July 15, 2004

Undefined Confirmation

I've just confirmed something I've suspected for a while now. One of those silly little things that flashes through my mind as it does just about every evening but that I've never bothered following up to figure it out. But last night I did! Well I'm actually not sure what exactly it is that I've confirmed but I feel that some sort of question now has an answer.

Anyhoo. It's about the cat this time. Figero (yeah some folks may spell it Figaro but we like it our way). His food dish is kept on the counter or else the dogs would chow on his chow and he'd be irritated. And most likely cranky. And the dogs would most likely be scratched and cowering on the other side of the room. Fig has one of those divided dishes with two compartments. It's green. One side is reserved for wet food and the other for dry.

Each morning he gets a generic little can of wet food for breakfast. In the evening when the dogs are served their dinner, Figero usually just perches up on his food counter and watches. It's not until later in the evening when I'm down there setting up the coffee pot to brew for the morning when he chats me up for some crunchies.

This is where my wondering took root. He always eats the wet food in one sitting. Or he'll take a short break and come back in like 30 minutes to finish it off. He's predictable that way. But the dry food is different. He never finishes a compartment-full in one sitting. In the evening when he meows and makes other charming yet insistent cat-asking noises, I look over to see how much dry food is still in the dry food compartment of his dish. Sometimes it's empty. So I reach into the cupboard above his head and retrieve the bag of dry food. Then I shake an appropriate amount into the appropriate compartment. He pushes his way past me and crunches until he's crunched enough. Meanwhile I put the bag back in the cupboard and go about my business.

But sometimes when I look over to see how much dry food is still in the dry food compartment of his dish there clearly is plenty of dry food there for him to snack on. Yet he is still meowing and pacing on his food counter asking for something. I've tried picking up the dish and shaking it so he can hear that the delicious crunchies are awaiting consumption. Or I'll run my fingers through it for the same effect. He'll sniff around the dish after I do that, but will look up at me saying, "You know what I want, you silly woman. Now make it happen!"

So being a compliant pet parent, I always take out the bag of food and put a bit more in the dish. Then he settles in to snack. But last night when I saw there was still plenty of dry food in the appropriate side of his dish and after I had tried my worthless tricks to help him realize that fact, I did something different. I took the bag of food and just pretended to shake more into the dish. Not one piece of new food did I add.

And guess what? He settled right in to snack.

So what does this mean? I have no clue. None. Zero. Zip. Nada. Except that I know I can fake out the cat. And that sometimes faking out is exactly what he may be asking for. Good kitty. He's more like the rest of us than I realized.

1 comment:

Mel said...

It's always fun to realize that we are, indeed, smarter than our cats. ;)