I was highly amused the other day when I visited Azahar’s blog and found this post. I do not have cats that actively try to wake me up, thank heavens. But I have awakened to find Smokey (the light colored one) sitting next to me, tail neatly curled about his feet, staring into my face from about five inches away.
However, my two cats have a strongly developed sense of entitlement. They seem to believe that the very first thing you should do once your feet hit the floor is put food in their bowl. They have become especially insistent about this since we have started feeding them canned food in the morning. This policy was instituted because the vet opined that Smokey might be able to digest this food better in the morning than the dry cat food. He had developed the unpleasant habit of coughing up all the dry food he ate as soon as he turned away from the food bowl. Aside from the disgust factor, the poor cat was wasting away. He is old, and apparently his innards are not functioning at peak efficiency any more.
Anyway, any dressing, bathroom, putting-out-the-dog, or coffee-making activities that occur before the cat food has been distributed are accompanied by vociferous complaints. Like we are going to forget to feed them? Like we ever have not put food in their bowls? This might be the day that we completely lose our minds and memories, I suppose. Who knows exactly what a cat thinks?
I know that possibly the sense of entitlement that our two felines apparently experience may have gotten out of hand.
You see, we occasionally enjoy a bowl of ice cream in the evening. There are specific bowls that we use for this, and there is a certain sound that the spoon makes when you are eating ice cream from these bowls. Many years ago, we developed the habit of putting our bowls down on the floor when we were done and letting the cats lick the remainder of the ice cream from them.
It wasn’t long before the cats learned to “show up” when they heard the sound of ice cream being eaten. One day I happened to be eating apple sauce rather than ice cream. I told the expectant cat that arrived on the scene that he would not like it, that it was not ice cream. However, he insisted that I allow him to make this determination for himself, and the look of utter disgust on his face was something to see when he looked into the bowl once I put it on the floor.
Sharing our bowls was not a difficult thing to do when we had two cats; there were two of us, two bowls, all was fair. Then for a while we had three cats. In the name of equity, we would get out a small sauce bowl like the kind a chinese restaurant will serve you hot mustard in, and put a small quantity of ice cream in it for the third cat.
Now all this doesn’t seem to be Too Much yet, does it? This sort of thing tends to snowball, however. One day, we happened to make hot fudge sauce and adulterated the vanilla ice cream. We were highly amused to observe how our cats carefully ate around this disgusting and poisonous substance that had been introduced to the ambrosia they were usually served. They would not even touch the remains of chocolate ice cream when it was presented to them. Peach ice cream was barely tolerable.
However, they are unable to tell what kind of ice cream is in the bowl until it is put before them, and they sit expectantly, and very politely, in the room with us when we are enjoying ice cream. I am not exactly sure when we developed this habit, but one time when I was purchasing New York Double Fudge ice cream, I bought a pint of vanilla as well. I did this specifically because I was feeling sorry for the cats. Even though we had been eating various sorts of chocolate ice cream for several months (those being our preferred flavors), the cats were still patiently waiting for something edible to be in the bowls.
So, I served up our ice cream, and got small bowls and put a teaspoon of vanilla in each one for the cats. All was right with the world once again.
So, last night, when we were serving up our ice cream, I sort of looked at Jim as I automatically got out four bowls, and the cat’s vanilla ice cream came out of the freezer at the same time the “Dave Matthews Band Magic Brownie” ice cream we were intending to eat. “Are our cats spoiled?” I asked, rhetorically.
I don’t know. I suppose they probably are.