out again.

    Instinct it may be, but I’ll bet experience and conditioning also play a part. Did you know that cats are capable of cold-blooded revenge. My cat once peed on my dad’s side of the bed in return for the fact that when he had changed the litter box he accidently put the opening to the wall so she couldn’t get in. I think this was her version of shutting the fridge door… Funny, but he never put the litterbox door against the wall again…

  2. Ahh, good point, though I have shut cats in fridges and cupboards (merely by accident, without my knowledge, truly, it wasn’t torture) and it didn’t act as a deterrent for long. And perhaps, as your example illustrates, cats are too smart to condition and prefer to condition their human housemates.

  3. I remember a cat we had in Tintern. One day it was sitting on Mari’s bed and I got a wet washcloth and dampened the bed underneath the cat. Well Mari freaked!!!!!!!!!! I never felt guilty though(:(:(:–>

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