So, Charlie and I are in the process of separately feeding our cats, Riley and Clara. Due to a medical issue a couple of years ago, the vet highly recommended feeding Riley special expensive cat food. When we adopted Clara, we incorporated Riley’s special food into whatever she was eating at the animal shelter. Eventually, feeding the cats was a cinch: throw some food into the food dishes and then let Clara and Riley figure out the details (Clara had the tendency to crouch sideways, blocking the second food dish from Riley, and Riley was too big of a pansy to nudge her away). However, during the past year, Clara occasionally had some potty issues (I will spare you the disgusting details).
Charlie and I believe that Riley’s special cat food probably isn’t the best for Clara’s sensitive tummy. We couldn’t avoid the inevitable — feeding Riley and Clara two different kinds of food. While Riley remains on his expensive food, we decided to feed Clara simple regular food — nothing fancy or specialized. We need to figure out which foods cause Clara to have potty issues. So far so good. The first couple of days were a little hard due to the separation issue. Riley wanted to eat Clara’s food. And Clara thought she was going to starve to death if Riley was fed first — she would cry and attempt to eat his food.
Clara is a messy eater. Did I mention this before? She is seriously a messy eater. She constantly drops pieces of food on the floor or the stand. Somehow, she manages to throw food onto the nearby wall. Riley and Calvin never made too much of a mess — I think they occasionally dropped some pieces — but their feeding area wasn’t a disaster. Anyway, during the first couple of days, Charlie and I stood nearby to make sure neither cat tried to steal the other’s food. As long as food was in his dish, Riley could care less that Charlie or I were standing next to him. Clara, on the other hand, is a different story.
She needs attention and reassurance. Weird, I know. Even with food in her dish, Clara won’t eat. When I tap a finger on her dish, she will start eating — I guess she needs some direction. The weird thing is Clara likes someone lightly stroking her back while she’s eating. I have no idea how Charlie figured that out. During one of the feedings, Clara stopped eating and just stared at me.
Me: “Clara, are you done eating?”
She just stared at me.
Charlie: “You need to pet her.”
Charlie: “Just pet her while she’s eating.”
Me: “Um, OK.”
So, I lightly stroked her back, and Clara resumed eating. Weird, right? Not only is she a messy eater, but she likes attention while she eats. However, I don’t plan to petting her every time she eats. One, that is just really, really, really spoiling a cat. Two, I have stuff to do around the house while the cats eat. Eventually, Charlie and I will figure out the correct amount of food that cats will eat in one sitting and then leave them be. But in the meantime, if I have to stand there to monitor Clara and Riley, then I don’t mind giving her my love and attention. No matter how weird she is. 🙂