Feeding the Beasts

This is an incredibly boring post about feeding cats. I’m sorry. You probably expected something exciting with the title, but the truth is that I’m exhausted and my brain has melted into a worthless puddle, and all I really want is something deep fried.

I realized today that feeding time at my house has gotten extremely complicated, thanks to the bizarre dietary needs of the assorted cats. While not on the level of lion feeding or something, it does require serious concentration, thanks to determined efforts to meddle in what everyone else is eating. And don’t think my food is exempt; I roasted a chicken yesterday and had to fight off snoops from all corners.

First, Mr. Bell has to have his “urinary support” wet food, which I’m sure smells intoxicating to Shadow and Loki. So I stick his food on the table and then guard it while he eats, which involves dancing back and forth while the other two make determined lunges for it. Loki can’t eat it because it disturbs his delicate intestinal balance, which could have unfortunate results, and Mr. Shadow can’t eat it because wet food makes his poop smell truly atrocious. Every now and then one of them manages to make it up onto the table, and then a ferocious battle begins in which I try to contain him and he shoots out my hands like a hotdog out of a bun, and Mr Bell continues eating in an incredibly leisurely fashion, as though he is entirely unaware of the efforts I am making on his behalf.

Then I load a fresh plate up with pumpkin puree for Loki, and I encourage Mr Shadow to eat it too, since everybody likes firm stools. Usually Loki and Mr Shadow end up fighting over it, but when I split it up onto two plates, they fight over one plate while ignoring the other as though it is radioactive. Mr Bell expresses no real interest in the pumpkin, but he usually gets underfoot to complain about the size of his portion, thereby distracting Loki so that Loki jumps down to assault him like a jaguar from above.

By the end of feeding time, there are pieces of pumpkin everywhere and everyone is looking strangely dissatisfied, despite the fact their stomachs are engorged with treats. So they all go sit by the dry food bowl and look at it mournfully, even when it’s been freshly loaded with the obscenely expensive dry food which is safe for all of them to eat. I mean, I can see being a bit bored with their diet, and I do make efforts to jazz it up, but it’s hard when they all have unique dietary needs and Loki is theoretically on a diet in the hopes that he will lose weight instead of turning into a neutron star, or one of those cats you see on chat forums with a witty caption and lots of exclamation points.

There’s a deep irony about linking to a New York Times article about picky eaters and attributing the habits of said picky eaters to bad parenting, and then realizing that my cats are needier about their food than most humans I know.