Thursday, July 10, 2008

I'm Not Eating That

As you well know I am in charge of the care and feeding of 3 other beings at my house. This is not a big deal, I've had pets all my life and cared for other people's pets since I was about 11 years old. I've fed, pilled, brushed, walked, washed and run screaming from a wide variety of pets. Not sure why I'm feeling the need to establish my veracity so early on but there you go, I'm full of truth.

Feeding these three particular pets is more work than a 3 star restaurant. It's the most work I've ever done to keep 3 living things from wasting away and I babysat. A lot! Some picky eaters, too. So, of course, I thought I'd share.

The dog has a small amount of kibble topped with a quarter can of wet food. In the mornings I crush up 2 joint strengthening pills, add a sprinkle of probiotics and mix it into the wet food. Of course I do this all after I've fed the cats.

The cats get a drip or 2 of cat oil (not made with real cats), a sprinkle of probiotics, a third of a can of wet food (no chicken or beef in the ingredients which is harder to find than you might think) all mixed together with a little water for extra hydration.

It's the logistics of the feeding that are most exciting, though. (You're riveted, aren't you? Don't fall off the edge of your seat!) First, get a pill to relax Elvis' heart. Bring it into the kitchen where Elvis will have jumped onto the counter and begun to screech like a banshee. Pill him (relatively easy when he opens his maw for the squawking). Pick up the dog's dish and put it on the stove, out of reach of the cats. Get all the specialty stuff out of the fridge. Assemble the cats' meal over around and through Anna who will, at this point, have jumped onto the counter and begun weaving back and forth in front of me and the sink just begging to be tipped into the dishwater. Feed the cats. Like lightning, assemble the dog's food trying to beat the cats' loss of interest in their, apparently thoroughly boring, meal. Feed the dog somewhere that I can watch over her for the duration of her meal.

Why those last two bits? Because the cats like dog food. The cats, in fact, love dog food, especially kibble. Elvis' has heart issues which have led to stomach issues and he has a proclivity for urinary tract problems so any dry food at all is strictly verboten for him. Before all these health issues I could just have opened a big bag of dog food and let them all have at it, both cats would have been perfectly content to exist on kibble alone. Now they will climb up on a lit stove to get to the dog's dish if I'm slow in assembling and they will run the dog off her own food dish if I don't stand guard. If I feed her by the kitchen and go sit in the living room she will wander in and give me pitiful eyes that say, "Help. They are stealing the kibble right from my mouth! Help. I starve!" But she won't do anything to get rid of them (totally my fault, I trained her to be gentle with them when they were kittens) so I have to go over and make nasty noises and say stupid things to get rid of them then stand over the dog until she's done. Of course standing there makes her nervous so she has trouble eating and eats super slow, looking up to check on me at every other bite, with the cats circling like sharks.

It's an imperfect system, I know.

Next to "Crazy Cat Lady" in the Urban Dictionary there's a picture of me. I hope the got my good side.


  1. Man, I had no idea you were doing all this to keep everybody alive over there. I've never had a cat that wanted dog food, but Bobby will eat cat food, bird food, whatever.

  2. Anonymous10:36 AM

    Wow. That's more effort than I put into feeding myself.

    I'm sure you've probably tried everything already, but would it work to put the cats' food in a bedroom or bathroom? When they go in there to munch, you can close the door so that poor doggy can have his meal in peace?

  3. I had a cat that liked to eat dog poop. Which would you rather?

  4. Kath, it's getting nutty over there. It's only a matter of time before I'm hydrating Elvis like you did with Ed & Hula, too, so it's a 3 ring circus!

    Julia, the cats graze their own food over time so I can't have them shut away for a long period. I could, I suppose quarantine them while the dog eats, though. Now I'm picturing myself running all over the apartment every morning literally herding cats! :)

    byjane, I have a dog who used to eat cat poop, that's almost the same thing isn't it?