The revolt of my two cats has taken a turn for the best for them and for me. For the background story see:
The primary plan
Norie has been on a weight reduction diet and lost one pound already within the prescribed amount of time. The plan involves feeding the maintenance amount of foods to help Norie loose the weight slowly but maintain the lesser weight of Sister. The regimen was one large or two small cans of wet food during the day and 1/4 cup of dry food at night per cat per day.
My secondary plan
I have been following this regimen faithfully. In my mind I figured if they eat the dry food at 9 PM, closer to their bedtime, they would feel full longer and they would not wake me up at 6 AM wanting food.
But oddly their little inner clocks made them want the dry food at 8 PM! So when this happened I gave them some wet food in case they were really hungry. It turns out they were wanting the dry food and would sniff at the wet food or nibble a little and walk off while literally shaking their heads. So the wet food would get thrown out or not eaten until it had been sitting out too long. That bothered me a lot because I hate wasting a can of food a day. So I began to gradually delay the dry food to 9 PM from their requests at 8 PM.
Every evening became a struggle of wills.
The two ganged up on me. One sat and stared at me or meowed pitifully and harshly persistently. If I walked into the kitchen or near the door with the dry food they both would get very excited and almost dance for joy, thinking I was going to give them the one thing they desired most…the dry food! Finally I realized how badly they wanted the the dry food at 8 PM!
Tonight changed things
So the other night as I walked into the kitchen Norie was sitting by the food mat where the bowls were. She took her paw and swiped at an empty treat ball; leaving it spinning around with its empty, hollow sound. She then looked up at me briefly staring at me and uttered a silent meow. (See end of video above for silent meow in response to my question.) If you have never seen one, the cat moves its jaws as if it is meowing but no sound comes out. I read in a humorous book about cats by a cat that they do this to express emotions so deep that they can’t express them with sounds.
I started to think.
Maybe I was being too unyielding about the time of the dry food. After all I always put a little wet food out at night for them anyway. And they do usually let me sleep till 7 or even 8 AM. Why was I being so stubborn about the 9 PM feeding?
One moment of hesitation
For one moment I stood there unsuccessfully fighting off laughter. They sat looking at me, hopeful. The palpable suspense of the waiting cats seemed to hang like the drop of water you know is going to fall from the leaky faucet but takes forever to make its descent into the noisiest receptacle in the sink. When you hear the kerplop you know time must go on.
Sister began meowing pitifully; Norie sat staring at me. After composing myself, I caved and gave them the dry food. After Norie ate some she took one more swipe at the empty treat ball and looked at me.
I know that I am in deep trouble now!!
But at least they know that I am trying to understand their needs and wants and am willing to cave in when they do something funny.