October 24, 2008

Feline Friday: Mr. Neuroses

I say that my cat is neurotic, and some of you may think I'm exaggerating, but I swear to you I'm not. Let me tell you a big, long Moose story and you will see just how strange he is.

First of all, Moose appears to have no "off" button when it comes to eating. If we put a bowl of food out with his entire daily serving, he will eat and eat and eat until its all gone and still think he's hungry, so he'll scream and scream and scream for more food. If you ignore him, he will get sulky and do things like stomp all over your head and knock stuff off the table tops. His favorite time to do this is all night long, while you are trying to sleep.

We finally hit on a solution-- part A) he was put on a high-fiber cat food that bulks up in his belly and helps him feel full and part B) he's on an automatically timed food dish that goes off 5 times a day and gives him a measure of food. The dish is set so he gets fed at (approximately) 6 pm, 10 pm, 2 am, 9 am and 2 pm. This has been working pretty well for the past 7 years.

The new problem became-- Moose has an internal clock. I think most cats do. However, add internal clock with Moose's OCD and you have him becoming verrrrrrrry upset when his dish doesn't go off when he knows it should. And he will tell us about it. Loudly. Constantly. He will lead us to the dish and point it out. Frequently. Until it goes off. Or we make it go off. We have learned to live with this.

However, he has recently developed a couple of new issues. The first one being-- he knows WHICH section of his dish is supposed to be open at WHAT time. So if his 2 pm feeding still has food at 6 pm, he won't eat it, because its the wrong food for that time. He wants his 6 pm serving, not the rest of his 2 pm serving. He is very particular on this point.

He has also decided that what he likes best is to eat when we eat. He loves supper time when we are all in the kitchen together, eating. He likes eating lunch when I eat lunch, he will often even save his food so that he can eat when I am in the kitchen eating. At 10 pm he will cry and lead us to his dish. "Moose, you HAVE food!" we've been telling him. Yet he cries and leads us to his dish a half dozen times. Often, if we gave him some lovin' he would then eat. But recently that hasn't been working. It took us a while, but we finally figured it out. He wants us to BE WITH HIM while he eats, whether we're eating or not. He evidently thinks he needs the company or he can't properly digest, or something.

So last night, Firehand sat out in the kitchen at 10 pm and read so that Moose could eat. Yes, Moose owns us. Problem is, I think he's beginning to figure it out. We are in so much trouble.


Nydia said...

Oh my gods, Turtle! Moose (gorgeous!)acts soooo much like Baruck that I had to read your entire post to Rodrigo! And we thought he was the only one like that! Do cats have a collective link that makes them behave alike?? Baruck doesn't have an automatic food dish (unless you consider us as automatical... Forget, I don't want to think about it...), but the part of him never stopping eating until the dish is empty, and every time we're in the (tiny) kitchen he comes in to eat again, and stops when we leave the room... This is scary... We're bringing up monsters. Guess I'll sleep with a gun under my pillow.

mrsb said...

Hahahaha! I thought my cats were bad. We don't have this exact problem, but... my oldest cat Tater, knows exactly when my son has to take his medication. He gets a tiny dose in a medicine dropper, 2x daily. When he started on it, I started just tossing the little dropper from the fridge to the sink for washing. Tater started to get on the sink every time to watch it fall into the sink. Then she started batting at it as it flew in. Now, every day, she runs to the counter at the exact time it's "medicine time", to play soccer with the dropper! Gosh forbid we are 2 minutes late!

Howling Hill said...

I had a cat named Claw who hated to eat alone. Though hungry she'd wait until someone went into the kitchen -- even it if was just for a minute -- to eat. As soon as you walked out she'd walk out. Thus she was always hungry.

Has Moose settled into being an only cat? Has his behavior changed since Claire's passing?

peppylady said...

My meme is up that you tagged me the other day.

Turtleheart said...

NYDIA~ That's so funny! And we thought Moose was the only one.

MRSB~ See? That's that internal cat clock working! They all have it, I just know it.

HOWLING HILL~ Oh, poor baby Claw! I wonder why some are like that? Moose's behavior hasn't changed much, he always wanted to be #1 cat. He doesn't seem to realize that she's gone, he just knows that he gets all the attention now and can lounge wherever he wants, whenever he wants and that suits him just fine.

PEPPYLADY~ Cool! I'll be over to see it soon.