When you’re the human in the house, you expect to be the trainer, not the trainee. Alas, that is almost never the case! No matter how much you want to believe that you’re the one in control, that you “wear the pants” in the family, you’re just kidding yourself. Yeah, you may have taught your pup or your kitten a few things. Tricks, polite behavior, avoiding the oh-that-makes-mommy-mad behaviors. But when you have a pet, they’ve trained you as much as you’ve trained them, whether you want to believe it or not.
To wit, my two cats and their eating habits.
Once upon a time, I put food in bowls and it was consumed. Then – in a matter of weeks, I might add – Jool perched herself on top of the refrigerator and stared at me. And I put down whatever I was doing, paused the tv show, and checked her food and water bowls.
Then, I started putting little treats in their bowls, Feline Greenies. Because I believe in being fair, you know, and the dogs get lots and lots of treats, so the kittens needed some, too.
After a while, Katie would stare at me, refusing to eat, until I put the treats in the bowls. Jool was excited to get bonus treats, but since Katie wouldn’t eat without treats, they both got them. A kitty-cat’s gotta eat.
But then…then…I discovered Evo! The kittens loved-loved-loved Evo. They gobbled it up and begged for more. I still gave them treats, but they didn’t care whether they had them or not. That’s how much they loved Evo.
And then an awful thing happened.
Proctor and Gamble bought the company that makes Evo. Yes, the company that makes shampoo, lotion, toilet tissue, tampons, perfume, and detergents bought a pet food company.
You’d think they’d know how to run a company, right? But Natura Pet Products, which had never had a product recall, has had one recall after another due to salmonella contamination in the three years since P&G bought them.
So, I decided to stop buying Evo. The search for a new favorite dry cat food was on. That was at least a year ago. I am currently convinced that no such dry cat food exists. At first, neither Katie nor Jool flat-our refused to eat, but they would subtly let me know that they were not pleased.
This year, they’ve both had to take medicine. Shoving a pill down a cat’s throat is no mean feat, but my cats are fairly easy to pill. Comparatively speaking, of course. To reward them, I put a glob of canned wet food in with their kibble. Their medicine lasted a week, but there was still wet food left, so I continued these little treats until we finished the can.
Oh boy, did I ever set myself up! Here’s what happens now:
The dry food is already in the bowl. Jool’s staring at me; Katie’s meowing at me.
“You can add the wet food now.”
“Waiting on you can be SO exasperating!”
Not only do I have to add wet food before they’ll eat, I have to smoosh it up in the kibble. If I don’t, Jool doesn’t eat the kibble at all.
Nom, nom, nom…going after the big juicy parts!
Crunch, crunch, nom, nom, nom …gasp for breath…nom, nom, nom
“There’s some over here on the side!”
“Kinda hard to reach…sluuurp!”
“Okay,”…great big gasp for breath…”I think I’m done.”
Here’s what the leftover kibble looks like:
She sucks the wet food right off and leaves behind this funky, slobbery kibble.
Which I leave in her bowl and add food to for her next meal. Guess I’m not that well-trained after all!