Sunday, April 09, 2006
You've probably noticed my blog is called 'Where's My Lunch?'. This is the question which is uppermost in my mind whenever I'm not occupied with problems such as where did that mouse go, or why isn't that door open?
Here's a picture of me politely asking to be fed.
I'm embarrassed to say that when I was a tiny kitten I was so eager to get to my food when Mum was preparing it that I climbed her legs, using my claws to get a good grip. I did this several times a day. Looking back, I can see that she was surprisingly nice about it, although at the time all I could think about was MY LUNCH. Of course I don't do this any more; there are more subtle ways to get what you want, and I'd like to share some of them with my fellow cats. So, food...
I believe that in the bad old days before I was born our species had to survive on the same thing, day in, day out. Now, however, there are tins, pouches and tiny servings of the choicest squishy food, while all manner of crunchy and soft titbits are available. It’s a cat’s job to get some of everything.
How many times does your human put down a bowl and you look at it and think, “Come on, you can do better than that”? Maybe it’s the same flavour for the fourth time in a row, maybe you just KNOW you deserve Sheba that day, or perhaps they’ve left you out in the cold and rain and you need something to make up for that?
At this point there are plenty of options available to the sharp-witted feline. One technique is to stand there looking disappointed then continue shouting for your dinner. Another, more insulting, wheeze is to react violently to the food by sniffing it and shaking a paw (front paw to indicate frustration, back paw to compare the 'food' to the contents of a litter tray). Or try walking past the bowl giving it a wide berth and a suspicious, slightly alarmed sideways glare, as though you think it’s rather dangerous. These can be effective. What you want is for the humans to sigh, maybe even apologise, and throw away perfectly good food just because you want something better. If they do this, you know you've got them where you want them.
It’s also important to get the food put exactly where you want it. If the sun is shining then I want my bowl in the sun, not the shade (it's obvious really, but you'd be surprised how much training a human needs on this). Sometimes I'd like it RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME RIGHT NOW RIGHT HERE OUTSIDE THE BACK DOOR and sometimes I prefer it on the path or (my special favourite) on the little wall halfway down the garden. Choose your dining area and MAKE your human feed you there. If they get it wrong, just walk away and pretend you didn‘t notice them put it down. If you do this, though, be prepared for the occasional failure. “Suit yourself, Fatso,” is something no cat wants to hear. If it happens to you, just try to accept it as the good-natured banter which happens between a cat and its humans. Never let on that you are distressed. And never, never eat the food until you think your human can’t see you any more.