I know I talk about my cat, Norie, (my black cat) often but I have to brag on how smart she is.
Norie gets fed 1/2 can of cat food 3 times a day. At night I give her dry food as part of her weight loss program. Through the day she will eat some of the wet food but not all of it. So I have to throw out what she doesn’t eat since unrefrigerated, open wet food is not good after 4 hours. Sometimes I throw out 1/8 to a 1/4 of a can a day.
Since I grew up with Depression parents so I was taught not to waste things. So it drives me nuts to keep throwing out that much food. Quickly I learned to divide the serving of wet food up in smaller portions so what she doesn’t eat is not wasted. (Making more work for myself sometimes but having some peace of mind and getting some exercise getting up and down.)
If she leaves a lot of food I will quickly cover it and put it in the refrigerator. (Ditto, more work for me, but it is a time of isolation and stay home and she does give me so much joy and companionship.)
At the bedtime feeding she often has 1/8 of a can of wet food left. One night I got clever and put a few pieces of dry food on top and she eats almost all of the leftover wet food. Then I put the rest of the dry food she is due in a clean bowl.
There is a method to this plan. With an almost full serving of dry food to eat through the night, she often has some left over in the morning. So she occasionally doesn’t wake me up until 7:30 or 8 in the morning.
So the other night (after a busy day of phone calls, errands and having not slept well the night before) I was getting her bedtime dry food out but noticed she hadn’t eaten more than an eighth of her wet food. So I told her she needed to eat more of the wet food.
She looked patiently at me then walked over to the cabinet, where a large bag of dry cat food is stored, indicating she wanted the dry food. I was trying to be firm but kind.
I repeated, “Sorry Sweetheart, but no, you need to eat what’s in your bowl first.” She walked over to the cabinet again. Suddenly I realized she just wanted the few dry food pieces on top of the wet food like I did before!!!
She truly understands a lot of what I say because I try to use the same words and phrases about routine things to help condition her to hear the words and see the action, so her mind connects the two.
I have a lovely screened in porch in front of my condo. Norie loves to go out there on the warm concrete during the summer and watch the birds who eat the seeds that I put out for them. So after we do our morning of eating breakfast she goes to the door, letting me know she wants to go out.
One of the things that amazes me is that she actually just sits in the corner of the porch and watches the birds eating the birdseed I scatter in front of the patio. She has the cover of bushes high enough so no one knows she is there and she knows it. But the clear area under the bushes is where the birds usually are so she feels secure.
After compressing the asthma inhaler into the chamber, I count her ten breaths with a second or two break after the first three and tell her how many more breaths to go. When she gets to 7 and pulls away, I say, ” 8-9-10 to go.” She cooperates knowing, I believe, that she is almost through and she finishes the last three breaths of the medicine and gets two dental brushing treats.
Norie also sleeps curled up behind my knees at night. Sometimes if I get up more than once at the beginning, like when I can’t sleep, she gets up and goes with me into the kitchen so I can make some hot tea. If I still can’t sleep she goes to another room to sleep for most of the night then comes to wake me up for breakfast.
I am so thankful for her company during these months of isolation. Occasionally I have gone out to lunch with a friend but only under safe conditions. I make runs to the drug store as well. Life would have been so lonely without Norie. She has been and is my friend, companion, entertainer and guardian against bugs. I love her dearly.